I know this is not quite a Manager-tools question, yet this is the best place that I know of that people will have fantastic insight on my question.

College Project Help Needed.

Background: I am 37 and went back to college to finish 3 classes needed for undergrad in business.  I am faced with a project that I need a little help/direction with. 

Since I need to site published sources, my thought was the people here would know of some authors/theorists that would directly pertain to the below assignment.  Any insight or suggestions would be fantastic.


The Assignment:
“Analyze the following statements and explain how they specifically apply to personal success for managers.  
a) “Dignity does not consist in possessing honors, but in deserving them.” –Aristotle-
b) “The only vice which cannot be forgiven is hypocrisy. The repentance of a hypocrite is itself hypocrisy.” – William Hazlitt-
c) “Don’t part with your illusions. When they are gone you may still exist—but you have ceased to live.” -Mark Twain- 
d) “He who influences the thoughts of his time influences the times that follow.” –Elbert Hubbard-  
e) “I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.” -Booker T. Washington-
You should identify, explain, and contrast each of these statements as you perceive them impacting the lives of young professionals. 
A)    Provide specific ideas, principles, or concepts that relate to one or more of these statements that explains how managers (both new and experienced) can benefit from the knowledge.
B)    Explain how one can be certain that he or she is in control of him/herself and not just negatively impacted by the bottom-line implications of these or similar statements.   
C)    One may never truly be in control of all aspects of his or her total professional development. Therefore, what are some critical areas (or steps) that one must carefully nurture to ensure steady movement up the corporate ladder--rather than being forced into a horizontal direction because of items or actions not considered and/or controlled?
Thank you for taking the time to read this.