2024 Cornell Alumni Leadership Conference

To the participants in The 2024 Cornell Alumni Leadership Conference

James C. Morgan has worked extensively in the worlds of both for-profit and nonprofit organizations. He led the semiconductor equipment giant, Applied Materials, for nearly three decades — one of the longest tenures of any Fortune 500 CEO.

Throughout his career he collected articles, lists, notes, and ideas he picked up reading, listening to speakers, or just talking with people. At some point, members of his Applied Materials team started calling them “Morganisms.” He realized that he could help fill a management void by passing them along, having discovered that they are just as valuable at nonprofits as they were in the for-profit companies where he worked.

Included here are over 100 of them, mostly adapted from his book, Applied Wisdom: Bad News Is Good News If You Do Something About It.

As Jim explains, “I have always encouraged people to develop their own management toolkit — a personal collection of management tips; perhaps mine can help shape yours. I urge everyone to do this as a habit that serves as a constant reminder that we evolve over our lifetime as managers, and there are always new ideas that can be helpful — or old ideas that suddenly apply to a situation in which we find ourselves.”


The Definitive Morganisms

Over 100 concise management maxims collected by Jim Morgan throughout his life and career.