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Hyman G. Rickover quotes (showing 1-12 of 12)

“Responsibility is a unique concept... You may share it with others, but your portion is not diminished. You may delegate it, but it is still with you... If responsibility is rightfully yours, no evasion, or ignorance or passing the blame can shift the burden to someone else. Unless you can point your finger at the man who is responsible when something goes wrong, then you have never had anyone really responsible.”
Hyman G. Rickover
“Success teaches us nothing; only failure teaches.”
Hyman G. Rickover
“When doing a job — any job — one must feel that he owns it, and act as though he will remain in that job forever.”
Hyman G. Rickover
“Optimism and stupidity are nearly synonymous.”
Hyman G. Rickover
“What it takes to do a job will not be learned from management courses. It is principally a matter of experience, the proper attitude, and common sense — none of which can be taught in a classroom... Human experience shows that people, not organizations or management systems, get things done.”
Hyman G. Rickover
“Sit down before fact with an open mind. Be prepared to give up every preconceived notion. Follow humbly wherever and to whatever abyss Nature leads or you learn nothing. Don’t push out figures when facts are going in the opposite direction.”
Hyman G. Rickover
“If you are going to sin, sin against God, not the bureaucracy. God will forgive you but the bureaucracy won't.”
Hyman G. Rickover
“The Devil is in the details, but so is salvation.”
Hyman G. Rickover
“They all have excellent resumes... So what I’m trying to find out is how they will behave under pressure.”
Hyman G. Rickover
“More than ambition, more than ability, it is rules that limit contribution; rules are the lowest common denominator of human behavior. They are a substitute for rational thought.”
Hyman G. Rickover
“Nothing so sharpens the thought process as writing down one's arguments. Weaknesses overlooked in oral discussion become painfully obvious on the written page.”
Hyman G. Rickover
“I believe it is the duty of each of us to act as if the fate of the world depended on him. Admittedly, one man by himself cannot do the job. However, one man can make a difference. We must live for the future of the human race, and not for our own comfort or success.”
Hyman G. Rickover


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Eminent Americans: Namesakes of the Polaris Submarine Fleet (92nd Congress, House Document No. 92-345) Eminent Americans
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