Quotes of the Day for 30 July 2005 – C. Northcote Parkinson
Cyril Northcote Parkinson was born at Durham, England on this day in 1909. Educated at Cambridge, Parkinson went on and taught at Malaya, Harvard and the University of Illinois. Primarily a historian (that would be "an historian" in England, of course), Parkinson is best known for his biting, and devastatingly accurate, observations of bureaucracy and administration. He also wrote several novels, as well as the definitive biographies not only of P. G. Wodehouse's fictional butler, Jeeves, but C. S. Forrester's fictional naval officer Horatio Hornblower. His work is droll, footnoted as befits a scholar, and hilarious.
You will find an expanded profile, photo, additional biographical links, and all quotes from this author on the author's Notable Quotable page.
Delay is the deadliest form of denial.
The man who is denied the opportunity of taking decisions of importance begins to regard as important the decisions he is allowed to take.
Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion. General recognition of this fact is shown in the proverbial phrase "It is the busiest man who has time to spare."
A committee is organic rather than mechanical in its nature: it is not a structure but a plant. It takes root and grows, it flowers, wilts, and dies, scattering the seed from which other committees will bloom in their turn.
Perfection of planning is a symptom of decay. During a period of exciting discovery or progress, there is no time to plan the perfect headquarters.
Men enter local politics solely as a result of being unhappily married.
- All from C. Northcote Parkinson, 1909 - 1993
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