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15 Presidential Quotes to Inspire You at Work

Topics: Work Culture

In 239 years of our nation’s history, there have only been 43 U.S. presidents, which makes “president” arguably the hardest job in the country to get. (Despite what it might feel like, when you’re waiting for an email from a hiring manager for a decidedly non-presidential role.) Unsurprisingly, the people who make it to the highest office in the land often have some pretty strong ideas about what it takes to succeed. In honor of Washington, Lincoln, and all the rest, here are 15 quotes to inspire you to greater heights of productivity, determination, and success.


(Photo Credit: “Lincoln O-60 by Brady, 1862” by Mathew Brady – railsplitter. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons)

1. “We should not look back unless it is to derive useful lessons from past errors, and for the purpose of profiting by dearly bought experience.” – George Washington

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2. “I walk slowly, but I never walk backward.” – Abraham Lincoln

3. “Believe you can, and you’re halfway there.” – Theodore Roosevelt

4. “Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.” – Thomas Jefferson

5. “One cool judgment is worth a thousand hasty counsels. The thing to be supplied is light, not heat.” – Woodrow Wilson

6. “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams

7. “I never did give anybody hell. I just told the truth and they thought it was hell.” – Harry S. Truman

8. “Things do not happen. Things are made to happen.” – John F. Kennedy

9. “Don’t write so that you can be understood; write so that you can’t be misunderstood.” – William Taft

10. “The only man who never makes a mistake is the man who never does anything.” – Theodore Roosevelt

11. “Never waste a minute thinking about people you don’t like.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower

12. “Labor disgraces no man, but occasionally men disgrace labor.” – Ulysses S. Grant

13. “Be fit for more than the thing you are now doing. Let everyone know that you have a reserve in yourself; that you have more power than you are now using. If you are not too large for the place you occupy, you are too small for it.” – James Garfield

14. “It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” – Harry S. Truman

15. “I think we consider too much the good luck of the early bird and not enough the bad luck of the early worm.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Sources:, izQuotes, Lifehack, Business Insider, Entrepreneur, Quotations at

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Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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