These learning and development quotes are intended to motivate L&D professionals, and to honor the important role education plays—both at work and in society.
If you prefer, you can skip ahead to start reading the L&D quotes.
The last few years have been challenging (to say the least). Recently, we surveyed 445 education professionals involved with employee, customer, or partner education. Our goal, in part, was to evaluate the economy’s impact on learning professionals.
If you work in Learning and Development, you might be unsurprised to hear that layoffs and budget reductions are negatively impacting the learning function, but L&D professionals are doing the best they can with what they have. You L&D professionals are a resilient bunch. We raise our glass; here’s to you!
If you or your team is in need of inspiration—or a reminder of why you initially fell in love with L&D—this collection of learning and development quotes might do the trick. In addition to inspirational quotes, you’ll find quotes that illustrate the role education plays in business health. (For many employees, simply knowing that your work directly contributes to company success is motivating.)
As you’ll see, we didn’t just include quotes from famous people, but also from practitioners who are in the field every day, doing the work to educate employees, customers, and partners.
30 Learning and Development quotes
“Education is not the filling of a pot, but the lighting of a fire.” - W.B. Yeats, Poet, Writer, Dramatist, and Politician
“Change is the end result of all true learning.” - Leo Buscaglia, Professor, Author, and Motivational Speaker
“Make the scorecard you give yourself your most important measure of success.” - Leslie Odom, Jr. at ATD23
“Education content is intended to drive longer-term behavior change in the way customers interact with the organization’s products and services. The measure of success here should be the business impact we see from those changed behaviors.” - Vicky Kennedy, VP Certification and Assessment at DataCamp
“Those people who develop the ability to continuously acquire new and better forms of knowledge that they can apply to their work and to their lives will be the movers and shakers in our society for the indefinite future.” - Brian Tracy, Motivational Speaker
“The beautiful thing about learning is that nobody can take it away from you.” - B.B. King, Singer, Songwriter, Guitarist, and Producer
"The basis of all learning is connection. If you can find creative ways to connect new information to learner’s existing needs, you can more deeply engage your audience." - Tia Samuel, Sr. Program Manager at Intellum
”Education and work are the levers to uplift a people.” –W. E. B. Du Bois
“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” - John F. Kennedy, 35th U.S. President
“Successful learning requires two things: a solution that people want to engage with and content they find meaningful.” - Greg Rose, CXO at Intellum
“The great aim of education is not knowledge, but action.” - Herbert Spencer, Philosopher
“Rather than striving for perfection, gather enough to form a strong opinion on where you can start taking action, but set expectations this will be a continual process of iterations.” - Christopher Lind, Chief Learning Officer at ChenMed
“At the end of the day, L&D’s purpose is to improve productivity and performance. To do that, we must reach out, listen to, and advise our business partners about strategies we can use to bring new levels of success to our organizations.” - Conrad Gottfredson, Founder of 5 Moments of Need
“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at 20 or 80. Anyone who stays learning stays young.” - Henry Ford, Founder at Ford Motor Company
“In learning you will teach, and in teaching, you will learn.” Phil Collins, Singer, Songwriter, Drummer, and Producer
“If you want people in your organization to take responsibility for their own development, equip them to identify the skills they need for now and the future, understand development options and pathways, and create a development plan.” - Michelle Ockers, Learning Strategy Expert & Host of Learning Uncut Podcast
“The purpose of learning is growth, and our minds, unlike our bodies, can continue growing as we continue to live.” - Mortimer Adler, Philosopher, Author, and Educator
“Think about the big picture. Know your goals and your audience.” - May Martin, Senior Event Manager at Twitch
“When you learn, teach. When you get, give.” - Maya Angelou, Author, Poet, and Civil Rights Activist
“Every enterprise is a learning and teaching institution. Training and development must be built into it on all levels—training and development that never stops.” Peter Drucker, Management Consultant, Educator, and Author
"Education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.” —Malcolm Forbes
“The important thing is not your process. The important thing is your process for improving your process.” - Henrik Kniberg, Co-Founder at Hups
“Job training empowers people to realize their dreams and improve their lives.” — Sylvia Matthews Burwell
"Organizational education, the strategic act of training employees, customers, and partners in order to reach specific business goals, is key to weathering any economic storm.” - Robyn Hazelton, VP of Growth at Intellum
“You can’t teach people everything they need to know. The best you can do is position them where they can find what they need to know when they need to know it.” - Seymour Papert, Mathematician and Professor
“Understand your learner personas. Understanding who you’re bringing content to is at the heart of everything.” - Greg Nist, Senior Director, Learning and Enablement, at Talend
“Marketing and education content can go hand-in-hand. Rather than point solely from marketing to education content, consider how you might promote content in the opposite direction.” - Dr. Michelle Ellis, Director of CX and Learning Strategy at Intellum
“Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.” - Nelson Mandela, Former President of South Africa
“Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death.” - Albert Einstein, Physicist and Nobel Prize Winner
Keep the inspiration flowing
Did these quotes inspire you? We sincerely hope they did.
If so, here’s how you can keep the momentum going:
Write one down on a Post-It, and place it somewhere you can see it regularly.
Email your favorite quote to a colleague or friend.
Share this article within your favorite professional community.
Post a link to this article on LinkedIn (or your favorite social network).
And remember, the work you do matters. Education is critical to business success.
About the author
Founder at Haus of Bold
Erin Balsa has built and led high-performing content teams at two Inc. 5000 companies, and now runs Haus of Bold, a content marketing consultancy. Erin's insights are regularly featured in publications like the American Marketing Association and Content Marketing Institute. She hosts The Notorious Thought Leader podcast and writes Leading Thoughts, a monthly newsletter about thought leadership and marketing.