Here are a few motivational quotes, relating to different situations and roles, for example; achievement, management, leadership, etc. When using quote for motivation it's important to choose material that's relevant and appropriate. Motivational posters showing inspirational quotes or poems can be effective for staff and employee motivation, and in establishing organizational values. There are more quotations about inspiration and achievement on the quotes section. These quotes all make effective motivational posters (see the free posters page), and are excellent materials for motivational speakers:
"We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them." (Albert Einstein)
"It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." (President Harry S Truman)
"In the midst of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer." (Albert Camus, 1913 - 1960, French author & philosopher)
"If you're not part of the solution you must be part of the problem." (the commonly paraphrased version of the original quote: "What we're saying today is that you're either part of the solution, or you're part of the problem" by Eldridge Cleaver 1935-98, founder member and information minister of the Black Panthers, American political activist group, in a speech in 1968 - thanks RVP)
"A dream is just a dream. A goal is a dream with a plan and a deadline." (Harvey Mackay - thanks Brad Hanson)
"I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles overcome while trying to succeed." (Booker T Washington, 1856-1915, American Educator and African-American spokesman, thanks for quote M Kincaid, and for biography correction M Yates and A Chatterjee)
"Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they've got a second. Give your dreams all you've got and you'll be amazed at the energy that comes out of you." (William James, American Philosopher, 1842-1910 - thanks Jean Stevens)
"Whatever you can do - or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it." (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German writer, 1749-1832 - thanks Yvonne Bent)
"A dwarf standing on the shoulders of a giant may see farther than the giant himself." (Didacus Stella, circa AD60 - and, as a matter of interest, abridged on the edge of an English £2 coin)
"If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." (Sir Isaac Newton, 1676.)
"The most important thing in life is not to capitalise on your successes - any fool can do that. The really important thing is to profit from your mistakes." (William Bolitho, from 'Twelve against the Gods')
"Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be,
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance,
I have not winced nor cried aloud:
Under the bludgeonings of chance my head is bloody but unbowed . . . . .
It matters not how strait the gait, how charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul."
(WE Henley, 1849-1903, from 'Invictus')
"Management means helping people to get the best out of themselves, not organising things." (Lauren Appley)
"It's not the critic who counts, not the one who points out how the strong man stumbled or how the doer of deeds might have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred with the sweat and dust and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes up short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy cause and who, at best knows the triumph of high achievement and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat." (Theodore Roosevelt, 23 April 1923.)
"The world is divided into people who do things, and people who get the credit. Try, if you can, to belong to the first class. There's far less competition." (Dwight Morrow, 1935.)
"What does not kill us makes us stronger." (attributed to Friedrich Nietzsche, probably based on his words: "Out of life's school of war: What does not destroy me, makes me stronger." from The Twilight of the Idols, 1899)
"A life spent in making mistakes is not only more honourable but more useful than a life spent doing nothing." (George Bernard Shaw, 1856-1950.)
"I praise loudly. I blame softly." (Catherine the Great, 1729-1796.)
More motivational and inspirational quotes
motivational ideas for sales managers for sales teams
(These principles are applicable to all job roles subject to the notes at the end of this item.)
Motivation of sales people commonly focuses on sales results, but nobody can actually 'do' a result. What matters in achieving results is people's attitude and activity and the areas of opportunity on which the attitude and activity is directed.
What sales people can do is to adopt a positive and creative attitude, and carry out more productive and efficient activity, directed on higher-yield strategic opportunities. By doing these things sales people and sales teams will improve their results.
However the tendency remains for sales managers, sales supervisors and team leaders (typically under pressure from above from executives who should know better) to simply direct people to 'meet the target', or to 'increase sales', or worse still, to pressurise customers into accelerating decision-making, which might work in the short-term but is extremely unhelpful in the medium-term (when business brought forward leaves gaps in the next months' forecasts), and damages the long-term (when as a result of supplier-driven sales pressure, the customer relationship is undermined or ruined).
Instead think about what really motivates and excites people, and focus on offering these opportunities to sales people and sales teams, on an ongoing basis. Don't wait until you find yourself 25% behind target with only half of the year remaining, and with targets set to increase as well in the final quarter.
People will not generally and sustainably improve their performance, or attitude when they are shouted at or given a kick up the backside. People will on the other hand generally improve their performance if empowered to develop their own strategic capability and responsibility within the organisation. Herzberg, Adams, Handy, Maslow, McGregor, and every other management and motivation expert confirmed all this long ago.
Sales teams generally comprise people who seek greater responsibility. They also seek recognition, achievement, self-development and advancement.
So if we know these things does it not make good sense to offer these opportunities to them, because we know that doing so will have a motivational effect on them, and also encourage them to work on opportunities that are likely to produce increasing returns on their efforts? Of course. So do it.
If you are managing a sales team try (gently and progressively) exploring with the team how they'd like to develop their experience, responsibilities, roles, status, value, contribution, within the business. Include yourself in this. Usually far more ideas and activity come from focusing on how the people would like to develop their roles and value (in terms of the scale and sophistication of the business that they are responsible for), rather than confining sales people to a role that is imposed on them and which is unlikely to offer sustainable interest and stimulation.
All businesses have many opportunities for new strategic growth available. Yours will be no different.
Most employees are capable of working at a far higher strategic level, developing ever greater returns on their own efforts.
Performance improvement is generally found through enabling people and teams to discover and refine more productive and strategic opportunities, which will lead to more productive and motivating activities.
For example: reactive sales people are generally able to be proactive account mangers; account managers are generally able to be major accounts developers; major accounts developers are generally able to be national accounts managers; national accounts mangers are generally able to be strategic partner and channel developers; strategic partner and channel managers are generally able to be new business sector/service developers, and so on...
Again include yourself in this.
If necessary (depending on your organisational culture and policies seek approval from your own management/executives for you to embark on this sort of exploration of strategic growth. (If you are unable to gain approval there are many other organisations out there who need people to manage sales teams in this way....)
Obviously part of the approach (and your agreement with your people - the 'psychological contract') necessarily includes maintaining and meeting existing basic business performance target levels. This is especially so since strategic growth takes time, and your business still needs the normal day-to-day business handled properly. But people can generally do this, ie., maintain and grow day-to-day performance while additionally developing new higher-level strategic areas, because genuinely motivated people are capable of dramatic achievements. The motivation and capacity to do will come quite naturally from the new responsibility and empowerment to operate at a higher level.
N.B. The principles described above generally apply to most other job roles. People are motivated by growth and extra responsibility, while at the same time the organisation benefits from having its people focus on higher strategic aims and activities. Be aware however that people in different roles will be motivated by different things, and particularly will require different types of support and guidelines when being encouraged to work at a higher strategic level. For example, engineers require more detail and clarification of expectations and process than sales people typically do; administrators are likely to require more reassurance and support in approaching change than sales people typically do.
For sure your should encourage and enable people to develop their roles, but make sure you give appropriate explanation, management and support for the types of people concerned.
other motivational references and materials
Some other useful motivational references on this site for motivational study and development. Some of these articles, models and theories provide great materials for motivational posters, and provide good references for coaching, training and motivational and inspirational speaking: