17 Lessons (Quotes) on Strategy, Leadership, and Advertising

These quotes were found in eight different, wonderful books.


Killing Giants is a fascinating read especially if you like business strategy. I made more highlights in Killing Giants than any other book on my Kindle thus far.

The Big Leap is about taking on the habits of successful people and not self-destructing when finally achieving success. This book isn’t for everyone but a short read nonetheless.

Winning is a ridiculously smart book, Jack Welch is one badass CEO. You’ll get a lot out of this book, I use quotes from Winning in presentations all the time.

The Ad Contrarian is a breath of fresh air in our social media crazed world. Bob Hoffman is on a Podcast I listen regularly, he’s knows his %&$#. I like his point of view because you don’t always agree with it, but he makes you think about marketing in a different way. Read his stuff, he’ll make you smarter.

101 Contrarian Ideas About Advertising is similar to the Ad Contrarian in writing style and that’s about it. You’ll learn even more in this book. Bob is one of the influential voices on marketing of our present time.

The Impact Equation is by two of the smartest minds on online marketing and personal development. They give you a new formula to look at your social media strategy. I got a lot out of this book but I’d read Julien and Brogan’s first book Trust Agents first though.

Confession of a Madman is a hilarious journey through the life of George Parker, one of our fore fathers of advertising. He’s also on the Beancast (podcast) and swears his face off. He’s one of the ol’ boys. He doesn’t care about what anyone else says so you know he’s always being genuine. His book is entertaining with stories about his experience in the industry. Not a real heavy academic theory read at all.

A Whole New Mind by Dan Pink is a book you should read. It’s about how society is getting smarter and a different type of brain is helping us in the future. Full of stories and real life lessons you can apply. I highly recommend this book.

On Strategy…

1. It doesn’t matter how nice the packaging is if the product sucks.



So many people think advertising is a solution to their product design problems. Telling more people about a shitty product doesn’t get more people to buy it. It’ll actually put you out of business faster.

Tell ten people about your service or product, if they don’t tell others about you go back to the drawing board. Keep adjusting your product or service until people voluntarily talk about it. Then you don’t have to advertise at all.

2. Never let planning get in the way of implementing. The later is always more important.


People usually over think strategy. Your core strategy should be simple, if it’s not, how do you expect all your employees to understand it? Make the plan simple and work hard ever day at improving upon yesterdays results.

3. What is your strategy? Are you trying to change the way millions of people think or making a brand new product?



South Sask Custom Garage

(South Sask Custom Garage, When it comes to your man-cave, trust the pros)

4. Don’t confuse how you’re going to make brand advocates, it must be by trying your product or service.



5. Are you trying to be the best Something? Or are you just trying to get by?


Quotes-101 Contrarian Ideas on Advertising

Until you get serious about your business strategy you’re only going to be second to the best if you’re lucky. It’s much  better to position yourself as the best something.

6. Think about what your marketing strategy actually is? Are you trying to convince people of something they’re not going to like? Or can you help them in some way?


Quotes-Killing Giants: Convincing People They're-Wrong is Difficult


On Leadership…

7. You now how proof that having fun at work is more effective. Send this quote to your boss.


If you want to stand out as a manager in the future you better know how to have fun with your staff.

8. When you’re thinking about intelligence IQ is only a fraction of what makes up the human mind. Don’t put to much weight in academia.


Quotes how much does iq account for job success

9. In business there isn’t much else that has a more positive impact on your reputation than helping others.



10. Think about what your goal in life is, we’re all in pursuit of happiness.



11. When we’re out of our comfort zone we learn the most.



Learn to seek out moments that make you feel awkward, that get you out out of your comfort zone and achieve what you never thought possible. When we’re scared we learn in a major way. This is very important when it comes to your future success.


12. This is the first step on towards realizing success, understanding how much work it’s going to be.


Quotes-Nothing Worth Doing is Easy

Once you’ve come to grasp how much work it really is going to be, then you won’t be surprised when you’re putting in long hours. When a student is in law school there is a presumed workload that they will undertake. The articling lawyer studies long hours. The account studying for a CMA or a CA has to put in an immense amount of effort to pass all the test. Every professional field you have to put in long hours, why would entrepreneurship be any different?

On Advertising…

13. Be careful as to where you’re acquiring advice. Anything new is bound to get shot down immediately.



Any company that uses focus group testing incessantly is bound to create mediocre advertising. If it tests well that means the majority will like it and effectively no one will remember your advertising.

14. When it comes to your corporate communications, simply and make a call to action. Otherwise you’re probably wasting my time.




We have no time these days so when you do have the attention of your audience don’t waste it. Get to the point.

15. Think about this the next time someone’s pitching you to advertise more.


Quotes-The Only People Who Care About Advertising

How does the saying go? “someone who wants you to buy a wrist watch is probably a wrist watch salesperson. People’s motivation tell a lot about themselves.

16. When you finally do get their attention, how are you going to use it? Are you going to waste it on talking about yourself? Or are you going talk to your customers about what they want?



17. When you do have to advertise just know that it is largely precision guessing. Nothing more.


Quotes-Creating Advertising is Largely Precision Guessing