9 Inspiring Quotes for Managers to Learn from & Reflect on

by Jason Evanish, CEO Get Lighthouse, Inc.

"I apologize for the length of this letter; I didn't have time to make it shorter.” – Mark Twain

Mark Twain was right. It takes effort to make a good point in just a few words. That's part of the beauty of Twitter; the character limit forces those sharing thoughts to be concise.

Today, we're sharing some of our favorite quotes for managers like you to reflect on we found on Twitter. Despite the small character limits, they all give you a lot to think about.

9 Great Quotes for Managers to Learn from & Reflect on

Twitter allows anyone to connect and learn from anyone else. That's why we love seeing lessons we learn from managers that follow our Twitter account (@Get_Lighthouse) and from the many great leaders we follow, too.

Here's some of our recent favorite quotes for managers like you to learn from. If you like one of them, please give them a retweet.

1) Small gifts can have a BIG impact

You can see the delight in Victoria's tweet.  When was the last time you made one of your team members this happy?

It doesn't have to cost you much to do this.  If you're looking for inexpensive ideas, you can read our post on how to give thoughtful gifts your team will love for under $10 here.

2) The difference between talking to your team about performance once a year and weekly in 1 on 1s is massive

Nothing should ever be a surprise in a performance review, yet too often it is. As Adrian Howard captures well, if you rely on a conversation once a year, you're as dated as CDs.

If you're new to giving regular, constructive feedback in 1 on 1s, here's where to start:

3) Money can't buy happiness. Find a job you can be passionate about.

Tim Cook said the poignant quote above in a commencement speech, and variations on that advice can be found said by many others. Yet, it's often so tempting to take a higher paying job instead of one you're more excited about that could have a better impact.

Specifically as a manager, it's important to take the job of manager for the right reasons. Doing it for the money, is one of 6 reasons we've found people become poor managers for the wrong reason.

4) Humility is a key trait for leaders.

Becoming a manager is a career change. It's intimidating for anyone. As you get promoted beyond front line manager, there are constant, new challenges.

To be a strong leader, you must embrace the changes you need to make. The best way to do that is to approach every role as a learning opportunity. Look for ways to develop yourself and seek feedback regularly from your team.

Here's some good posts to help you start your learning journey:

5) Tap into the knowledge and experience of your people.

Great leaders do not expect to have all the answers themselves. Over and over again, just like the Arby's CEO discovered, successful leaders have learned to source ideas from all over.

Whether you have 3 employees or 3,000, they all have a unique perspective on your business because of the work they do.

The more you give them the ability to act on their knowledge and incorporate their best insights into your big decisions, the more success you have. If you want more ideas for tapping into the knowledge in your people, start here:

6) Make those around you better.

It's a simple lesson from Slack's VP of Engineering: make those around you better.

How can you amplify your team? At it's core, that's your job as a manager.

Some good places to start are to focus on people's strengths, and keep them engaged and motivated. But how do you do that?  Fortunately, many have done excellent research on this subject:

7) Listen, even when it's hard.

No one likes hearing negative feedback. It hurts. However, great leaders use that as a jump off point towards improvement.

Patrick Chovanec captures this all to real lesson in his tweet. Sometimes, even with your best efforts, it's not enough. At this moment, you can either stumble and give up, or redouble your efforts and rise to the challenge.

Your reward for doing this is increased respect from your team, trust from the leaders you report to, and a confidence in yourself that you can do it.

If you want to build the confidence to redouble your efforts:

8) Every manager you've ever had is a learning opportunity for you.

We've all had bad managers, and if we're lucky some good ones, too. As Mark Crowley points out, you can learn from all of them.

Our experiences shape us. Whether you let them make you better or worse is largely up to you.

When you have a bad manager, look at it as lessons of what you will never do to your team. When you have a good one, use your self-awareness to recognize what they did you liked, so you can do it for others.

You can start learning from managers with these helpful links:

9) Don't be a source of gossip and politics. Take issues on head on.


It's so easy to fall into gossip and politics. You may think you're just venting, but what you're really doing is magnifying a problem instead of fixing it. Erica Joy follows this tweet with more sound advice on handling when this happens:

quotes for managers - confront people directly

Encouraging your people to tackle issues head on builds a healthy culture of candor. Of course, your example is a powerful way to demonstrate that value, so here's some further reading that can help you:

Liked these quotes for managers?

These are just a few of our favorite quotes for managers. We have others you may also like:

What are your favorite quotes?

Jason Evanish

Jason Evanish

As the founder and CEO of Get Lighthouse, Inc, Jason and the Lighthouse team have helped managers grow their leadership skills in dozens of countries around the world. They’ve worked with a variety of companies from non-profits to high growth startups, and government organizations to well known, publicly traded companies. Jason has also been featured in publications including NPR, the Wall Street Journal, and Fast Company.

Read more

Browse topics

Follow us:

Note: We do not accept guest posts, so please do not email us.

Sign up to learn the essential skills you need to become a great manager:

1 on 1 meeting software, leadership courses, and group training to help you be the manager you always wanted.

Do You Want to Learn
How to be a Great Manager?

Sign up to join over 27,000 managers who get our latest posts to learn:
  • How to motivate and retain your team;
  • How to have more effective one on ones;
  • Lessons from other managers & research that matters to you.
+ Free copy of our E-book: 10 Steps to having amazing 1 on 1s with your team
Learn how to have amazing 1 on 1s today
Sign up now to get your free book to learn how to have motivating, engaging 1 on 1s. Learn from great leaders like Andy Grove, former CEO of Intel, and workplace research from Stanford & Harvard.
Share via
Copy link