Leadership

11 powerful quotes on leadership and success from Gen. James 'Mad Dog' Mattis

President-elect Donald Trump welcomes retired United States Marine Corps general James Mattis as they pose for a photo before their meeting at Trump International Golf Club, November 19, 2016 in Bedminster Township, New Jersey.
Getty Images
President-elect Donald Trump welcomes retired United States Marine Corps general James Mattis as they pose for a photo before their meeting at Trump International Golf Club, November 19, 2016 in Bedminster Township, New Jersey.

President-elect Donald Trump has appointed Ret. Gen. James "Mad Dog" Mattis to head the Department of Defense.

The revered military strategist is known for leading the 1st Marine Division's drive into Baghdad during the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. He is also known for his blunt tough talk and pithy quotes.

CNBC rounded up some of the four-star general's most powerful statements on leadership and success.

'I don't lose any sleep at night over the potential for failure. I cannot even spell the word.'

TIM SLOAN | Getty Images

Source: The San Diego Union-Tribune


'I spent 30 years getting ready for that decision that took 30 seconds.'

Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis listens during his confirmation hearing July 27, 2010 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
Alex Wong | Getty Images
Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis listens during his confirmation hearing July 27, 2010 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

'By reading, you learn through others' experiences, generally a better way to do business.'

General James Mattis (2R)
Shah Marai | Getty Images
General James Mattis (2R)

Source: Strife


'PowerPoint makes us stupid.'

Bryan Steffy | Getty Images

'Engage your brain before you engage your weapon.'

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Expert Infantry | Flickr

'Be the hunter, not the hunted.'

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US Embassy Kabul Afghanistan | Flickr

'It's very hard to live with yourself if you don't stick with your moral code.'

Bryan Steffy | Getty Images

'The most important six inches on the battlefield is between your ears.'

Mario Tama | Getty Images

'Thanks to my reading, I have never been caught flat-footed by any situation, never at a loss for how any problem has been addressed. ... It doesn’t give me all the answers, but it lights what is often a dark path ahead.'

USGLC | Flickr

Source: Strife


'You cannot allow any of your people to avoid the brutal facts. If they start living in a dream world, it's going to be bad.'

USGLC | Flickr

'Fight with a happy heart and strong spirit.'

Rick Loomis | Getty Images