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. You can set whatever goals you want, but, without motivating your team members to achieve that goal, chances for the success are slim. A motivational vision statement will both motivate existing employees and also drive talent to the company. They’ll want to work at a place with vision.

I have accumulated a collection of inspirational quotes which I maintain for my own reference and keep expanding it over the time. These are quotes 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.

(- MichelangeloItalian sculptor, painter, architect and poet)


Vision without action is a daydream. Action with without vision is a nightmare.

(- Japanese Proverb)


If you can dream it, you can do it.

(- Walt Disney, Entrepreneur, animator, voice actor, film producer)


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, American fashion designer, philanthropist, and business executive )


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, author/philosopher, listed among Thinkers 50)


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, Priest president of the University of Notre Dame)

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 — 26th President of the United States)


Where there is no vision the people perish.

(- Proverbs 29:18)


Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, and magic and power in it. Begin it now.

(- Goethe, Poet, novelist, playwright, philosopher)


It’s not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is, what are we busy about?

(- Henry David Thoreau, American essayist, poet, philosopher, and historian)


You don’t lead by pointing and telling people some place to go. You lead by going to that place and making a case.

(- Ken Kesey, Novelist, short story writer, essayist, poet)


Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside awakens.

(- Carl JungSwiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who founded analytical psychology)


The empires of the future are empires of the mind.

(- Winston Churchill, British writer, military leader and statesman. Twice named prime minister of the United Kingdom)


If you want to build a ship, don’t herd people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.

(- Antoine de Saint-Exupery, French writer, poet, aristocrat, journalist, and pioneering aviator )


Vision is the art of seeing things invisible.

(- Jonathan Swift, satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer, poet, priest)


Management has a lot to do with answers. Leadership is a function of questions. And the first question for a leader always is: ‘Who do we intend to be?’ Not ‘What are we going to do?’ but ‘Who do we intend to be?’

(- Max DePree, American businessman and writer)


Surrealism is destructive, but it destroys only what it considers to be shackles limiting our vision.

(- Salvador Dali, Spanish painter surrealist, writer)


The best way to predict the future is to create it.

(- Alan Kay, American computer scientist)


Vision without execution is hallucination.

(- Thomas Edison, American inventor and businessman)


Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.

(- Warren Bennis, American scholar, organizational consultant and author, Leadership Guru)


In the business world, the rearview mirror is always clearer than the windshield.

(- Warren Buffett, American business magnate, investor, speaker and philanthropist)


If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is a compromise.

(- Robert Fritz, Management consultant, author, composer, filmmaker)


Create your future from your future, not your past.

(- Werner Erhard, American author and lecturer known for founding “est”)


Pain pushes until vision pulls.

(- Michael Beckwith, New Thought minister, author )


To the person who does not know where he wants to go there is no favorable wind.

(- Seneca, Roman Stoic philosopher, statesman, dramatist)


Dreams are extremely important. You can’t do it unless you can imagine it.

(- George Lucas, American filmmaker and entrepreneur)


You’ve got to think about big things while you’re doing small things, so that all the small things go in the right direction.

(- Alvin Toffler, American writer, futurist, and businessman)


To accomplish great things we must dream as well as act.

(- Anatole France, French poet, journalist, and successful novelist)


A possibility is a hint from God. One must follow it.

(- Soren Kierkegaard, Danish philosopher, theologian, poet, social critic and religious author)


A leader’s role is to raise people’s aspirations for what they can become and to release their energies so they will try to get there.

(- David Gergen, American political commentator and former presidential adviser)


Determine that the thing can and shall be done and then we shall find the way.

(- Abraham Lincoln, American statesman, politician, and lawyer, 16th president of the United States)


People only see what they are prepared to see.

(- Ralph Waldo Emerson, American essayist, lecturer, philosopher, and poet)


Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your ultimate achievements.

(- Napoleon Hill, American self-help author)


Vision animates, inspires, transforms purpose into action.

(- Warren Bennis, American scholar, organizational consultant and author)


The master of the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his education and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which; he simply pursues his vision of excellence in whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he is always doing both.

(- Buddha)


Rowing harder doesn’t help if the boat is headed in the wrong direction.

(- Kenichi Ohmae, Japanese organizational theorist, management consultant)


It’s not what the vision is, it’s what the vision does.

(- Peter Senge, American systems scientist)


The best vision is insight.

(- Malcolm Forbes, American entrepreneur, publisher of Forbes magazine)


You have to know what you want. And if it seems to take you off the track, don’t hold back, because perhaps that is instinctively where you want to be. And if you hold back and try to be always where you have been before, you will go dry.

(- Gertrude Stein, American novelist, poet, playwright, and art collector)


The gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge.

(- Albert Einstein, German-born theoretical physicist)


Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world.

(- Arthur Schopenhauer, German philosopher)


The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.

(- Helen Keller, American author, political activist, and lecturer)


Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.

(- Jack Welch, American business executive, author, and chemical engineer)


A vision is not just a picture of what could be; it is an appeal to our better selves, a call to become something more.

(- Rosabeth Moss Kanter, professor of business at Harvard Business School)


If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants.

(- Isaac Newton, English mathematician, physicist, astronomer, theologian, and author)


The future belongs to those who see possibilities before they become obvious.

(- John Scully, American businessman, entrepreneur and investor)


If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours.

(- Henry David Thoreau, American essayist, poet, philosopher, and historian)


Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground.

(- Franklin D. Roosevelt, American statesman, 32nd president of the United States)


Looking up gives light, although at first it makes you dizzy.

(- Rumi, Persian poet, jurist, Islamic scholar, theologian)


You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.

(- Mark Twain, American writer, humorist, entrepreneur, publisher, and lecturer)


In order to be a realist, you must believe in miracles.

(- David Ben-Gurion, primary national founder of the State of Israel and the first Prime Minister of Israel)


The real voyage of discovery consists of not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.

(- Marcel Proust, French novelist, critic, and essayist)