Quotes by Thomas Watson

Welcome to our collection of quotes by Thomas Watson. We hope you enjoy pondering them and please share widely.

Wikipedia Summary for Thomas Watson

Thomas John Watson Sr. (February 17, 1874 – June 19, 1956) was an American businessman. He served as the chairman and CEO of International Business Machines (IBM). He oversaw the company's growth into an international force from 1914 to 1956. Watson developed IBM's management style and corporate culture from John Henry Patterson's training at NCR. He turned the company into a highly effective selling organization, based largely on punched card tabulating machines. A leading self-made industrialist, he was one of the richest men of his time and was called the world's greatest salesman when he died in 1956.

Quote: Don't make friends who are comfortable to be with. Make friends who will force you to lever yourself up. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of brown squirrel on tree log
Photo Credit: Sebastian Latorre

Don't make friends who are comfortable to be with. Make friends who will force you to lever yourself up.

Longer Version/[Notes]:

Don't make friends who are comfortable to be with. Make friends who will force you to lever yourself up." -- Thomas J. Watson.


Quote: If you want to achieve excellence, you can get there today. As of this second, quit doing less-than-excellent work. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of black Corona typewriter on brown wood planks
Photo Credit: Patrick Fore

If you want to achieve excellence, you can get there today. As of this second, quit doing less-than-excellent work.


Quote: Wisdom is the power to put our time and our knowledge to the proper use. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of sunset grasslands
Photo Credit: DiscoverQuotes Staff

Wisdom is the power to put our time and our knowledge to the proper use.


Quote: The toughest thing about the power of trust is that it's very difficult to build and very easy to destroy. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

The toughest thing about the power of trust is that it's very difficult to build and very easy to destroy.

Longer Version/[Notes]:

The toughest thing about the power of trust is that it's very difficult to build and very easy to destroy. The essence of trust building is to emphasize the similarities between you and the customer.


Quote: If you want to achieve excellence, you can get there today. As of this second, quit doing less-than-excellent work. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

If you want to achieve excellence, you can get there today. As of this second, quit doing less-than-excellent work.


Quote: So go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can.  Because that's where you will find success. On the far side of failure. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

So go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can.  Because that's where you will find success. On the far side of failure.


Quote: It is a common mistake to think of failure as the enemy of success. Failure is a teacher-a harsh one, but the best. Pull your failures to pieces looking for the reason. Put your failure to work for you. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

It is a common mistake to think of failure as the enemy of success. Failure is a teacher-a harsh one, but the best. Pull your failures to pieces looking for the reason. Put your failure to work for you.


Quote: Do you want to succeed? Then, double you rate of failure. Success lies on the far side of failure. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

Do you want to succeed? Then, double you rate of failure. Success lies on the far side of failure.


Quote: Success is on the far side of failure. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

Success is on the far side of failure.


Quote: Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the danger of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of crackpot than the stigma of conformity. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the danger of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of crackpot than the stigma of conformity.


Quote: It was courage, faith, endurance and a dogged determination to surmount all obstacles that built this bridge. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

It was courage, faith, endurance and a dogged determination to surmount all obstacles that built this bridge.


Quote: If you want to succeed, double your failure rate. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

If you want to succeed, double your failure rate.




Quote: Treat each case as an individual case, and give every man an opportunity to earn just as much money as he is capable of earning. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

Treat each case as an individual case, and give every man an opportunity to earn just as much money as he is capable of earning.


Quote: The best way to supervise your men is from their reports that they make out. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

The best way to supervise your men is from their reports that they make out.


Quote: Once an organization loses its spirit of pioneering and rests on its early work, its progress stops. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

Once an organization loses its spirit of pioneering and rests on its early work, its progress stops.


Quote: You don't hear things that are bad about your company unless you ask. It is easy to hear good tidings, but you have to scratch to get the bad news. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

You don't hear things that are bad about your company unless you ask. It is easy to hear good tidings, but you have to scratch to get the bad news.


Quote: Whenever an individual or a business decides that success has been attained, progress stops. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

Whenever an individual or a business decides that success has been attained, progress stops.


Quote: If you aren't playing well, the game isn't as much fun. When that happens I tell myself just to go out and play as I did when I was a kid. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

If you aren't playing well, the game isn't as much fun. When that happens I tell myself just to go out and play as I did when I was a kid.


Quote: Nothing so conclusively proves a man's ability to lead others as what he does from day to day to lead himself. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

Nothing so conclusively proves a man's ability to lead others as what he does from day to day to lead himself.


Quote: A manager is an assistant to his men. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

A manager is an assistant to his men.


Quote: The great accomplishments of man have resulted from the transmission of ideas and enthusiasm. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

The great accomplishments of man have resulted from the transmission of ideas and enthusiasm.


Quote: If you want to increase your success rate, double your failure rate. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

If you want to increase your success rate, double your failure rate.


Quote: Design must reflect the practical and aesthetic in business but above all... good design must primarily serve people. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

Design must reflect the practical and aesthetic in business but above all... good design must primarily serve people.


Quote: The way to succeed is to double your error rate. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

The way to succeed is to double your error rate.


Quote: Recently, I was asked if I was going to fire an employee who made a mistake that cost the company $600,000. No, I replied, I just spent $600,000 training him. Why would I want somebody to hire his experience? by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

Recently, I was asked if I was going to fire an employee who made a mistake that cost the company $600,000. No, I replied, I just spent $600,000 training him. Why would I want somebody to hire his experience?


Quote: All the problems of the world could be settled easily if men were only willing to think. The trouble is that men very often resort to all sorts of devices in order not to think, because thinking is such hard work. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

All the problems of the world could be settled easily if men were only willing to think. The trouble is that men very often resort to all sorts of devices in order not to think, because thinking is such hard work.


Quote: To be successful, you have to have your heart in your business and your business in your heart. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

To be successful, you have to have your heart in your business and your business in your heart.


Quote: Every time we've moved ahead in IBM, it was because someone was willing to take a chance, put his head on the block, and try something new. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

Every time we've moved ahead in IBM, it was because someone was willing to take a chance, put his head on the block, and try something new.


Quote: Really big people are, above everything else, courteous, considerate and generous -- not just to some people in some circumstances -- but to everyone all the time. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

Really big people are, above everything else, courteous, considerate and generous -- not just to some people in some circumstances -- but to everyone all the time.


Quote: If you stand up and be counted, from time to time you may get yourself knocked down. But remember this: A man flattened by an opponent can get up again. A man flattened by conformity stays down for good. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

If you stand up and be counted, from time to time you may get yourself knocked down. But remember this: A man flattened by an opponent can get up again. A man flattened by conformity stays down for good.


Quote: You can be discouraged by failure, or you can learn from it. So go ahead and make mistakes, make all you can. Because, remember that's where you'll find success -- on the far side of failure. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

You can be discouraged by failure, or you can learn from it. So go ahead and make mistakes, make all you can. Because, remember that's where you'll find success -- on the far side of failure.


Quote: It is better to aim at perfection and miss, than to aim at imperfection and hit it. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

It is better to aim at perfection and miss, than to aim at imperfection and hit it.


Quote: Our murmuring is the devil's music. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

Our murmuring is the devil's music.


Quote: We are to find as much bitterness in weeping for sin as we ever found sweetness in committing it. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

We are to find as much bitterness in weeping for sin as we ever found sweetness in committing it.


Quote: The pardoned soul is out of the gunshot of hell. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

The pardoned soul is out of the gunshot of hell.


Quote: How many souls have been blown into hell with the wind of popular applause? by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

How many souls have been blown into hell with the wind of popular applause?


Quote: How soon are we broken on the soft pillow of ease! Adam in paradise was overcome, when Job on the dunghill was a conqueror. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

How soon are we broken on the soft pillow of ease! Adam in paradise was overcome, when Job on the dunghill was a conqueror.


Quote: This kind of intense loyalty, then, became the well-spring of the IBM spirit, the family spirit as it was called. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

This kind of intense loyalty, then, became the well-spring of the IBM spirit, the family spirit as it was called.


Quote: The bare knowledge of God's will is inefficacious, it doth not better the heart. Knowledge alone is like a winter sun, which hath no heat or influence; it doth not warm the affections, or purify the conscience. Judas was a great luminary, he knew God's will, but he was a traitor. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

The bare knowledge of God's will is inefficacious, it doth not better the heart. Knowledge alone is like a winter sun, which hath no heat or influence; it doth not warm the affections, or purify the conscience. Judas was a great luminary, he knew God's will, but he was a traitor.


Quote: Our murmuring is the devil's music. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

Our murmuring is the devil's music.


Quote: Affliction may be lasting, but it is not everlasting. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

Affliction may be lasting, but it is not everlasting.


Quote: It repentance is not so much to endear us to Christ as to endear Christ to us. Till sin be bitter, Christ will not be sweet. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

It repentance is not so much to endear us to Christ as to endear Christ to us. Till sin be bitter, Christ will not be sweet.


Quote: The pleasure of sin is soon gone, but the sting remains. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

The pleasure of sin is soon gone, but the sting remains.


Quote: A spiritual prayer is a humble prayer. Prayer is the asking of an alms, which requires humility... The lower the heart descends, the higher the prayer ascends. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

A spiritual prayer is a humble prayer. Prayer is the asking of an alms, which requires humility... The lower the heart descends, the higher the prayer ascends.


Quote: The pardoned soul is out of the gunshot of hell (Rom. 8:33). by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

The pardoned soul is out of the gunshot of hell (Rom. 8:33).


Quote: He may look on death with joy, who can look on forgiveness with faith. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

He may look on death with joy, who can look on forgiveness with faith.


Quote: A man's greatest care should be for that place where he lives longest; therefore eternity should be his scope. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

A man's greatest care should be for that place where he lives longest; therefore eternity should be his scope.


Quote: The more we enjoy of God, the more we are ravished with delight. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

The more we enjoy of God, the more we are ravished with delight.


Quote: He that loves the world, how active is he! He will break his peace and sleep for it. He that loves honour, what hazards will he run! He will swim to the throne in blood.... Love heaven, and you cannot miss it; love breaks through all opposition-it takes heaven by storm. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

He that loves the world, how active is he! He will break his peace and sleep for it. He that loves honour, what hazards will he run! He will swim to the throne in blood.... Love heaven, and you cannot miss it; love breaks through all opposition-it takes heaven by storm.


Quote: God's decree is the very pillar and basis on which the saint's perseverance depends. That decree ties the knot of adoption so fast, that neither sin, death, nor hell, can break it asunder. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

God's decree is the very pillar and basis on which the saint's perseverance depends. That decree ties the knot of adoption so fast, that neither sin, death, nor hell, can break it asunder.


Quote: We spend our years with sighing; it is a valleyof tears; but death is the funeral of all our sorrows. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

We spend our years with sighing; it is a valleyof tears; but death is the funeral of all our sorrows.


Quote: God will not be behind-hand in love to us: for our drop, we shall receive an ocean. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

God will not be behind-hand in love to us: for our drop, we shall receive an ocean.


Quote: The right manner of growth is to grow less in one's own eyes. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

The right manner of growth is to grow less in one's own eyes.


Quote: What if we have more of the rough file, if we have less rust! Afflictions carry away nothing but the dross of sin. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

What if we have more of the rough file, if we have less rust! Afflictions carry away nothing but the dross of sin.


Quote: The prayer that is faithless is fruitless. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

The prayer that is faithless is fruitless.


Quote: Though we as Christians are like Christ, having the first fruits of the spirit, yet we are unlike him, having the remainders of the flesh. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

Though we as Christians are like Christ, having the first fruits of the spirit, yet we are unlike him, having the remainders of the flesh.


Quote: Affliction may be lasting, but it is not everlasting. Affliction was a sting, but withal a wing: sorrow shall soon fly away. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

Affliction may be lasting, but it is not everlasting. Affliction was a sting, but withal a wing: sorrow shall soon fly away.


Quote: Affliction has a sting, out withal a wing: sorrow shall fly away. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

Affliction has a sting, out withal a wing: sorrow shall fly away.




Quote: Prayer as it comes from the saint is weak and languid; but when the arrow of a saint's prayer is put into the bow of Christ's intercession it pierces the throne of grace. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

Prayer as it comes from the saint is weak and languid; but when the arrow of a saint's prayer is put into the bow of Christ's intercession it pierces the throne of grace.


Quote: The world rings changes, it is never constant but in its disappointments. The world is but a great inn, where we are to stay a night or two, and be gone; what madness is it so to set our heart upon our inn, as to forget our home? by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

The world rings changes, it is never constant but in its disappointments. The world is but a great inn, where we are to stay a night or two, and be gone; what madness is it so to set our heart upon our inn, as to forget our home?


Quote: Such as make the sacrament only a representation of Christ do aim short of the mystery, and come short of the comfort. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

Such as make the sacrament only a representation of Christ do aim short of the mystery, and come short of the comfort.


Quote: God can turn stones into bread, and a sinner can turn bread into stones; the bread of life into the stone of stumbling. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

God can turn stones into bread, and a sinner can turn bread into stones; the bread of life into the stone of stumbling.


Quote: The Ediles among the Romans had their doors always standing open, that all who had petitions might have free access to them. The door of heaven is always open for the prayers of God's people. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

The Ediles among the Romans had their doors always standing open, that all who had petitions might have free access to them. The door of heaven is always open for the prayers of God's people.


Quote: When you find a chillness upon your souls, and that your former heat begins to abate, ply yourselves with warm clothes, get those good books that may acquaint you with such truths as may warm and affect your hearts. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

When you find a chillness upon your souls, and that your former heat begins to abate, ply yourselves with warm clothes, get those good books that may acquaint you with such truths as may warm and affect your hearts.


Quote: Praising God is one of the highest and purest acts of religion. In prayer we act like men; in praise we act like angels. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

Praising God is one of the highest and purest acts of religion. In prayer we act like men; in praise we act like angels.


Quote: If you don't genuinely like your customers, chances are they won't buy. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

If you don't genuinely like your customers, chances are they won't buy.


Quote: Those prayers God likes best which come seething hot from the heart. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

Those prayers God likes best which come seething hot from the heart.


Quote: God will fill the hungry because He Himself has stirred up the hunger. As in the case of prayer, when God prepares the heart to pray, He prepares His ear to hear (Ps. 10:17). So in the case of spiritual hunger, when God prepares the heart to hunger, He will prepare His hand to fill. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote: God will fill the hungry because He Himself has stirred up the hunger. As in the case of prayer, when God prepares the heart to pray, He prepares His ear to hear (Ps. 10:17). So in the case of spiritual hunger, when God prepares the heart to hunger, He will prepare His hand to fill.- black text on quotes background

God will fill the hungry because He Himself has stirred up the hunger. As in the case of prayer, when God prepares the heart to pray, He prepares His ear to hear (Ps. 10:17). So in the case of spiritual hunger, when God prepares the heart to hunger, He will prepare His hand to fill.


Quote: A weak faith can lay hold on a strong Christ. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

A weak faith can lay hold on a strong Christ.






Quote: A wicked man in prayer may lift up his hands, but he cannot lift up his face. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

A wicked man in prayer may lift up his hands, but he cannot lift up his face.


Quote: Better have men reproach you for being good, than have God damn you for being wicked. Be not laughed out of your religion. If a lame man laugh at you for walking upright, will you therefore limp? by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

Better have men reproach you for being good, than have God damn you for being wicked. Be not laughed out of your religion. If a lame man laugh at you for walking upright, will you therefore limp?








Quote: There is justice in hell, but sin is the most unjust thing. It would rob God of his glory, Christ of his purchase, the soul of its happiness. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

There is justice in hell, but sin is the most unjust thing. It would rob God of his glory, Christ of his purchase, the soul of its happiness.


Quote: Till sin be bitter, Christ will not be sweet. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

Till sin be bitter, Christ will not be sweet.


Quote: It is hard to carry a full cup without spilling, and a full estate without sinning. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

It is hard to carry a full cup without spilling, and a full estate without sinning.


Quote: Are there not millions of us who would rather go sleeping to hell; than sweating to heaven? by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

Are there not millions of us who would rather go sleeping to hell; than sweating to heaven?




Quote: Eternity to the godly is a day that has no sunset; eternity to the wicked is a night that has no sunrise. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

Eternity to the godly is a day that has no sunset; eternity to the wicked is a night that has no sunrise.


Quote: If joining IBM was commitment, not employment, and the company engaged in something more than business, it had a right to demand of its men unconditional loyalty, Watson believed. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

If joining IBM was commitment, not employment, and the company engaged in something more than business, it had a right to demand of its men unconditional loyalty, Watson believed.




Quote: Fulgens hoc aurum praestringit oculos This gold with its glitter blinds the eyes. Varius. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

Fulgens hoc aurum praestringit oculos This gold with its glitter blinds the eyes. Varius.


Quote: Christ went more willingly to the cross than we do to the throne of grace. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

Christ went more willingly to the cross than we do to the throne of grace.


Quote: It is our work to cast care, and it is God's work to take care. by author Thomas Watson overlaid on photo of Thomas Watson quote; white text on black background

It is our work to cast care, and it is God's work to take care.


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