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50 Quotes That Will Inspire You to Lead From the Heart

03/19/2015 04:50 pm ET | Updated May 19, 2015

In our business culture, and society in general, the image or metaphor of the heart is often associated with yielding, kindness -- or perhaps weakness. Yet, the heart is also strong and powerful, as well as the driving force of life.

Your ability to lead well is hindered when there is an unbalanced connection with the heart. Embracing a heart-centered approach to business lies in your ability to stop, go inward, and reflect on the course of action that you know is the right one, rather than succumbing to external pressures.

Business owners who genuinely lead with their heart -- not just their head -- are also more equipped to connect with the emotional needs of employees. They understand that people have the need to be valued, respected, listened to and involved. By acknowledging and honoring the human element, heart-centered leaders possess the wisdom and capacity to positively transform any organization and run extremely successful and profitable businesses.

Remember that honoring the heart does not signify weakness. True power means listening to and from the heart and having the commitment and humility to clear all that stands in the way of that heart connection. As the sagacious Grand Master of the Jedi Order, Yoda once said, "Do or do not. There is no try." Stay true to a commitment to lead from the heart and you are sure to reap the rewards.

  1. "People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care."-- John C. Maxwell
  2. "True leaders understand that leadership is not about them but about those they serve. It is not about exalting themselves but about lifting others up."-- Sheri L Dew
  3. "The seat of knowledge is in the head, of wisdom, in the heart."-- William Hazlitt
  4. "Your heart is free, have the courage to follow it."-- Braveheart
  5. "When your heart speaks, take good notes."-- Judith Campbell
  6. "The less you open your heart to others, the more your heart suffers."-- Deepak Chopra
  7. "Wherever you go, go with all your heart."-- Confucius
  8. "The thing that lies at the foundation of positive change, the way I see it, is service to a fellow human being."-- Lee Iacocca
  9. "We see the world, not as it is, but as we are--or, as we are conditioned to see it." -- Steven R. Covey
  10. "The mind forgets but the heart always remembers."-- Anonymous
  11. "Great leadership usually starts with a willing heart, a positive attitude, and a desire to make a difference."-- Mac Anderson
  12. "We treat our people like royalty. If you honor and serve the people who work for you, they will honor and serve you."-- Mary Kay Ash
  13. "Try to help others. Consult their weaknesses, relieve their maladies; strive to raise them up, and by so doing you will most effectually raise yourself up also."-- Joseph Barber Lightfoot
  14. "When people go to work, they shouldn't have to leave their hearts at home."-- Betty Bender
  15. "Smile, it is the key that fits the lock of everybody's heart."-- Anthony J. D'Angelo
  16. "You do not lead by hitting people over the head--that's assault, not leadership." -- Dwight D. Eisenhower
  17. "As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others." -- Bill Gates
  18. "To help others develop, start with yourself."-- Marshal Goldsmith
  19. "When we really connect to that place of wisdom and strength and understanding, everything becomes easier."-- Arianna Huffington
  20. "Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakens."-- Carl Jung
  21. "Never look down on anybody unless you're helping them up."-- Jesse Jackson
  22. "Don't believe everything you think."-- Byron Katie
  23. "If your goals aren't synced with the substance of your heart, then achieving them won't matter much."-- Danielle LaPorte
  24. "The heart is a muscle, and you strengthen muscles by using them. The more I lead with my heart, the stronger it gets."-- Mark Miller
  25. "A person's world is only as big as their heart."-- Tanya A. Moore
  26. "If my heart could do my thinking, and my head begin to feel, I would look upon the world anew, and know what's truly real."-- Van Morrison
  27. "Civility doesn't weaken a message. It helps others hear it."-- Kate Nasser
  28. "Success isn't about how much money you make. It's about the difference you make in people's lives."-- Michelle Obama
  29. "The heart has eyes which the brain knows nothing of."-- Charles H. Perkhurst
  30. "If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then, you are an excellent leader."-- Dolly Parton
  31. "Only do what your heart tells you."-- Princess Diana
  32. "One key to successful leadership is continuous personal change. Personal change is a reflection of our inner growth and empowerment."-- Robert E. Quinn
  33. "To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart."-- Eleanor Roosevelt
  34. "Since in order to speak, one must first listen, learn to speak by listening."-- Rumi
  35. "Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence, making sure that impact lasts in your absence."-- Sheryl Sandberg
  36. "Put your heart, mind, and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the secret of success."-- Swami Sivananda
  37. "When pure sincerity forms within, it is outwardly realized in other people's hearts." -- Lao Tzu
  38. "Follow your heart, but be quiet for a while first. Ask questions, then feel the answer. Learn to trust your heart."-- Unknown
  39. "Please think about your legacy, because you're writing it every day."-- Gary Vaynerchuck
  40. "Leadership is doing what is right when no one is watching."-- George Van Valkenburg
  41. "To be successful, you have to have your heart in your business, and your business in your heart."-- Sr. Thomas Watson
  42. "As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."-- Marianne Williamson
  43. "If you don't stand for something you'll fall for anything."-- Malcolm X
  44. "Among the things you can give and still keep are your word, a smile, and a grateful heart."-- Zig Ziglar
  45. "Vulnerability is not weakness. And that myth is profoundly dangerous."-- Brené Brown
  46. "The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched--they must be felt with the heart."-- Helen Keller
  47. "Sometimes the heart sees what is invisible to the eye."-- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
  48. "Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma--which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition."-- Steve Jobs
  49. "A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination."-- Nelson Mandela
  50. "If you wish others to believe in you, you must first convince them that you believe in them."-- Harvey Mackay

The original version of this article first appeared on Inc.com