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When you’re developing and running a business you need to have a vision for the future and the ability to deliver strong leadership today. It’s not an easy balance to strike, especially in the early days of a fledgling small business.

Motivation is key both for leaders and the teams on which they rely. We’ve brought together a number of quotes culled from philosophers, artists and business visionaries that can help you stay on track and focused on the future without forgetting the importance of being in the moment today.

  • The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it. (Michelangelo)
  • Vision without action is a daydream. Action with without vision is a nightmare. (Japanese Proverb)
  • No one is less ready for tomorrow than the person who holds the most rigid beliefs about what tomorrow will contain. (Watts Wacker, Jim Taylor and Howard Means from their book The Visionary’s Handbook: Ten Paradoxes That Will Shape the Future of Your Business)
  • A leader has the vision and conviction that a dream can be achieved. He inspires the power and energy to get it done. (Ralph Lauren)
  • The companies that survive longest are the one’s that work out what they uniquely can give to the world – not just growth or money but their excellence, their respect for others, or their ability to make people happy. Some call those things a soul. (Charles Handy)
  • The future belongs to those who see possibilities before they become obvious. (John Sculley, former CEO of Pepsi and Apple)
  • The very essence of leadership is that you have a vision. It’s got to be a vision you articulate clearly and forcefully on every occasion. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet. (Theodore Hesburgh)
  • A leader will find it difficult to articulate a coherent vision unless it expresses his core values, his basic identity. One must first embark on the formidable journey of self-discovery in order to create a vision with authentic soul. (Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Psychologist and creator of the Flow concept)
  • Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others. (Jack Welch, former chairman and CEO of General Electric)
  • The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it. (Theodore Roosevelt)