Putting It Famously – Executives Offer Their Favorite Leadership Quotes

Successful executives lead through inspiration.

There’s a reason for that, and it’s probably universal. Fast Company offered this explanation: “Humans are aspirational. Leaders and their words…affect us on a primal level.”

Jeffrey Aronin, Chairman and CEO of Paragon Biosciences, calls on inspiration from Henry David Thoreau to describe the lure of entrepreneurship: “If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”  And recognizing that bold endeavors often mean overcoming adversity, Aronin also cites Winston Churchill: “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”

To inspire his team, Elon Musk observed that “Engineering is the closest thing to magic that exists in the world.” To help employees at Microsoft embrace change, CEO Satya Nadella reminded them that “Our industry does not respect tradition – it only respects innovation.”

Above all, inspirational quotes help leaders and their teams overcome challenges and reinforce important values. To close his 2018 Duke University commencement speech, Apple CEO Tim Cook quoted Dr. Martin Luther King from the commencement speech King made at Duke in 1964: “The time is always right to do right.”

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