Best Collection of John P. Kotter Quotes

John P. Kotter, American Educator ( - )

Search our database for specific quotes/topics. Type in your phrase or keyword


A higher rate of urgency does not imply ever-present panic, anxiety, or fear. It means a state in which complacency is virtually absent.~John P. Kotter

Fear Anxiety Complacency

Leaders establish the vision for the future and set the strategy for getting there.~John P. Kotter

Future Vision Strategy

We worry about appearing awkward in a presentation. But up to a point, most people seem to feel more comfortable with less-than-perfect speaking abilities. It makes the speaker more human - and more vulnerable, meaning he is less likely to attack our decisions or beliefs.~John P. Kotter

Decisions People Worry

Great leaders understand that historical success tends to produce stable and inwardly focused organizations, and these outfits, in turn, reinforce a feeling of contentment with the status quo.~John P. Kotter

Success Great Feeling

We started Kotter International to improve leaders' ability to deal with big, important transformations in organizations - and in their lives.~John P. Kotter

Important Ability Leaders

Tradition is a very powerful force.~John P. Kotter

Powerful Tradition Force

In terms of getting people to experiment more and take more risk, there are at least three things that immediately come to my mind. Number one, of course, is role-modeling it yourself. Number two is, when people take intelligent, smart risks and yet it doesn't work out, not shooting them. And number three, being honest with yourself.~John P. Kotter

Work Smart Risk

The rate of change is not going to slow down anytime soon. If anything, competition in most industries will probably speed up even more in the next few decades.~John P. Kotter

Change Competition Speed

Because management deals mostly with the status quo and leadership deals mostly with change, in the next century we are going to have to try to become much more skilled at creating leaders.~John P. Kotter

Leadership Change Try

Neurologists say that our brains are programmed much more for stories than for abstract ideas. Tales with a little drama are remembered far longer than any slide crammed with analytics.~John P. Kotter

Ideas Drama Brains

If the culture you have is radically different from an 'experiment and take-risk' culture, then you have a big change you going to have to make - and no little gimmicks are going to do it for you.~John P. Kotter

Change Culture You

Many years ago, I think I got my first insight on how an incredibly diverse team can work together and do astonishing things, and not just misunderstand each other and fight.~John P. Kotter

Work Team Together

The vast majority of large scale change efforts fail. Which means that the probability that you have actually experienced a failure, and your people know that and are pessimistic, therefore, about trying something again, is very high.~John P. Kotter

Change Failure People

Low lights signal to our senses that the workday may be over and it's time for sleep, making it hard for an audience to pay careful attention. When we stand behind a big wooden podium, it can feel as if there's a shield between us and the audience.~John P. Kotter

Time Sleep May

I'm impatient. Typically people think they know all about change and don't need help. Their approach tends to be more management-oriented than leadership-oriented. It's very frustrating.~John P. Kotter

Change People Help

Managers are trained to make incremental, programmatic improvements. They aren't trained to lead large-scale change.~John P. Kotter

Change Lead Incremental

In an ever changing world, you never learn it all, even if you keep growing into your 90s.~John P. Kotter

World Learn You

We are always creating new tools and techniques to help people, but the fundamental framework is remarkably resilient, which means it must have something to do with the nature of organizations or human nature.~John P. Kotter

Nature People Help

Kotter International is about leading large-scale change, not just managing it.~John P. Kotter

Change Leading Managing

The world has 6 billion people and counting. We need to help 500 million people become better leaders so that billions can benefit.~John P. Kotter

World People Help