Ten Quotes from Bill Hewlett and David Packard that Every Manager and Leader Must Read and Follow

Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard

On 23-Aug-1937, two electrical engineers who had recently graduated from Stanford University met to consider the idea of founding a new company. During the course of their studies at Stanford, they had developed a strong friendship and respect for each other. Bill Hewlett and David Packard put their ideas to paper, starting with a broad declaration about design and manufacture of products in the electrical engineering field. Initially, Hewlett and Packard any engineering product would be fair game to move the company forward, and expand beyond their Palo Alto garage. Therefore, they were unfocused and worked on a wide range of electronic products for industry and agriculture. Through hard work, perseverance, and forethought, Bill Hewlett and David Packard developed Hewlett Packard into an instrumentation and computing powerhouse before retiring and handing over management to a new crop of business leaders.

  1. “The greatest success goes to the person who is not afraid to fail in front of even the largest audience.”
  2. “Set out to build a company and make a contribution, not an empire, and a fortune.”
  3. 'The HP Way: How Bill Hewlett and I Built Our Company' by David Packard (ISBN 887307477) “The best possible company management is one that combines a sense of corporate greatness and destiny, with empathy for, and fidelity to, the average employee.”
  4. “The biggest competitive advantage is to do the right thing at the worst time.”
  5. “A company that focuses solely on profits ultimately betrays both itself and society.”
  6. “Corporate reorganizations should be made for cultural reasons more than financial ones.”
  7. 'Bill & Dave: How Hewlett and Packard Built the World's Greatest Company' by Michael S. Malone (ISBN 1591841526) “A frustrated employee is a greater threat than a merely unhappy one.”
  8. “The job of a manager is to support his or her staff, not vice versa and that begins by being among them.”
  9. “The best business decisions are the most humane decisions. And, all other talents being even, the greatest managers are also the most human managers.”
  10. “Investing in new product development and expanding the product catalog are the most difficult things to do in hard times, and among the most important.

'Beyond the Obvious: Killer Questions That Spark Game-Changing Innovation' by Phil McKinney (ISBN 1401324460) Source: “Beyond The Obvious: Killer Questions That Spark Game Changing Innovation” by Phil McKinney. Phil McKinney was an innovation manager at Hewlett Packard. Phil’s book has great questions for managing and leading businesses.

For Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard’s legendary management style and the history of Hewlett Packard, read ‘Bill & Dave: How Hewlett and Packard Built the World’s Greatest Company’ by Michael S. Malone and ‘The HP Way: How Bill Hewlett and I Built Our Company’ by David Packard.

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