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Quotes on Success

What Business Leaders Say!

Quotes on Success

What Business Leaders Say!

Looking for some insights from the best? Our quotes on success reveal what business leaders have to say about their success.

This page captures the thoughts of business leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators. There is a wealth of insights and counter-intuitive lessons to be learned from those who have succeeded in business.

Read on to discover what they say, and what you can easily learn from them. Our Quotes on Success page complements our other collection of Success Quotes. That page gathers broader contributions from a wider cross-section of society, to help explain what it is to be successful.

From Aristotle to Abraham Lincoln, Einstein to Emerson, there are quotes on success for almost any situation!

A Larger Ambition

“The man who starts out simply with the idea of getting rich won’t succeed, you must have a larger ambition.” John D Rockefeller

“Most people live and die with their music still un-played. They never dare to try.” Mary Kay Ash – Mary Kay cosmetics

“If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy and inspires your hopes.” Andrew Carnegie

“The highest reward for man’s toil is not what he gets for it, but what he becomes by it.” John Ruskin

Success is Having Fun

“There is little success where there is little laughter.” Andrew Carnegie

“Have fun, work hard and money will come. Don’t waste time – grab your chances. Have a positive outlook on life. When it’s not fun, move on.” Richard Branson

“I never went into business just to make money – but I found that if I have fun, the money will come. I often ask myself, is my work fun and does it make me happy? I believe that the answer to that is more important than fame or fortune. If it stops being fun, I ask why? If I can’t fix it, I stop doing it.” Richard Branson

6 “Secrets” of Success

Many business leaders have been asked for quotes on success, here are some answers to the “secret of success”:

1 Work Hard

Andrew Carnegie - quotes on success

“1960-11-25 Andrew Carnegie Postage Stamp” by U.S. Embassy The Hague (licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0)

“The average person puts only 25% of his energy and ability into his work. The world takes off its hat to those who put in more than 50% of their capacity, and stands on its head for those few and far between souls who devote 100%.” Andrew Carnegie

“I studied the lives of great men and famous women, and I found that the men and women who got to the top were those who did the jobs they had in hand, with everything they had of energy and enthusiasm and hard work.” Harry S Truman

2 Belief

“Think of yourself as on the threshold of unparalleled success. A whole, clear, glorious life lies before you. Achieve! Achieve!” Andrew Carnegie

3 Recognising opportunity

“When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.” Alexander Graham Bell

4 Intuition

“Its intuition that works. Just intuition … Waterstones was aimed at me. I knew that I wanted, and badly needed in my life, bookshops just like the ones I was creating. I simply assumed that plenty of other people, no doubt of wildly differing demographics, would find once they saw them that they wanted them too. Well – they did.” Tim Waterstone

5 Common Sense

“The secret of success is to do the common thing uncommonly well.” J.D. Rockerfeller

“A natural response to a natural phenomenon –that is the secret of success in business and management. You will always win if you rely on common sense.” Konosuke Matsushita

6 Concentrate your energy

“Here is the prime condition of success: Concentrate your energy, thought and capital exclusively upon the business in which you are engaged. Having begun on one line, resolve to fight it out on that line, to lead in it, adopt every improvement, have the best machinery, and know the most about it.” Andrew Carnegie

Put People First – Surround Yourself With Great People

Again and again business leaders’ quotes on success relate to putting people first, and working with the best.

“People are definitely a company’s greatest asset. It doesn’t make any difference whether the product is cars or cosmetics. A company is only as good as the people it keeps.”  Mary Kay Ash

“I found that there were these incredibly great people at doing certain things, and you couldn’t replace one of these people with fifty average people.” Steve Jobs

“The secret of success lies not in doing your own work, but in recognizing the right man to do it.” Andrew Carnegie

“Care about your people and they will care about your business. Forget that and watch profits go down the drain.” Hal Rosenbluth

Love What You Do

A recurring theme for business leaders in their quotes on success is that success comes when people are doing what they love, and loving what they do.

“Business people who are the busiest, the happiest, and the most prosperous are the ones who are the most generous with their knowledge and their expertise. People who love what they’re doing, who love to learn new things, to meet new people, and to share what and whom they know with others: these are the people who wind up creating the new economic value and, as a result, moving their companies forward.” Tim Sanders, Yahoo (for more on Tim Sanders view of success see the fast company article: Love is the Killer App).

“Profits are a natural extension of happiness in the workplace.” Hal Rosenbluth

“In order to do a good job a person must like what he or she is doing….’Love thy work’, and you will be successful….. If you do things just because you have to, then you will never enjoy work. Nor will you do a good job if you do it simply out of a sense of duty. stress is often a by-product of such passive or negative attitudes toward work. Paradoxically as it may sound, love of work can be the best medicine for workaholism.” Konosuke Matsushita

If you want to explore more about loving what you do, and doing what you love, then follow this link from “quotes on success” to our article Happiness Goal setting Tip: Do What You Love.

Build Friendships

“What matters is working with a few close friends, people you respect, knowing that if times did turn bad these people would hold together.” Richard Branson

“Friends never let friends down. This realisation led to my plan to build a company of friends. First I had to create and sustain an environment that would breed friendships. Second, I would only hire nice people.” Hal Rosenbluth

If you enjoyed Hal Rosenbluth’s quotes on success and want to read more then go to our article What Makes a Happy company?

Putting quotes on success to work

Leading Insights e-guideIf you’ve enjoyed reading these quotes, you may want to take a look at our Leadership Stories. Leadership quotes and stories are a great resource whether you use them just for your own benefit or with your team, to support meetings or presentations.

If you’re interested in developing your leadership skills, return to our Leadership Knowledge Hub. This contains a range of articles, tips and resource links which compliments this collection of quotes.

Or turn to our handy e-guide: Leading Insights, packed with more leadership quotes, stories and some leading insights into how they can be used! Insights such as:

  • Uncommon insights
  • Tipping point leadership
  • Find the glass
  • Leaders need to be cathedral thinkers
  • Would you recommend your service/organisation to your friends?
  • Putting on a performance
  • Would people pay to see your team perform?
  • Bricolage leadership
  • Resourceful leadership
  • Nudging leadership
  • Mirror leadership
  • Chameleon leadership
  • Catalyst leadership
  • Chrysalis leadership
  • Saliency, sagacity and serendipity
  • Infectious leadership
  • Infected leadership
  • Great work days
  • Defining moments
  • Conveying what you care about
  • The kind of goals leaders set matters
  • Motivating leaders
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