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Leadership quotes

Leadership quotesBeing a leader is not an easy job. A leader must be able to handle many things at once and at the same time be there for his employees. It requires several different qualities to be a great leader. Read leadership quotes here and be inspired to how you can become a better one.

  • “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the water to create many ripples.” – Mother Teresa
  • The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant. – Max DePree
  • “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou
  • A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves. – Lao Tzu



  • “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford
  • I must follow the people. Am I not their leader? – Benjamin Disraeli
  • You don’t need a title to be a leader. – Multiple Attributions
  • “Life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent of how I react to it.” – Charles Swindoll
  • Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others. – Jack Welch
  • “If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough.” – Oprah Winfrey
  • “Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality”. – Warren Bennis
  • “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” – Jimmy Dean
  • “Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way”. – General George Patto
  • “Do or do not. There is no try.” – Yoda
  • Great Leadership quotes for inspiration and motivation

  • “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way”. – John Maxwell
  • “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan
  • A leader is a dealer in hope. – Napoleon Bonaparte
  • “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.” – Albert Einstein
  • The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born-that there is a genetic factor to leadership. That’s nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. Leaders are made rather than born. – Warren Bennis
  • “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” – William Arthur Ward
  • Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has. – Margaret Mead
  • “It’s hard to lead a cavalry charge if you think you look funny on a horse.” – Adlai E. Stevenson II
  • My own definition of leadership is this: The capacity and the will to rally men and women to a common purpose and the character which inspires confidence. – General Montgomery
  • “Keep your fears to yourself, but share your courage with others.” – Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to high sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations. – Peter Drucker
  • “Leadership is not about titles, positions or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another.” – John C. Maxwell
  • To command is to serve, nothing more and nothing less. – Andre Malraux
  • “A man can only lead when others accept him as their leader, and he has only as much authority as his subjects give to him. All of the brilliant ideas in the world cannot save your kingdom if no one will listen to them.” – Brandon Sanderson
  • The nation will find it very hard to look up to the leaders who are keeping their ears to the ground. – Sir Winston Churchill



  • “A man can only stumble for so long before he either falls or stands up straight.” – Brandon Sanderson
  • Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm. – Publilius Syrus
  • “Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.” – Albert Schweitzer
  • I start with the premise that the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers. – Ralph Nader
  • He who has never learned to obey cannot be a good commander. – Aristotle
  • Become the kind of leader that people would follow voluntarily; even if you had no title or position. – Brian Tracy
  • “A leader is one who sees more than others see, who sees farther than others see and who sees before others see.” – Leroy Eimes
  • A great person attracts great people and knows how to hold them together. – Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
  • “A leader is a dealer in hope.” – Napoleon Bonaparte
  • Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes. – Peter Drucker
  • “People ask the difference between a leader and a boss. The leader leads, and the boss drives.” – Theodore Roosevelt
  • Men make history and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better. – Harry S. Truman
  • “What you do has far greater impact than what you say.” — Stephen Covey
  • You don’t lead by pointing and telling people some place to go. You lead by going to that place and making a case. – Ken Kesey
  • “Those who try to lead the people can only do so by following the mob.” – Oscar Wilde
  • 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
  • Leadership is influence. – John C. Maxwell
  • “If you think you are leading and turn around to see no one following, then you are just taking a walk.” – Benjamin Hooks
  • People buy into the leader before they buy into the vision. – John Maxwell
  • More Leadership quotes

  • When I give a minister an order, I leave it to him to find the means to carry it out. – Napoleon Bonaparte
  • “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” – President Abraham Lincoln
  • A great leader’s courage to fulfill his vision comes from passion, not position. – John Maxwell
  • The very essence of leadership is that you have to have a vision. It’s got to be a vision you articulate clearly and forcefully on every occasion. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet. – Reverend Theodore Hesburgh
  • “Only one man in a thousand is a leader of men–the other 999 follow women.” – Groucho Marx
  • So much of what we call management consists in making it difficult for people to work. – Peter Drucker



  • The art of leadership is saying no, not saying yes. It is very easy to say yes. – Tony Blair
  • A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be. – Rosalynn Carter
  • A good general not only sees the way to victory; he also knows when victory is impossible. – Polybius
  • Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it. – General Dwight Eisenhower
  • A ruler should be slow to punish and swift to reward. – Ovid
  • “A leader…is like a shepherd. He stays behind the flock, letting the most nimble go out ahead, whereupon the others follow, not realizing that all along they are being directed from behind.” – Nelson Mandela
  • Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish. – Sam Walton
  • A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his intent. – Douglas MacArthur
  • The leader has to be practical and a realist yet must talk the language of the visionary and the idealist. – Eric Hoffer
  • No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself, or to get all the credit for doing it. – Andrew Carnegie
  • “Show me the man you honor and I will know what kind of man you are.” – Thomas John Carlisle
  • “Being responsible sometimes means pissing people off.” – Colin Powell
  • All of the great leaders have had one characteristic in common: it was the willingness to confront unequivocally the major anxiety of their people in their time. This, and not much else, is the essence of leadership. – John Kenneth Galbraith
  • Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. – General George Patton
  • Leaders think and talk about the solutions. Followers think and talk about the problems. – Brian Tracy
  • A man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd. – Max Lucado
  • Do what you feel in your heart to be right–for you’ll be criticized anyway. – Eleanor Roosevelt
  • As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others. – Bill Gates
  • Great leaders are not defined by the absence of weakness, but rather by the presence of clear strengths. – John Zenger
  • Effective leadership is putting first things first. Effective management is discipline, carrying it out. – Stephen Covey
  • Don’t necessarily avoid sharp edges. Occasionally they are necessary to leadership. – Donald Rumsfeld
  • Education is the mother of leadership. – Wendell Willkie
  • He who has great power should use it lightly. – Seneca
  • 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
  • “I don’t see myself being special; I just see myself having more responsibilities than the next man. People look to me to do things for them, to have answers.” -Tupac Shakur



  • If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. – John Quincy Adams
  • If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform one million realities. – Maya Angelou
  • “Surround yourself with great people; delegate authority; get out of the way” – Ronald Reagan
  • I am reminded how hollow the label of leadership sometimes is and how heroic followership can be. – Warren Bennis
  • I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure, which is: Try to please everybody. – Herbert Swope
  • In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. – Thomas Jefferson
  • If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth reading, or do things worth the writing. – Benjamin Franklin
  • “If you would convince a man that he does wrong, do right. But do not care to convince him. Men will believe what they see. Let them see.” – Henry David Thoreau
  • Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other. – John F. Kennedy
  • Leaders aren’t born, they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work. And that’s the price we’ll have to pay to achieve that goal, or any goal. – Vince Lombardi
  • It is absurd that a man should rule others, who cannot rule himself. – Latin Proverb
  • It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership. – Nelson Mandela
  • Leadership cannot just go along to get along. Leadership must meet the moral challenge of the day. – Jesse Jackson
  • Leaders must be close enough to relate to others, but far enough ahead to motivate them. – John C. Maxwell
  • “You get in life what you have the courage to ask for.” – Nancy D. Solomon
  • Management is about arranging and telling. Leadership is about nurturing and enhancing. – Tom Peters
  • Leadership is the key to 99 percent of all successful efforts. – Erskine Bowles
  • Leadership does not always wear the harness of compromise. – Woodrow Wilson
  • “No guts, no story.” – Chris Brady
  • Leadership is solving problems. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help or concluded you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership. – Colin Powell
  • Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall. – Stephen Covey
  • Leadership is unlocking people’s potential to become better. – Bill Bradley
  • One of the tests of leadership is the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency. – Arnold Glasow
  • “In the end, it is important to remember that we cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are.”- Max De Pree
  • What you do has far greater impact than what you say. – Stephen Covey
  • Never give an order that can’t be obeyed. – General Douglas MacArthur



  • No man is good enough to govern another man without that other’s consent. – Abraham Lincoln
  • The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind him in other men, the conviction and the will to carry on. – Walter Lippman
  • Not the cry, but the flight of a wild duck, leads the flock to fly and follow. – Chinese Proverb
  • True leadership lies in guiding others to success. In ensuring that everyone is performing at their best, doing the work they are pledged to do and doing it well. – Bill Owens
  • To do great things is difficult; but to command great things is more difficult. – Friedrich Nietzsche
  • The greatest leaders mobilize others by coalescing people around a shared vision. – Ken Blanchard
  • The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership. – Harvey Firestone
  • “We’re here for a reason. I believe a bit of the reason is to throw little torches out to lead people through the dark.” – Whoopi Goldberg
  • We live in a society obsessed with public opinion. But leadership has never been about popularity. – Marco Rubio
  • To have long term success as a coach or in any position of leadership, you have to be obsessed in some way. – Pat Riley
  • There are three essentials to leadership: humility, clarity and courage. – Fuchan Yuan
  • A competent leader can get efficient service from poor troops, while on the contrary an incapable leader can demoralize the best of troops. – John J Pershing
  • The last 15 Leadership quotes

  • “Remember, teamwork begins by building trust. And the only way to do that is to overcome our need for invulnerability.”- Patrick Lencioni
  • Whatever you are, be a good one. – Abraham Lincoln
  • “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” – Antoine de Saint
  • You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing you think you cannot do. – Eleanor Roosevelt
  • “Always remember, Son, the best boss is the one who bosses the least. Whether it’s cattle, or horses, or men; the least government is the best government.” – Ralph Moody
  • I am endlessly fascinated that playing football is considered a training ground for leadership, but raising children isn’t. – Dee Dee Myers
  • A good leader is a person who takes a little more than his share of the blame and a little less than his share of the credit. – John Maxwell
  • You don’t lead by hitting people over the head, that’s assault, not leadership. – Dwight Eisenhower
  • A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week. – George Patton
  • A cowardly leader is the most dangerous of men. – Stephen King
  • My responsibility is getting all my players playing for the name on the front of the jersey, not the one on the back. – Unknown
  • “If you really want the key to success, start by doing the opposite of what everyone else is doing.” – Brad Szollose
  • Earn your leadership every day. – Michael Jordan
  • The supreme quality of leadership is integrity. – Dwight Eisenhower
  • “In a battle between two ideas, the best one doesn’t necessarily win. No, the idea that wins is the one with the most fearless heretic behind it.”- Seth Godin
A leader must be able to take the tough choices. He must be able to understand his employees and create a good working environment. A leader must be able to give some of his responsibilities to others in order to benefit and create good dynamics in a workplace.

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