Inspiring leaders: 25 inspiring quotes from business leaders who changed the world

Categories: Blog

“You’re the meaning in my life, you’re the inspiration. You bring feeling to my life, you’re the inspiration.”

Now, it’s a bit too dramatic to be singing that about Bill Gates, but taking inspiration from successful leaders really can help you to become a better leader yourself! In fact, successful business leaders such as Bill Gates, as well as Richard Branson and others, note that taking inspiration from other leaders has helped them to get where they are today. So, to inspire you and help you become a better leader yourself, here are 25 inspiring quotes from business leaders who changed the world…

Henry Ford, Founder of Ford Motor Company

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would’ve said ‘a faster horse’.”


Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group

“You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over.”


Chris Gardner, Motivational Speaker & Founder of Gardner Rich & Co.

“The secret to success: find something you love to do so much, you can’t wait for the sun to rise to do it all over again.”


Drew Houston, Founder of Dropbox

“You only have to be right once.”


Bill Gates, Founder of Microsoft

“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”


Carlos Slim, Founder of Grupo Carso

“I don’t believe too much in luck. I believe in circumstances. I believe in work.”


Charles Darwin, Scientist

“A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.”


Cher Wang, Co-founder of HTC Corporation

“I always have this imagination, something that I want to use. I don’t understand the idea of leisure time.”


Colonel Sanders, Founder of KFC

“There’s no reason to be the richest man in the cemetery. You can’t do any business there.”


Conrad Hilton, Founder of Hilton Hotels

“I learned that you don’t get anywhere by sitting comfortably in a chair.”


Dr. Dre, Founder of Beats

“When the ideas are coming, I don’t stop until the ideas stop because that train doesn’t come along all of the time.”


Angela Ahrendts, Senior Vice President of Apple

“The thing is, I don’t want to be sold to when I walk into a store. I want to be welcomed.”


Ginni Rometty, CEO of IBM

“Someone once told me growth and comfort do not coexist. And I think it’s a really good thing to remember.”


Jack Ma, Founder of Alibaba Group

“Never give up. Today is hard, tomorrow will be worse, but the day after tomorrow will be sunshine.”


Larry Ellison, Founder of Oracle Corporation

“When you innovate, you’ve got to be prepared for people telling you that you’re nuts.”


Mark Zuckerburg, Founder of Facebook

“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.”


Michael Bloomberg, CEO of Bloomberg LP

“Life is too short to spend your time avoiding failure.”


Oprah Winfrey, Founder of Oprah Winfrey Network

“I don’t believe in failure. It’s not failure if you enjoyed the process.”


Ray Kroc, Founder of McDonalds

“A man must take advantage of any opportunity that comes along.”


Anna Wintour, Artistic Director of Condé Nast

“In the end I do respond to my own instincts. Sometimes they’re successful, and obviously sometimes they’re not. But you have to, I think, remain true to what you believe in.”


Sam Walton, Founder of Walmart

“There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.”


Steve Jobs, Co-founder of Apple

“You cannot connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”


Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”


Walt Disney, Co-founder of Walt Disney Company

“If you can dream it, you can do it.”


Mark Cuban, Owner of Dallas Cowboys

“What I’ve learned in these 11 years is you just have to stay focused and believe in yourself and trust your own ability and judgment.”


So, there you have it – our 25 inspirational quotes from business leaders who changed the world. Of course, becoming a successful business leader takes a lot of hard work and training. But drawing inspiration from other great business leaders can be a great way to build upon your leadership skills, whilst also building your broader business skills. For more information about our leadership training, visit our leadership skills page.

Do you have any other inspiring quotes from business leaders? Or maybe you even have an inspiring quote yourself? We’d love to hear! Why not send them to us on Facebook or Twitter?