31 Quotes from Great Leaders to Make Employees Happier at Work

“Leadership is the ability to facilitate movement in the needed direction and have people feel good about it,” writes three-time New York Times bestselling author, Tom Smith. Leaders often focus their energy on that first part. But making people feel good about it and feel happier at work? That’s the tricky part.

It’s easy to slip into extreme leadership styles instead of leading the positive, principled way. So how do the greats do it?

Here are 31 quotes from inspiring leaders to help you cultivate engagement, happiness, and purpose in the workplace.

If you want even more inspiration, we’re broadcasting Happier at Work soon. It’s a popular discussion packed with ideas to improve workplace satisfaction for employees.

1. “Leadership is the ability to facilitate movement in the needed direction and have people feel good about it.”– Tom Smith (Bestselling Author and Co-Founder, Partners In Leadership)

2. “There is little success where there is little laughter.”– Andrew Carnegie (Entrepreneur)

3. “The leader is the person who brings a little magic to the moment.”– Denise Morrison (President & CEO, Campbell Soup)

4. “This whole level of wholeness is a place where I am able to show up as a full human being with all of my gifts to the table to be a part of this organization. That leads to a great feeling of inclusiveness because what it allows me then to do is to bring this real, authentic self to the table and to really love the work that I do.” – Kimo Kippen (Founder of Aloha Learning Advisors and former CLO at Hilton and Vice President of Learning at Marriott)

5. “Everyone talks about building a relationship with your customer. I think you build one with your employees first.” – Angela Ahrendts (Senior Vice President, Apple)

6. “Success is best when it’s shared.” – Howard Schultz (Chairman & CEO, Starbucks)

7. “Before you become a leader, success is all about growing yourself. After you become a leader, success is about growing others.”– Jack Welch (CEO, General Electric)

8. “If you want something to happen, you have to make people able and you have to make them want to.”– Dr. Steve Kerr (Former Chief Learning Officer of General Electric and Goldman Sachs)

9. “The greatest asset of a company is its people.”– Jorge Paulo Lemann (Co-founder, Banco Garantia)

10. “If you can push through that feeling of taking a risk, really amazing things can happen.”– Marissa Mayer (President and CEO, Yahoo!)

11. “I don’t believe in failure. It is not failure if you enjoyed the process.”– Oprah Winfrey (Founder, Oprah Winfrey Network)

12. “You’ve got to love what you do to really make things happen.”– Philip Green (Chairman, Arcadia Group)

13. “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” – Walter Disney (Co-Founder, Walt Disney Company)

14. “Everyone, even the highest achievers in our complex interrelated society, can get stuck in the victim cycle on occasion, but those who believe in accountability never remain there for long.”– Craig Hickman (Author and Futurist, Partners In Leadership)

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

16. “When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.”– Henry Ford (Founder, Ford Motor Company)

17. “It’s not how much money we make that ultimately makes us happy between 9 and 5. It’s whether or not our work fulfills us.”– Malcolm Gladwell (Bestselling Author)

18. “One of the huge mistakes people make is that they try to force an interest on themselves. You don’t choose your passions; your passions choose you.”– Jeff Bezos (Founder & CEO, Amazon)

19. “I want to be happy. I realized that being happy isn’t necessarily about getting there; it’s how you get there.”– Ben Huh (CEO, The Cheezburger Network)

20. “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 (Founder, Virgin Group)

21. “An attitude of accountability lies at the core of any effort to improve quality, satisfy customers, empower people, build teams, create new products, maximize effectiveness, and get results.” – Tom Smith (Bestselling Author and Co-Founder, Partners In Leadership)

22. “Employers that are effectively linking their social missions to their employee’s daily work are differentiating themselves in the market and generating big returns. Taking the necessary steps to ensure every employee knows how they fulfill the mission, achieve the vision, and execute one or more company strategies through his or her daily job really pays off.” – Tamar Elkeles, Ph.D. (Chief Talent Executive, Atlantic Bridge Capital, LLP, Former Chief Learning Officer, Qualcomm)

23. “If you want to improve the organization, you have to improve yourself and the organization gets pulled up with you.” – Indra Nooyi (Chairperson and CEO, PepsiCo)

24. “I try not to make any decisions that I’m not excited about.”– Jake Nickell (CEO, Threadless)

25. “Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” – Steve Jobs (CEO, Apple)

26.  “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 (Founder, Virgin Group)

27.  “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.” – Steve Jobs (CEO, Apple)

28.  “Balance suggests a perfect equilibrium. There is no such thing. That is a false expectation…. There are going to be priorities and dimensions of your life; how you integrate them is how you find true happiness.” – Denise Morrison (CEO, Campbell Soup)

29. “No man can be successful, unless he first loves his work.”– David Sarnoff (CEO, RCA)

30. “If you’re changing the world, you’re working on important things. You’re excited to get up in the morning.” – Larry Page (CEO, Google)

31. “To me, business isn’t about wearing suits or pleasing stockholders. It’s about being true to yourself, your ideas and focusing on the essentials.” – Richard Branson (Founder, Virgin Group)

A recent poll by Partners In Leadership confirms that when employees are happier at work, 85% say they take more initiative; 73% say they are better collaborators, and 48% care more about their work. Effective leaders who understand the correlation between higher levels of engagement, happiness, and productivity facilitate movement in the right direction–and have people feel good about it.

Get more tips and tricks to improve workplace satisfaction for employees: tune in to Happier at Work: Making a Business Case for Employee Engagement and discover what steps you can take to increase employee engagement and happiness–and still drive results.

Read the original article published on Inc. Magazine: 31 Quotes from Great Leaders to Make Employees Happier at Work

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