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10 Good Mentor Quotes

written by: Jean Scheid • edited by: Ginny Edwards • updated: 4/23/2011

Managing a project effectively takes experience—there’s no doubt about it! For the newbies to the old hats, we can all learn from some good mentor quotes on project management from the planning phase to project closure. Here Jean Scheid offers up 10 mentor quotes that inspire.

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    What Quotes Can Do for You

    As a project leader, you know how at times it can be difficult to continue on while keeping every stakeholder, vendor and team member happy and that’s not including senior management!

    Much as those thought or word for the day desktop calendars out there, good mentor quotes aid managers in striving for the best, getting noticed and ultimately, becoming a mentor themselves.

    Here’s a list of quotes that will inspire from planning stages and throughout your next project.

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    Project Planning Quotes

    Did Abe Lincoln Say It Best 1. Honest Abe Lincoln (our 16th President) said of planning:

    “If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend six hours sharpening my ax." Certainly a mentor quote first President George Washington could have used in the Cherry Tree cutting.

    2. Former board member of the Project Management Institute, K. Tate envisioned:

    “Trying to manage a project without project management is like trying to play a football game without a game plan." Certainly true in the planning phase—no plan often means failure.

    3. Finally, on project planning, President Dwight Eisenhower said:

    “Planning is everything, the plan is nothing." So you may have the ideal plan but if you don’t use project planning techniques and tools, how far will the project go?

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    Managing and Monitoring Quotes

    Alvin Toffler Is No Chipmonk Once the planning phase is over, it’s on to managing the project right? Here are some good mentor quotes to live by:

    4. I’d love to offer up credit for this quote (author unknown), but it certainly rings true for managing a project:

    “A project gets a year late one day at a time." How true is this quote if the project leader fails to monitor and manage the project? A must abide by quote for sure!

    5. Alvin Toffler said of managing change:

    “On Change Management It is always easier to talk about change than to make it." This certainly means as a project manager, you should capture not only a great change management plan, but utilize change control processes to avoid resistance to change.

    6. If the Agile Methodology is your game, you must be prepared to manage iterations and sprints. Another unknown author said of managing projects:

    “At the heat of every large project is a small project trying to get out." With so many different types of project management methodologies, learning how to manage phases makes this a good mentor quote to follow.

    7. I wonder here, why so many project management mentor quotes are offered by the unknown? Unless, indeed they have tried and failed and learned from their mistakes only they’re not willing to offer up a name along with insight! Another unknown author said when managing projects:

    “If you’re six months late on a milestone due next week but really believe you can make it, you’re a project manager." This has to be the true test of any project leader—excellence and experience does make one succeed no matter what the challenge.

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    Project Failure and Completion Quotes

    Wayne Looked Ahead to the End 8. When is a project truly done and how do you, as the leader know it’s finished? Scott Allen, offers up this quote on project completion:

    “A project is complete when it starts working for you, rather than you working for it." They say a project manager should know the meaning of done, but if you can’t seem to stop working on the project, it’s not really done!

    9. When a project fails, good managers will abide by what Al Siepert of NASA says:

    “At NASA, we never punish error. We only punish the concealment of error." Using good communication skills in your projects can stop this from ever happening. Hidden errors can build and grow like a wart if not realized and processed.

    10. Finally, perhaps hockey player Wayne Gretzky said it best on project completion:

    “Some people skate to the puck, I skate to where the puck is going to be." Forethought and the ability to visualize project outcomes often is the best bet to completing projects accurately and on time.

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    Lincoln Quote -

    K Tate Quote -

    Eisenhower Quote -

    Unknown Author Quote -

    Toffler Quote -

    Unknown Author Quote -

    Unknown Author Quote -

    Scott Allen Quote -

    Siepert Quote -

    Gretzky Quote -

    Image Credits:

    Abraham Lincoln - Alexander Hessler/Wikimedia Commons

    Alvin Toffler - Vern Evans/Wikimedia Commons

    Wayne Gretzky - Hakandahlstrom/Wikimedia Commons