You may have the best materials, the newest innovations, the most creative product --but those resources are meaningless without the core of your business: your employees. Poorly motivated and uninspired people can bring down even the most amazing organization.

If empowering your employees isn't a top priority, it should be. Here's some inspiration from top business leaders:

1. "My job as a leader is to make sure that everybody in the company has great opportunities and they feel they are having meaningful impact to the good of society." -- Larry Page, Google

2. "It's not the tools you have faith in. Tools are just tools -- they work or they don't work. It's the people you have faith in or not . --Steve Jobs

3. "In technology it's about the people: getting the best people, retaining them, nurturing a creative environment and helping to find a way to innovate." --Marissa Mayer, Yahoo

4. "You know, as most entrepreneurs do, that a company is only as good its people. The hard part is actually building the team that will embody your company culture and propel you forward." --Kathryn Minshew, The Muse

5. "To be the best place to buy you must be the best place to work. Treat your employees the way you want your customers to be treated, maybe even better." --Shep Hyken, customer service expert

6. "The organization is, above all, social. It is people." --Peter Drucker

7. "Businesses often forget about the culture and ultimately they suffer for it, because they cannot deliver good service from unhappy employees." --Tony Hsieh, Zappos

8. "Start with why customers will never love a company until the employees love it first." --Simon Sinek

9. "People want guidance, not rhetoric; they need to know what the plan of action is and how it will be implemented. They want to be given responsibility to help solve the problem and the authority to act on it." --Howard Schultz, Starbucks

10. "No company, small or large, can win over the long run without energized employees who believe in the mission and understand how to achieve it." --Jack Welch, General Electric

11. "Our belief is that if you get the culture right, most of the other stuff, like great customer service, or building a great long-term brand or empowering passionate employees and customers, will happen on its own." --Tony Hsieh, Zappos

12. "First get the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats, and then they can figure out where to drive it." --Jim Collins, Good to Great

13. "Hire for attitude and train for skills." -- Tom Peters

14. "If each of us hires people who are smaller than we are, we shall become a company of dwarves, but if each of us hires people who are bigger than we are, we shall become a company of giants." --David Oglivy

15. "Human beings are not things needing to be motivated and controlled. They are four-dimensional: body, mind, heart, and spirit." --Stephen Covey

16. "We believe that when the right talent meets the right opportunity in a company with the right philosophy, amazing transformation can happen." --Reid Hoffman

17. "You cannot have faith in people unless you take action to improve and develop them." --Sumantra Ghoshal

18. "The inventory, the value of your company, walks out the door every evening." --Bill Gates

19. "The task of leadership is not to put passion into people, but to inspire and elicit it -- for the passion is there already." --Ty Howard

20. "You don't build a business, you build people, then people build the business." --Zig Ziglar

21. "The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it." --Theodore Roosevelt

22. "Virtually every company will be going out and empowering their workers with a certain set of tools, and the big difference in how much value is received from that will be how much the company steps back and really thinks through their business processes, thinking through how their business can change, how their project management, their customer feedback, their planning cycles can be quite different than they ever were before." --Bill Gates

23. "Power can be taken, but not given. The process of the taking is empowerment in itself." --Gloria Steinem

24. "Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity." --General George S. Patton.

25. "An empowered organization is one in which individuals have the knowledge, skill, desire, and opportunity to personally succeed in a way that leads to collective organizational success." --Stephen Covey

Inspired by one of these quotes? Talk about it with your peers, brainstorm what it means in terms of your organization, and get going!