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Motivation Quotes


Top 40 Motivation Quotes


No 1 (Best quote!)Motivation Quotes

You can’t motivate people. That door is locked from the inside. You can create a climate in which most of your people will motivate themselves to help the company to reach its objectives.,

- Robert (Bob) Townsend, pictured right, in Up the Organization (1970).


Motivation Quotes

Frederick Herzberg, pictured right, said something similar in his 1968 Harvard Business Review article, One More Time: How Do You Motivate Employees?:

It is only when one has a generator of one’s own that we can talk about motivation. One then needs no outside stimulation. One wants to do it.

 Motivation Quotes

This is Douglas McGregor’s, pictured right, idea of Theory Y, as summarized by William (Bill) Hewlett (1919-2001), pictured right below, co-founder of Hewlett-Packard:

Men and women want to do a good job and, if they are provided the proper environment, they will do so.Motivation Quotes



No 2Motivation Quotes

Man - a being in search of meaning,

- Plato (427-347 BC), Greek philosopher, pictured right.


Motivation Quotes

Carl Jung (1875-1961), pictured right , the Swiss psychiatrist, agrees:

The least of things with a meaning is worth more than the greatest of things without it.


Motivation Quotes

St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-74), the Italian philosopher, pictured right , puts it this way:

All human beings by nature desire to know (the Greek philosopher, Aristotle, said something similar)



No 3Motivation Quotes

All that matters is love and work.

- Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) Austrian psychiatrist, pictured right.



No 4Motivation Quotes

You can’t put in what God left out.

- Sam Mussabini (1867-1927), pictured right above, coach of the English sprinter and 1924 Olympic gold medallist, Harold Abrahams, pictured right below, as seen in the film, Chariots of Fire.



No 5Motivation Quotes

He is well paid that is well satisfied.

(Portia in The Merchant of Venice)

- William Shakespeare (1564-1616), English playwright, pictured right.


Remember the mid-twentieth century saying:

If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys


Four great quotes say money isn’t enough on its own:

 Motivation Quotes

It is not for its own sake that men desire money, but for the sake of what they can purchase with it

(from the 1776 book The Wealth of Nations)

 - Adam Smith (1723-90), Scottish philosopher, pictured right.


Motivation Quotes

People need money, but they also want to be happy in their work and proud of it.

- Akio Morita (1921-1999), co-founder of Sony, pictured right


Motivation Quotes

It's not how much money we make that ultimately makes us happy between nine and five. It's whether or not our work fulfils us.

- Malcolm Gladwell, pictured right, in Outliers (2008)


Most things free-born will submit to anything for a salary.Motivation Quotes

(Rochester in Jane Eyre)

- Charlotte Brontë (1816-55), English writer, pictured right  



No 6Motivation Quotes

People... need to feel that their organization stands for something important.

- Robert (Bob) Waterman, pictured right,in The Frontiers of Excellence (1994) – What America Does Right (in America)


Motivation Quotes

So Kenneth Andrews, pictured right, in his book, The Concept of Corporate Strategy (1971), says:

Purpose, especially if considered worth accomplishing, is the powerful incentive to accomplishment.



No 7Motivation Quotes

The artist finds a greater pleasure in painting than in having completed the picture.

- Seneca (4BC-65AD), Greek philosopher, pictured right.



No 8Motivation Quotes

From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.

- Karl Marx (1818–83), German philosopher, pictured right.



No 9Motivation Quotes

Trust is the highest form of human motivation.

- Stephen Covey, pictured right, in The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (1989)



No 10

Man shall not live by bread alone.

(Matthew 4:4 in the Bible)

- Jesus (c4 BC-c30 AD), founder of ChristianityMotivation Quotes


But Abraham Maslow (1908-70), pictured right, the American psychologist, adds:

Humans live by bread alone – when there is no bread.

 Motivation Quotes


No 11

People who feel good about themselves produce good results.Motivation Quotes

- Kenneth Blanchard, pictured right above, and Spencer Johnson, pictured right, in The One Minute Manager (1982),



No 12Motivation Quotes

Gratified needs are not active motivators.

- Abraham Maslow (1908-70) American psychologist, pictured right.



No 13Motivation Quotes

Force is not a remedy.

- John Bright (1811–89), English politician, pictured right.

 Motivation Quotes

The Duke in Shakespeare's, pictured right Measure for Measure agrees:

In time the rod becomes more mocked than feared.



No 14Motivation Quotes

The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good,

- Horace Mann (1796–1859), American educationist, pictured right.



No 15Motivation Quotes

The praise of the praiseworthy is above all reward.

(Faramir in The Lord of the Rings)

- J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973), English writer, pictured right.


Motivation Quotes

William James (1842-1910), pictured right the American psychologist and philosopher, agrees:

The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated



No 16Motivation Quotes

Self-preservation is the first law of nature,

 (referring to Oliver’s experience of pickpocketing in the 1838 novel  Oliver Twist)

 - Charles Dickens (1812-70), pictured right, English writer.



No 17Motivation Quotes

Men do not want to be patronized. They want justice.

- George Cadbury (1839-1922), English chocolate manufacturer, pictured right.



No 18Motivation Quotes

My interest in life comes from setting myself huge, apparently unachievable, challenges and trying to rise above them.

- Richard Branson (1950- ), founder of the British company, Virgin, pictured right.



No 19Motivation Quotes

Rewarding outstanding performances is important. Much more neglected is the equally important need to make sure that the underachievers don’t get rewarded.

- Robert (Bob) Townsend, pictured right, Up the Organization (1970)



No 20Motivation Quotes

The work exists for the person as much as the person exists for the work,

- Robert Greenleaf, pictured right, in Servant Leadership (1977)



No 21Motivation Quotes

In order that people may be happy in their work, three things are needed: They must be fit for it; they must not do too much of it; and they must have a sense of success in it.

- John Ruskin (1819-1900), English writer and artist, pictured right . 


So Ruskin also comments:

The highest reward for a person’s toil is not what they get for it, but what they become by it.


No 22Motivation Quotes

 Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open,

(Dumbledore in Goblet of Fire)

- J.K. Rowling (1965- ), English writer, pictured right



No 23Motivation Quotes

Employees like to feel that their contributions are being valued. That’s why managers try to avoid that sort of thing. With value comes self-esteem and with self-esteem comes unreason.

- Scott Adams, pictured right, The Dilbert Principle (1996)


Less cynically, Adams also says in the same book:

Keep your people fresh, happy and efficient. Set a target, then get out of the way...sometimes idiots can accomplish wonderful things.



No 24Motivation Quotes

Our bodies are our gardens, to the which our wills are gardeners.

(Iago in Othello)

- William Shakespeare (1564-1616), English playwright, pictured right


Motivation QuotesMuhammad Ali (1942- ), the American boxer, pictured right, also says:

The will must be stronger than the skill



No 25Motivation Quotes

The absolute key to success is being able to motivate people and looking for the best in people.

- Richard Branson (1950- ), English founder of Virgin (pictured right).



No 26Motivation Quotes

What a man can be, he must be.

- Abraham Maslow (1908-70), American psychologist, pictured right.



No 27Motivation Quotes

Battles are won in the hearts of men.

- Bernard Montgomery (1887-1976) British World War Two general, pictured right.



No 28Motivation Quotes

Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.

- Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), pictured right, American president.



No 29Motivation Quotes

Machinery creates wealth but destroys men.

- George Cadbury (1839-1922), pictured right, English chocolate manufacturer.



No 30

The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.

- Walt Disney (1901-1966), American film maker, pictured right.



No 31

Real happiness lies in the completion of work, using your own brain and skills.

- Soichiro Honda (1906-91), Japanese co-founder of Honda (pictured right).



No 32

The only way to do great work is to love what you do.

- Steve Jobs (1955- 2011), American co-founder of Apple, pictured right



No 33

We try to use the talents we do have to express our deep feelings, to show our appreciation of all the contributions that came before us, and to add some thing to that flow. That's what has driven me.

- Steve Jobs (1955- 2011), American co-founder of Apple, pictured right



No 34Motivation Quotes

Create a family-like feeling within the corporation, a feeling that employees and managers share the same fate.

- Akio Morita (1921-1999), co-founder of Sony, pictured right



No 35

When love and skill work together expect a masterpiece,

- John Ruskin (1819-1900), pictured right, English writer and philosopher



No 36Motivation Quotes

Man is a social animal.

- Aristotle (384-322 BC), Greek philosopher (pictured right).


Aristotle also comments:

Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work



No 37

Benefits should be conferred gradually, and in that way they will taste better.

- Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527), Italian philosopher, pictured right.



No 38Motivation Quotes

What makes people unhappy is being made to do things against their will.

- Voltaire (1694-1778), French writer and philosopher, pictured right.



No 39

The actress is not a machine, but they treat you like a machine. A money machine.

- Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962), American movie star, pictured right.



No 40Motivation Quotes

What we need is to replace the externally imposed spur of fear with an internal self-motivation for performance.

-Peter Drucker, pictured right , in The Practice of Management (1954)

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