32 Breathtaking Larry Bossidy Quotes

Larry Bossidy is an American businessman and author from the United States. As the retired CEO of AlliedSignal, he spent more than three decades leading up to an executive position at General Electric. Later acquiring Honeywell and taking on its name, Bossidy is currently a director at Merck. As an expert at getting things done, here is a look at some of the most important Larry Bossidy quotes to know.

“An environment of fast growth can cover a multitude of sins, but an era of slow growth will magnify every shortcoming of every person in the business, especially the leaders.”

“At a meeting in a formal, hierarchical setting, a powerful player can get away with killing a good idea. But informality encourages people to test their thinking, to experiment, and to cross-check.”

“Everyone will be fighting harder and smarter to win market share. Each company will be searching for a new advantage, in the form of products, technologies, management, locations, prices, among many other variables.”

“Execution has to be a part of a company’s strategy and its goals. It is the missing link between aspirations and results. As such, it is a major—indeed, the major—job of a business leader.”

“Execution is a systematic process of rigorously discussing hows and whats, questioning, tenaciously following through, and ensuring accountability.”

“Execution is not just tactics—it is a discipline and a system. It has to be built into a company’s strategy, its goals, and its culture.”


“Execution is what gives you an edge in detecting new realities in the external environment as well as risks that are being introduced, perhaps inadvertantly, to your own operations.”

“Execution not only ensures efficient use of resources in a credit and cash-starved world, but also provides the feedback loop needed for the business to adjust to changes—big or small—in the external world.”

“Execution requires a comprehensive understanding of a business, its people, and its environment.”

“Execution, when first published in 2002, was based on our observation that the discipline of getting things done was what differentiated companies that succeeded from those that just muddled through or failed.”

“Growth will be slower. The vast consumer market that is America may no longer be the principal global economic driver it has been, and countries intent on creating jobs for their people will be much slower to import our goods.”

“If you can’t describe your strategy in twenty minutes, simply and in plain language, you haven’t got a plan.”

“If you don’t know how to execute, the whole of your effort as a leader will always be less than the sum of its parts.”

“Leaders in an execution culture design strategies that are more road maps than rigid paths.”

“Many business leaders spend vast amounts of time learning and promulgating the latest management techniques.”

“Many people strategize themselves into the wrong businesses.”

“Organizations don’t execute unless the right people, individually and collectively, focus on the right details at the right time.”

“Stronger, faster companies can detect and pounce on opportunities, for instance, to take advantage of the downturn by snapping up assets at bargain prices and snatching market share out from under their competitors.”

“The behavior of a business’s leaders is, ultimately, the behavior of the organization. As such, it’s the foundation of the culture.”

“The company that executes well will have the confidence, speed, and resources to move fast as new opportunities emerge.”

“The foundation of changing behavior is linking rewards to performance and making the linkages transparent.”

“The gap between promises and results is widespread and clear. The gap nobody knows is the gap between what a company’s leaders want to achieve and the ability of their organization to achieve it.”

“The hardware of a computer is useless without the right software. Similarly, in an organization the hardware (strategy and structure) is inert without the software (beliefs and behaviors).”

“The heart of execution lies in the three core processes: the people process, the strategy process, and the operations process.”

“The leader must be in charge of getting things done by running the three core processes—picking other leaders, setting the strategic direction, and conducting operations.”

“The three processes—people, strategy, and operations— remain the building blocks and heart of good execution.”

“There will be a new regulatory environment and each government will carry it out in different ways, some as partners to business, others as adversaries.”

“There’s a saying we recently heard: We don’t think ourselves into a new way of acting, we act ourselves into a new way of thinking.”

“We don’t think ourselves into a new way of acting, we act ourselves into a new way of thinking.”

“We would argue that the core of his management legacy is that he forced realism into all of GE’s management processes, making it a model of an execution culture.”

“While understanding reality is crucial, equally important is communicating it to your people.”

“Without execution, the breakthrough thinking breaks down, learning adds no value, people don’t meet their stretch goals, and the revolution stops dead in its tracks.”

In this clip, Larry Bossidy takes some time to discuss how to become engaged within an organization and take it to the edge down a path of success.

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