“People buy into the leader before they buy into the vision.”
It’s hard to disagree with that statement, just one of the many pearls of wisdom from leadership guru John C. Maxwell.
The greatest leaders, whether in the field of business, politics or otherwise, have provided countless similar gems over the years and mulling over a particularly inspirational quote can be the perfect start to your day.
In fact, this Business Insider article from January 2014 suggests that “inspirational reading” is one of the seven best ways to start your day right. Instead of getting bogged down in the morning news, reading something inspiring or uplifting can help you kick off your day and provide the energy to get through your work.
So, in addition to getting up early, having a good breakfast and organising and planning your day, what else can you do? Well, as this recent TEC blog article suggests – make sure you give yourself time to read at least one good quote every morning before you begin your work. Here are just five of our top picks to get you started.
1. “If I had nine hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first six sharpening my axe.” – Abraham Lincoln
The legendary American president remains an inspiration to millions across the world, and one of his most famous quotes fits perfectly in the business arena.
When undertaking any major project, the majority of your effort should be invested in the planning and preparation stage. Taking the time to develop a comprehensive strategic plan will put you on the front foot and ensure you have everything in place to hit the ground running.
2. “Management is about arranging and telling. Leadership is about nurturing and enhancing.” – Tom Peters
This sage piece of advice from writer Tom Peters makes clear the crucial difference between management and leadership, and what separates the very best leaders from those who are merely good.
The most effective leaders realise their role extends beyond simply telling their subordinates what to do. Instead, they invite them to join their leadership journey and make the effort to help them grow.
3. “A leader is a dealer in hope.” – Napoleon Bonaparte
One of history’s greatest ever military leaders, Napoleon knows a thing or two about good leadership.
As mentioned above, the best leaders do more than just issue orders. Great leaders know how to empower and motivate their staff to strive for the company’s vision and can inspire hope in them, even when times are tough.
4. “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney
Walt Disney inspired generations of children and adults alike, and is a great example of how hard work can make dreams come true.
One of the most essential ingredients of success, of course, is courage. Do you have the courage to lead your company and make its vision come true?
5. “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” – John F. Kennedy
As another great American president pointed out, education is a lifelong commitment – we simply never stop learning.
Even the most acclaimed business leaders can learn plenty more simply by interacting with similar individuals around them. That is why continuous leadership development is one of the wisest investments you can make – both in a personal and business sense.