Leaders Who Inspire

Anne Frank

1929 - 1945

"I can shake of everything if I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn. But, and that is the great question, will I ever be able to write anything great, will I ever become a journalist or a writer? I hope so, oh, I hope so very much, for I can recapture everything when I write, my thoughts, my ideals and my fantasies."

"Paper is more patient than man"

" I am my own skipper and later on I shall see where I come to land."

"Riches can all be lost, but that happiness in your own heart can only be veiled, and it will still bring you happiness again, as long as you live. As long as you can look fearlessly up into the heavens, as long as you know that you are pure within, and that you will still find happiness."

I've found that there is always some beauty left - in nature, sunshine, freedom, in yourself; these can all help you. Look at these things, then you will find yourself again, and God, and then you regain your balance."

"I want to go on living even after my death! And therefore I am grateful to God for giving me this gift, this possibility of developing myself and of writing, expressing all that is in me."

"I have often been downcast, but never in despair; I regard our hiding as a dangerous adventure, romantic and interesting at the same time."

"I am young and possess many buried qualities; I am young and strong and am living a great adventure"

"...we have the chance to learn, the possibility of attaining something, we have all reason to hope for much happiness, but... we must earn it for ourselves. And that is never easy. You must work and do good, not be lazy and gamble, if you wish to earn happiness. Laziness may appear attractive, but work gives satisfaction."

Eleanor Roosevelt

1884 - 1962

"Courage is more exhilarating than fear, and, in the long run it is easier. We do not have to become heroes overnight, just a step at a time, meeting each thing as it comes - seeing it is not as dreadful as it appeared... discovering we have the strength to stare it down."

Eric R. Kandel

1929 - Present

"I had many moments of disappointment, despondency and exhaustion, but I always found that by reading the literature and showing up at my lab looking at the data as they emerged from day to day and discussing them with my students and post-doctoral fellows, I would gain a notion of what to do next."

Helen Keller

1880 - 1968

"No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars, or sailed an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit."

"Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose."

Jack Welch

1935 - Present

"Building self-confidence in others is a huge part of leadership. It comes from providing opportunities and challenges for people to do things they never imagined they could do."

"We have to permeate every mind in this company with an attitude, with an atmosphere that allows people - in fact, encourages people to see things as they are, to deal with the way it is, not the way they wished it would be"

"Piling on during a weak moment can force people into what I call the "GE Vortex." It can happen anywhere. You see the "Vortex" when leaders lose their confidence, begin to panic, and spiral downward into a hole of self-doubt."

Jeff Weiner

1970 - Present

"Our purpose at LinkedIn is to create economic opportunity for people. If we do it right, then revenue growth will naturally happen. This is very well aligned with managing compassionately."

Mahatma Gandhi

1869 - 1948

"If I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning."

Martin Luther King, Jr.

1929 - 1968

"If we are arrested every day, if we are exploited every day, if we are trampled on every day, don't ever let anyone pull you so low as to hate them. We must use the weapon of love"

- As quoted in the New York Times, February 24, 1956

Mikhail Gorbachev

1931 - Present

"The XXI century will be a century either of total all-embracing crisis or of moral and spiritual healing that will reinvigorate humankind. It is my conviction that all of us - all reasonable political leaders, all spiritual and ideological movements, all faiths - must help in this transition to a triumph of humanism and justice, in making the XXI century a century of a new human renaissance."

Nisargadatta Maharaj

1897 - 1981

"Once you realize that the road is the goal and that you are always on the road, not to reach a goal, but to enjoy its beauty and its wisdom, life ceases to be a task and becomes natural and simple, in itself an ecstasy."

Pete Carroll

1951 - Present

"We need to get a platform in place that allows fear to be part of it, to be comfortable with it, even to have fun with it, and that allows us to master it. Then we get some tools, like breathing or self-talk. That's how to thrive in situations we're not proficient in. Fear is really central to what we do."

Rainer Maria Rilke

1875 - 1926

"Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer."

Satya Nadella

1967 - Present

"I fundamentally believe that if you are not learning new things, you stop doing great and useful things"

"Rainer Maria Rilke's words say it best: "The future enters into us, in order to transform itself in us, long before it happens."

"We must have the courage to transform as individuals. We must ask ourselves, what idea can I bring to life?"

"Be passionate and bold. Always keep learning. You stop doing useful things if you don't learn. So the last part to me is the key, especially if you have had some initial success. It becomes even more critical that you have the learning 'bit' always switched on."

- From letters to Microsoft employees

Shantanu Narayen

1963 - Present

"My job is to set goals where people say they can't quite connect the dots yet, because if you do it's probably not aspirational enough"

"Are you inspecting where you think you're going?"

"The lens that you use to look at your opportunities will determine how aspirational you'll be or how ambitious you are"

Theodore Roosevelt

1858 - 1919

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

William Shakespere

1564 - 1616

The Seven Ages of Man

"All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts beeing seven ages. At first, the infant,
Mewling an puking in his nurse's arms:
And then the winning school-boy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel;
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon's mouth. And then, the justice,
In fair round belly, with good capon lined,
With eyes severe, and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper'd pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose, and pouch on side;
His youthful hose well sav'd, a worl too wide
For his shrunk shanks; and his big manly voice,
Turning again towards childish treble, pipes
Ad whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends his strange eventful history,
Is second childishness, and mere oblivion:
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything."

"Doubt thou the stars are fire;
Doubt that the sun doth move;
Doubt truth to be a liar;
But never doubt I love."