(can be printed - but not for further reproduction or distribution, please)

Quotes from:

Teaching the Caterpillar to Fly
and other Square Wheels Workshops

These are a list of the quotes I used at my February presentation for Training '98 -- that session was focused on using metaphors in training.

These are generally my main quotes, with many linked to specific illustrations or serving as the names of the illustrations in the Square Wheels series.

If anything, I have erred on the side of sharing more than I did at the session and do not believe that I left any out, but we all should realize that the Square Wheels really ARE everywhere!

Any unattributed quotes in this list would be mine--don't we all have some of these in our mind!



Don't Just DO Something, Stand There!
Get perspective and reflect rather than just continuing to do the same thing.

Put a good person in a bad system and the bad system wins, no contest.
W. Edwards Deming

Get out of the ditch and up on the road.
Jon Linder

It's relatively simple. If we're not getting more, better faster than they are getting more, better faster, than we're getting less better or more worse.
Tom Peters

One wheely good idea can lead to more wheely good ideas.

How long can we go mean and lean before we become gaunt and dead.

It's all about Continuous Continuous Improvement

A desk is a dangerous place from which to view the world.
adapted from John Le Carre

Your brain works faster than you think.
source unknown

What you see depends on what you thought before you looked.
Eugene Taurman

We cannot become what we want to be by remaining what we are.
Max DePree, Leadership is an Art

If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always gotten.
source unknown

When you go from being a caterpillar to becoming a butterfly, you're nothing more than a yellow gooey sticky mess.
Ted Forbes

If caterpillars were meant to fly, God would have given them wings.
anonymous Spectator Sheep

Nothing is ever as dangerous as having THE Answer.*
*That is THE as in DUH!

If things seem really under control, you're not going fast enough.
Mario Andretti

A mission statement is defined as "a long awkward sentence that demonstrates management's inability to think clearly." All good companies have one.
From The Dilbert Principle, 1996

What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, God calls a butterfly!
Diane Mashia

Even caterpillars can fly if they would just lighten up.

Don't let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy.
The Eagles, Take it Easy

We could be standing at the top of the world instead of sinking further down in the mud.
Meatloaf, from the song "All Dressed Up and No Place to Go."

It's a lot like throwing mud at the wire fence. The key is throwing lots of mud and paying attention to what sticks where. Expect some rain.

The Yankees are only interested in one thing. And I don't know what that is.
Luis Polonia

Boss spelled backwards is self-explanatory
(note - This is a US euphemism. Contact an American for further explanation!)

Trust is the residue of promises fulfilled.

This may be a perfect opportunity to use common sense!
Bob Pike

Simple, clear purpose and principles give rise to complex intelligent behavior. Complex rules and regulations give rise to simple stupid behavior.
Dee Hock

We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.
Abraham Lincoln

Swedish Proverb*: God gives every bird his worm, but he does not throw it into the nest.

* Apparently not yet recognized in Sweden, based on workshop comments!


"It's hard to care for customers if you don't think the Boss cares for you. Boss spelled backwards is also self-explanatory in many cases."

Scott Simmerman


This is my main suggestion on how to motivate people, in addition to the illustration below entitled Intrinsic Motivation:

Click here for a related article on the subject of Managing Roadblocks.

Click here for a related article on the subject of Dis-Un-Empowerment.


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