A good quote is inspiring, succinctly capturing grand ideas and greater ambitions in just a dozen words. We asked eight business leaders to share the quotes that have inspired them on their professional journey.

8 business leaders on the quotes that inspire them in their journey

  1. François Tardif, Executive Vice President, Faurecia China

    “Seneca said, ‘It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that they are difficult’. This matches my current thinking. I want people to be ambitious, to be daring, and not be too concerned or overly analytical regarding what we are confronted with. If we are too analytical, or technical, or pragmatic in response to what we are confronted with, obviously, nothing will happen. I like to be daring, I like to be ambitious, and I don’t consider all the parameters of the equation before starting to move.”

    François Tardif, Executive Vice President, Faurecia China
    François Tardif, Executive Vice President, Faurecia China. Image Source: Salva Mendez

  2. Chris Lyman, CEO, Lotto New Zealand

    “Strategy is about what you choose not to do, as much as it is about what you choose to do.”

  3. Zamani Bin Kasim, CEO, Astaka Holdings

    “I tell everybody in my company, ‘Don’t think too much. Get it done. Do it, because most of the time, we think too much. That if this thing happened then it could impact on that and what not – most of it is in your head. And then you make it so difficult but what you think actually wouldn’t happen. Just move it, get the things done. And then at the same time, you’re not perfect. But it’s better to revisit it and if there are some issues that arises from it, then you quickly tackle it to enable you to move forward.”

    Zamani Bin Kasim, CEO, Astaka Holdings.
    Zamani Bin Kasim, CEO, Astaka Holdings. Image Source: Rob Waller

  4. Gregory Enjalbert, Vice President, Bombardier Transportation Rail Control Solutions Asia-Pacific & Managing Director, Bombardier Transportation Thailand

    “‘Know yourself’, which is the English translation of the Greek ‘know thyself’. The reflection behind that is, to be able to interact in society, to be able to be wise, and to work and interact properly in life, you need to start by knowing yourself. Once you know yourself, you can know others and interact with them in the best way.”

  5. Kent Wong, Managing Director, Chow Thai Fook

    “Stay young and energetic as always. Keep this spirit no matter how mature you are and always be motivated to do and inspire others to work together.”

    Kent Wong, Managing Director, Chow Thai Fook.
    Kent Wong, Managing Director, Chow Thai Fook. Image Source: Natalie Segura

  6. Mark Gibbs, Global Executive Vice President, SAP SE & President of SAP, Greater China

    “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela

    “Never give up. Today is hard, tomorrow will be worse, but the day after tomorrow will be sunshine.” – Jack Ma

  7. Nicole Sparshott, CEO, T2 Tea

    “Very early on in my career, I had the privilege of working with a gentleman called Bryce Courtenay who was a creative director at one of the agencies that I did an internship with in Australia, but then he went on to write some amazing books. When I worked with him, I learned so much. One of the last things he said to me was, “Nicky, when you’re skating on thin ice, you may as well tap dance.”

    That really resonated with me in many ways. It’s how I live my life with my husband, my kids, and my team. This notion of, ‘if you’re going to go all in, go in to win’. Let’s go in to make it great; let’s go in to make it happy; let’s give it a really good go and be courageous and bold. Sometimes you’ll fail, but you won’t have died wondering.”

  8. Jerome Chevrier, Managing Director, Spar China

    “It’s something my father always said: ‘If you really want something, you can achieve it. It’s only a question of determination and passion.’”

    Jerome Chevrier, Managing Director, Spar China.
    Jerome Chevrier, Managing Director, Spar China. Image Source: Raul Ariano