Power Quotes—Leaders’ Tools

rusty tools on wood

“A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business.”

—Henry Ford

“In any decent occupation, there are only two ways . . . of succeeding. One is by doing very good work, the other is by cheating.”

—G.K. Chesterton

“My whole life . . . my work was constantly interrupted . . . I discovered that my interruptions were my work.”

—Henri Nouwen

“In the hands of a missional Christian, the business can become a wonderful tool in the kingdom of God.”

—Alan Hirsch in Right Here Right Now

“The faithful performance of today’s humble task will enable me to accept tomorrow’s assignment.”

—Elizabeth Elliot

“Strong fathers work hard because they know and trust THE Father—the most creative and hardest Worker of all!”


“A person motivated by love rather than fear—will eagerly seek out new ways to carry out business with transparency.”

—Tim Keller in Prodigal God

“God is at work in every corner of creation, not just the church . . . present in the stock market and the supermarket . . . When we become one with Christ, we join Him where He is already at work.”

—Randy Kilgore in Made to Matter

“The resurrection means everything you’ve done in the present through your body—works of justice and mercy and love and hope—somehow, in ways we don’t understand, will be part of God’s new creation.”

—NT Wright

“Working with his hands day in and day out in a carpentry shop was not below Jesus. Jesus did not see his carpentry work as mundane or meaningless, for it was the work his Father had called him to do. I have a good hunch that Jesus was a top-notch carpenter and did top-notch work . . . I am sure there were many things that made the Father well pleased, but one important aspect of Jesus’ well-pleasing life that we must not overlook was his well-pleasing work as a carpenter.”

—Tom Nelson in Work Matters: Connecting Sunday Worship to Monday Work

“What is he?” murmurs one gray shadow of my forefathers to the other. “A writer of story-books! What kind of business in life, —what mode of glorifying God, or being serviceable to mankind in his day and generation,—may that be? Why, the degenerate fellow might as well have been a fiddler!”

—Nathaniel Hawthorne’s reflection on his forefather critics in his “Introductory” to The Scarlet Letter

“In short, fidelity to the highest practices of vocation before God is consecrated and in itself transformational in its effects.”

-James Davison Hunter

“You don’t think your way into a new kind of living. You live your way into a new kind of thinking.”

—Henri J.M. Nouwen

“I’m prepared to contend that the primary location for spiritual formation is in the workplace.”

—Eugene Peterson

“Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence, or a vice. The space and quiet [it] provides is a necessary condition for standing back from life and seeing it whole. It is, paradoxically, necessary to getting work done.

—Tim Kreider, cartoonist and author, in the New York Times

“The real goal of business is simply this: to serve others to the glory of God. Note that this objective places one’s business activity squarely within the overriding command Jesus gave us for life—to love God with everything we have and to love our neighbors—our fellow humans—as we love ourselves.”

—Ken Eldred

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it’s dressed in overalls and looks like work.”


“How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and strong—because someday in life you will be all of these.”

—George Washington Carver

“Every Christian must be fully Christian by bringing God into his whole life, not merely into some spiritual realm.”


“We pray for the big things and forget to give thanks for the ordinary, small (and yet really not small) gifts.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last, to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant.”

Max Depree

“Gratitude is the antidote to the ‘grumpies’, the ‘gimmes’, and the ‘gotta-haves’!”


“Do all the good you can by the all the means you can . . . Earn all you can; save all you can; give all you can.”

—18th century culture-shaping theologian & leader, John Wesley

“‘Most powerful way out of spiritual funk is to give away the kindness of God to someone also in a funk—most powerful is to a stranger. Risk it.”

—Kindness revolutionary, Steve Sjogren

“If you delegate authority, you will build leaders.”

—Craig Groeschel

“Leadership is cutting a direction and gathering people around it.”

—Dr. Robert Duffett, President, Eastern University

“While you are proclaiming peace with your lips, be careful to have it even more fully in your heart.”                                                                                             

—St. Francis

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