Conventional Wisdom-Non Conventional Man

Posted by Bruce Peters

Lee Thayer

Hardly a day, or for that matter an hour in a day, goes by without a quote from Lee Thayer, or LT as I refer to him, popping into my head. For those that don’t know, he was a giant in the genre of “leadership”.

Today I learned that over the weekend Lee had passed.


He was for all intents and purpose a guru’s…. guru. Of his many books “Leadership,Thinking, Being, Doing” is my most well worn. More fitting eulogies will come in abundance later but for now a few words and quotes.

My first reaction was that the deity better be ready with answers as LT will be coming your way armed with questions.

Back to quotes. The thought occurred that I might begin an inventory here of the quotes or phrases from or by Lee as they come into my own daily conscious mind. Just today’s random thoughts will be an example. Perhaps, something synchchratic will emerge out of the serendipity. No books. No references just the remnants. Here goes:

“Conventional thinking leads to conventional results.”

“If you don’t know the difference between good advice or bad, then no advice will help.”

“Most people prefer the problem they have to a solution they don’t like.” (This is my edited version of what Lee actually said. I liked my version better than his, much to his dismay.)

“It’s not the recipe it’s the cook.”

“Talk doesn’t cook rice.”

“You can’t bestow a benefit on an unwilling recipient”

“Learning leads to Growth, Leads to Life.”

“Are you going to continue to be stupid like that or actually try to learn something?” (Throwing this in just to see if you’re paying attention. Are you?)

“Can you stay in the learning mode even when your most deeply held beliefs are challenged?”

“A question is always better than a statement.” (also, my version)

“The measure of the effectiveness of communication is, did it achieve your intended results or consequences.”

“You get either the performance or the explanation.”

“If giving advice were limited by one’s competency there would be little advice giving.

I’ll end today with my personal favorites, rendered in our very first conversation.

“Why would you want to do something stupid like that?”


Topics: FLP, Beyond Teal, teal, lee thayer

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