39 empowering business quotes

Afbeelding bijdrager Team AsanaTeam Asana
27 januari 2024
6 min. leestijd
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Everyone needs a little inspiration now and then, especially in a professional setting. Your job as a leader is to motivate your team members through empowering actions and statements. 

Whether you’re looking to energize a brainstorming meeting or want to start the week with a positive message, consider these business quotes from successful leaders around the world. 

From Steve Jobs to Arianna Huffington, take a look at these 39 inspirational quotes to share with your teammates. 

Quotes to help you start a business

Starting a business is a difficult endeavor—and one that doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time and devotion to turn your business into what you've always dreamed it would be. These quotes will give you the drive to build something that you’ll be proud of.

1. “Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.”

— Peter Drucker, Management consultant and educator

Peter Drucker quote
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2. “A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.”

— Jeff Bezos, Founder and executive chairman of Amazon

3. “Risk-taking is the cornerstone of empires.”

— Estée Lauder, Businesswoman and co-founder of Estée Lauder 

4. “In a busy marketplace, not standing out is the same as being invisible.”

— Seth Godin, Author and former business executive

5. “Effectively, change is almost impossible without industry-wide collaboration, cooperation and consensus.”

— Simon Mainwaring, Global keynote speaker, CEO of We First, and best-selling author

Lees: 100+ teamworkcitaten om te motiveren en te inspireren tot samenwerking

6. “I think a simple rule of business is, if you do the things that are easier first, then you can actually make a lot of progress.”

— Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and co-founder of Facebook

7. “In the past a leader was a boss. Today's leaders must be partners with their people... they no longer can lead solely based on positional power.”

— Ken Blanchard, Author and motivational speaker

Lees: Leiderschap vs. management: Wat is het verschil?

8. “Feeling confident—or pretending that you feel confident—is necessary to reach for opportunities. It's a cliché, but opportunities are rarely offered; they're seized.”

— Sheryl Sandberg, Business executive and COO of Facebook

Quotes to improve self development

Part of growing your skills is about developing your emotional intelligence in order to be the best leader you can be. The quotes below will keep you mindful of your habits and help you become the ideal version of yourself.

9. “Embrace what you don’t know, especially in the beginning, because what you don’t know can become your greatest asset. It ensures that you will absolutely be doing things different from everybody else.”

— Sara Blakely, Businesswoman and founder of Spanx

10. “The key is not to prioritize what's on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”

— Stephen Covey, Educator and author

11. “Challenges are gifts that force us to search for a new center of gravity. Don’t fight them. Just find a new way to stand.”

— Oprah Winfrey, Talk show host and media magnate

12. “I have a theory and I really believe it. I think your worst weakness can become your greatest single strength.”

— Barbara Corcoran, Businesswoman and Shark on ABC’s reality series

13. “Patience is the art of concealing your impatience.”

— Guy Kawasaki, Marketing leader and Silicon Valley venture capitalist

14. “If you start thinking that only your biggest and shiniest moments count, you're setting yourself up to feel like a failure most of the time.”

— Chris Hadfield, Former Canadian Space Agency astronaut

Chris Hadfield quote

15. “Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.” 

— Steve Jobs, Business magnate and co-founder of Apple

16. “Your willingness to look at your darkness is what empowers you to change.”

— Iyanla Vanzant, Inspirational speaker and lawyer 

17. “Wisdom is always an overmatch for strength.”

— Phil Jackson, Former professional basketball player and coach

18. “Learning from each mistake requires self-awareness and humility, but it can be one of the biggest keys to reaching your full potential.”

— Amy Morin, Psychotherapist and mental strength trainer

19. “As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.”

— Bill Gates, Business magnate and co-founder of Microsoft

20. “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”

— Henry Ford, Industrialist and founder of the Ford Motor Company

21. “You renew yourself every day. Sometimes you’re successful, sometimes you’re not, but it’s the average that counts.”

— Satya Nadella, Business executive and CEO of Microsoft

22. “People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously.”

— Eleanor Roosevelt, Political figure and former First Lady

Anatomy of Work Special Report: How to spot—and overcome—the most crucial enterprise challenges

Learn how enterprises can improve processes and productivity, no matter how complex your organization is. With fewer redundancies, leaders and their teams can hit goals faster.

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Quotes to help you achieve success

Success isn’t obtained overnight. It takes hard work and dedication to achieve your dreams. However, success comes in many forms. Whether it be your business, your work, your family, or something completely different, these quotes will guide you through finding success.

23. “Success is very much the intersection of luck and hard work.”

— Dustin Moskovitz, Co-founder and CEO of Asana

Lees: Dustin Moskovitz deelt zijn lessen over leiderschap

24. “Don't worry about failure; you only have to be right once.”

— Drew Houston, Entrepreneur and the co-founder and CEO of Dropbox

25. “Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.”

— Helen Keller, Author and disability rights advocate

26. “We think, mistakenly, that success is the result of the amount of time we put in at work, instead of the quality of time we put in.”

— Arianna Huffington, Businesswoman and CEO of Thrive Global

Arianna Huffington quote
Lees: Arianna Huffington deelt vier mentaliteitsverschuivingen die u zullen helpen om uw doelen bij te stellen

27. “You don’t achieve success, you attract success.”

— Farshad Asl, Entrepreneur and CEO of Top Leaders

28. “Be brutally honest about the short term, and optimistic and confident about the long term.”

— Reed Hastings, Businessman and co-CEO of Netflix

29. “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.”

— Maya Angelou, Poet and civil rights activist

30. “I was taught to strive not because there were any guarantees of success but because the act of striving is in itself the only way to keep faith with life.”

— Madeleine Albright, Politician and former Secretary of State of the United States 

31. “Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing.”

— Abraham Lincoln, Politician and 16th president of the United States

32. “Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.”

— Albert Einstein, Physicist known for developing the theory of relativity

33. “Success is a decision. Dare to choose it.”

— Jill Konrath, Sales strategist and author of the book Selling to Big Companies

Jill Konrath quote

Quotes about building—and achieving—dreams

Everyone has a dream that they’ve always wanted to achieve. For some, those dreams may be harder to accomplish. With a little bit of courage, dedication, and inspirational quotes, you can ensure those dreams are within reach.

34. “First, think. Second, believe. Third, dream. And finally, dare.”

— Walt Disney, Entrepreneur and co-founder of The Walt Disney Company

35. “If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.”

— Thomas Edison, Inventor and businessman

Thomas Edison quote

36. “You never lose a dream. It just incubates as a hobby.”

— Larry Page, Entrepreneur and co-founder of Google

37. “A mediocre idea that generates enthusiasm will go further than a great idea that inspires no one.”

— Mary Kay Ash, Businesswoman and founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics

38. “They tell you: Follow your dreams... Dream and dream big. I think that's crap. I think a lot of people dream. And while they are busy dreaming, the really happy people, the really successful people, the really interesting, powerful, engaged people? Are busy doing.”

— Shonda Rhimes, Television producer and screenwriter

39. “Most ideas are born and lost in isolation.”

— Scott Belsky, Entrepreneur and co-creator of Behance

Tips to empower your team

Along with sharing inspiring business quotes to motivate your teammates, there are a few other ways you can take it to the next level. From encouraging intrinsic motivation using team bonding activities to leading by example, you have the capability to empower your team to do great work.

Here are three ways to get started:

  1. Encourage intrinsic motivation: Intrinsic motivation refers to behavior driven by internal rewards. Examples of this include participating in a team building game because you want to, not because you have to, and learning new skills because you like to be challenged. By encouraging intrinsic motivation in the workplace, you can empower your team to be their very best.

  2. Lead by serving your team: Servant leadership is an approach that focuses on serving others rather than managing for results. This helps create an environment where team members can thrive. Characteristics that you can embody include strong listening skills, empathy, self-awareness, and the desire to create a healthy work environment—all of which will help your team feel heard and empowered.

  3. Establish group norms: Group norms are the spoken or unspoken rules that guide how team members interact, collaborate, and work. By identifying group norms, you can build and empower your team in order to take them to the next level. Some examples include creating meeting agendas, tracking to-dos, and communicating in shared tools—all of which can help build clarity and successful group norms.

These three ways to empower your team can have a lasting impact on the success and overall happiness of each of your team members. Plus, they can help foster a collaborative, productive, and efficient workplace.

Inspire your team with these business quotes

These inspirational business quotes can be the motivating factor to push your team members out of their comfort zones and explore new possibilities within your organization. While they may not be the only way to foster team empowerment, sharing motivational quotes can positively impact your teammates. 

Not only that, but the right business quotes can shape your own work ethic and leadership style. From offering business insight to sharing helpful resources, quotes from successful entrepreneurs could just be the push you need. 

If you’re looking for additional ways to support your team through collaboration, check out 45 team building games to improve communication. Or, try collaboration software to manage your work more productively. 

Anatomy of Work Special Report: How to spot—and overcome—the most crucial enterprise challenges

Learn how enterprises can improve processes and productivity, no matter how complex your organization is. With fewer redundancies, leaders and their teams can hit goals faster.

[Resource Card] AOW Blog Image

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