10 Quotes on Leadership and Character for Memorial Day


To those who gave their lives in the service of our country; to those who continue to serve; and to those whom have returned safely—thank you. You are the single-most reason we have the freedom to enjoy and prosper from free enterprise, entrepreneurship, and innovation.

In your memory and honor, here is some memorable and fitting advice for the rest of us, from many of our finest leaders and thinkers. Whether they help in business or in life, these stirring words are sure to motivate, enlighten, and uplift all of us to greater things.

The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example.

— Benjamin Disraeli

It is the soldier, not the reporter,
Who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the soldier, not the campus organizer
Who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.
It is the soldier, not the lawyer
Who has given us the right to a fair trial.
It is the soldier, who salutes the flag,
who serves under the flag,
and whose coffin will be draped by the flag.

— Father Dennis Edward O’Brien (USMC)

No good decision was ever made in a swivel chair.

— George S. Patton

The day the soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help them or concluded that you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership.

–Colin Powell

Related: 7 Famous Quotes on Failure and the Stories That Inspired Them

The difficult we do immediately. The impossible takes a little while longer.

— U.S. Navy Seabees

Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy.

— Norman Schwarzkopf

Some people live an entire lifetime and wonder if they have made a difference in the world, but Marines don’t have that problem.

–Ronald Reagan

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.

— George S. Patton

If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed. If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task, and another, and another. And by the end of the day that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed.

— U.S. Navy Adm. William H. McCraven

Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate, and doubt to offer a solution everybody can understand.

–General Colin Powell

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Ed Fox

Ed Fox

Ed Fox works closely with partnership stakeholders and product leaders on business strategic planning, as Director of Technology. Ed leads the product and technology teams, directing operations while working with clients to ensure a successful development process and, when appropriate, integration with existing platforms. Ed’s specialty is aligning technology vision and strategy with product and business direction, and converting strategic plans into platforms that can grow in the market.