Three Inspirational Quotes by Business Leaders

Three Inspirational Quotes by Business Leaders

By Annette Cashatt


  • “We don’t get a chance to do that many things, and every one should be really excellent. Because this is our life. Life is brief, and then you die, you know? And we’ve all chosen to do this with our lives. So it better be damn good. It better be worth it.” – Steve Jobs

When Steve Jobs gave the commencement address at Stanford, I have to say I was impressed. I had expected general encouragement to be creative, to be above just the mere commercial, and reach for the stars in business, but Jobs delivered an inspirational and very personal speech. The examples of how he tied together seemingly random parts of his education a decade after he graduated to create the first Mac was likely exactly what the students needed to hear.  He had a gift for saying exactly what was needed.

His quote is no different. Every leader of a commercial / business enterprise should hear this and take it to heart. It doesn’t matter if you sell commercial insurance, nurse people back to health, or do business at a huge tech firm; whatever you do, make it your best.

  • “There are few things more liberating in life than having your worst fear realized…It’s not easy, but your perceived failure can become a catalyst for profound reinvention…Whether you fear it or not, disappointment will come. The beauty is that through disappointment you can gain clarity, and with clarity comes conviction and true originality.” – Conon O’Brien

Conon O’Brien was referring in part to his own experience after receiving NBC’s Tonight Show gig and then being foisted out of it shortly after. Failure is not the end-all, be-all of life. Nor is trying to make sense of the failure or growing from it “just salvaging” what you can. It’s a gift. It really, really is. People fail for a multitude of reasons, some far beyond their control (such as if a freak storm destroys your business), but there is always something to be learned and a new opportunity produced by the failure. Conon may not be a typical leader in commercial business, but he’s been around for a while.

So when you run into a failure, whether it is business or personal, then consider how to turn it into something great. Think of what you’ve learned and what new doors have been opened to you.

  • “At the end of the day, you can decide whether you want to be an employee with a great attendance record, getting promoted to ever better titles and working on interesting projects or whether you want to attempt to do something spectacular. This be or do should be a question you never stop asking yourself for the next 20 years and beyond.” – Steve Blank

Steve Blank is a Silicon Valley genius, author, and business man. He has an interesting life story that did not follow the linear path of college-then-straight-to-wealthy commercial job with expensive insurance, or just any old job. He dropped out of college the first semester and hitchhiked from Michigan to Miami. He worked at an airport, loading racehorses onto planes, for a while. Then he joined the Air Force and traveled to Thailand.  In his early 20s, he left the Air Force and joined a start-up that helped the government during the Cold War.

There’s nothing wrong with working hard and moving up the company line. Our infrastructure depends on people to make the choice to spend time just working at the company for a while. But that doesn’t have to be your life forever. And even CEOs of companies should consider this quote; are you just leading the company in the same direction, doing the same old things, and collecting a pay check?

As always, if you’re looking for some great insurance, especially commercial insurance or business insurance, give one of our Allstate Agents at C’ville Allstate Insurance a call.


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