best leadership quotes

200+ Best Leadership Quotes That Make You Rethink

Leadership is the set of characteristics that make a good leader. Inspirational leadership quotes will encourage growth in life, make you wiser and broaden your perspective.

If you’re searching for motivational success quotes and encouraging creativity quotes that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of inspiring consistency quotes, popular determination quotes and best patience quotes.

Most Famous Leadership Quotes

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

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

Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others. – Jack Welch

Every time you have to speak, you are auditioning for leadership. – James Humes

leadership quotes

You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand. – Woodrow Wilson

Where there is no vision, the people perish. – Proverbs 29:18

Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower. – Steve Jobs, Apple co-founder

The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things. – Ronald Reagan

I must follow the people. Am I not their leader? – Benjamin Disraeli

A good leader leads the people from above them. A great leader leads the people from within them. – M. D. Arnold

Don’t follow the crowd, let the crowd follow you. – Margaret Thatcher

Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way. – John C. Maxwell

You manage things; you lead people. – Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper

The true mark of a leader is the willingness to stick with a bold course of action – an unconventional business strategy, a unique product-development roadmap, a controversial marketing campaign – even as the rest of the world wonders why you’re not marching in step with the status quo. In other words, real leaders are happy to zig while others zag. They understand that in an era of hyper-competition and non-stop disruption, the only way to stand out from the crowd is to stand for something special. – Bill Taylor

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

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

Leaders instill in their people a hope for success and a belief in themselves. Positive leaders empower people to accomplish their goals. – Unknown

We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be. – Kurt Vonnegut

best leadership quotes

Leadership is the art of giving people a platform for spreading ideas that work. – Seth Godin

There is no investment you can make which will pay you so well as the effort to scatter sunshine and good cheer through your establishment. – Orison Swett Marden

Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality. – Warren Bennis

The very essence of leadership is that you have to have vision. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet. – Theodore M. Hesburgh

Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things. – Peter Drucker

Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way. – General George Patton

Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other. – John F. Kennedy

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 leader is a dealer in hope. – Napoleon Bonaparte

A good objective of leadership is to help those who are doing poorly to do well and to help those who are doing well to do even better. – Jim Rohn

The single biggest way to impact an organization is to focus on leadership development. There is almost no limit to the potential of an organization that recruits good people, raises them up as leaders and continually develops them. – John Maxwell

You don’t need a title to be a leader. -Multiple Attributions

To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart. – Eleanor Roosevelt

Becoming a leader is synonymous with becoming yourself. It is precisely that simple and it is also that difficult. – Warren Bennis

A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way. – John Maxwell

To add value to others, one must first value others. – John Maxwell

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 task of the leader is to get their people from where they are to where they have not been. – Henry Kissinger

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

The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The leader adjusts the sails. – John Maxwell

The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not a bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly. – Jim Rohn

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

Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you help them become what they are capable of being. – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people. – Mahatma Gandhi

There are no office hours for leaders. – Cardinal J. Gibbons

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has. – Margaret Mead

The nation will find it very hard to look up to the leaders who are keeping their ears to the ground. – Sir Winston Churchill

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

When people talk, listen completely. – Ernest Hemingway

I can give you a six-word formula for success: Think things through–then follow through. – Edward Rickenbacker

One of the tests of leadership is the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency. – Arnold Glasow

The important thing is this: to be able to give up in any given moment all that we are for what we can become. – DeSeaux

uplifting leadership quotes

To command is to serve, nothing more and nothing less. – Andre Malraux

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

I start with the premise that the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers. – Ralph Nader

Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes. – Peter Drucker

The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves. – Ray Kroc

Do what you feel in your heart to be right, for you’ll be criticized anyway. – Eleanor Roosevelt

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

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

Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm. – Publilius Syrus

A great person attracts great people and knows how to hold them together. – Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

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

Wisdom is knowing what to do next, skill is knowing how to do it, and virtue is doing it. – David Star Jordan

Control is not leadership; management is not leadership; leadership is leadership. If you seek to lead, invest at least 50 percent of your time in leading yourself–your own purpose, ethics, principles, motivation, conduct. Invest at least 20 percent leading those with authority over you and 15 percent leading your peers. – Dee Hock

Leaders don’t inflict pain, they share pain. – Max Depree

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

When I give a minister an order, I leave it to him to find the means to carry it out. – Napoleon Bonaparte

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

People buy into the leader before they buy into the vision. – John Maxwell

So much of what we call management consists in making it difficult for people to work. – Peter Drucker

Wise leaders generally have wise counselors because it takes a wise person themselves to distinguish them. – Diogenes of Sinope

The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership. – Harvey S. Firestone

Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right thing. – Peter F. Drucker

The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers. – Ralph Nader

Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality. – Warren G. Bennis

The art of leadership is saying no, not saying yes. It is very easy to say yes. – Tony Blair

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

The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority. – Kenneth Blanchard

A good general not only sees the way to victory; he also knows when victory is impossible. – Polybius

A great leader’s courage to fulfill his vision comes from passion, not position. – John Maxwell

There exist limitless opportunities in every industry. Where there is an open mind, there will always be a frontier. – Charles F. Kettering

A leader is a person you will follow to a place you would not go by yourself. – Joel Barker

A good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame, a little less than his share of the credit. – Arnold Glasow

Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results, not attributes. – Peter F. Drucker

The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly. – Jim Rohn

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 ruler should be slow to punish and swift to reward. – Ovid

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

Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it. – General Dwight Eisenhower

The leader has to be practical and a realist yet must talk the language of the visionary and the idealist. – Eric Hoffer

Leaders think and talk about the solutions. Followers think and talk about the problems. – Brian Tracy

Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

The things we fear most in organizations–fluctuations, distubances, imbalances–are the primary sources of creativity. – Margaret Wheatley

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

A man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd. – Max Lucado

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

As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others. – Bill Gates

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

Do what you feel in your heart to be right-for you’ll be criticized anyway. – Eleanor Roosevelt

The price of greatness is responsibility. – Winston Churchill

A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus. – Martin Luther King Jr.

Today a reader, tomorrow a leader. – Margaret Fuller

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has. – Margaret Mead

The highest of distinctions is service to others. – King George VI

popular leadership quotes

If you’re not sure where you are going, you’re liable to end up someplace else. – Robert F. Mager

Don’t necessarily avoid sharp edges. Occasionally they are necessary to leadership. – Donald Rumsfeld

Education is the mother of leadership. – Wendell Willkie

Effective leadership is putting first things first. Effective management is discipline, carrying it out. – Stephen Covey

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

Great leaders are not defined by the absence of weakness, but rather by the presence of clear strengths. – John Zenger

He who has great power should use it lightly. – Seneca

Become the kind of leader that people would follow voluntarily, even if you had no title or position. – Brian Tracy

You manage things; you lead people. – Grace Murray Hopper

A great person attracts great people and knows how to hold them together. – Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Leadership is not about titles, positions, or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another. – John C. Maxwell

People buy into the leader before they buy into the vision. – John C. Maxwell

He who has learned how to obey will know how to command. – Solon

I am reminded how hollow the label of leadership sometimes is and how heroic followership can be. – Warren Bennis

If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform one million realities. – Maya Angelou

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

In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. – Thomas Jefferson

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 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 F. Drucker

Doing what is right isn’t the problem. It is knowing what is right. – Lyndon B Johnson

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. – Winston Churchill

Lead and inspire people. Don’t try to manage and manipulate people. Inventories can be managed but people must be led. – Ross Perot

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

Leaders must be close enough to relate to others, but far enough ahead to motivate them. – John C. Maxwell

Leadership cannot just go along to get along. Leadership must meet the moral challenge of the day. – Jesse Jackson

Leadership does not always wear the harness of compromise. – Woodrow Wilson

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

Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. – Harold R. McAlindon

Keep your fears to yourself, but share your courage with others. – Robert Louis Stevenson

There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it. – Edith Wharton

The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires. – William Arthur Ward

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

Leadership is the key to 99 percent of all successful efforts. – Erskine Bowles

Leadership is unlocking people’s potential to become better. – Bill Bradley

Management is about arranging and telling. Leadership is about nurturing and enhancing. – Tom Peters

Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall. – 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

What you do has far greater impact than what you say. – Stephen Covey

Not the cry, but the flight of a wild duck, leads the flock to fly and follow. – Chinese Proverb

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

You take people as far as they will go, not as far as you would like them to go. – Jeanette Rankin

The role of leadership is to transform the complex situation into small pieces and prioritize them. – Carlos Ghosn

Real leadership is leaders recognizing that they serve the people that they lead. – Pete Hoekstra

Average leaders raise the bar on themselves; good leaders raise the bar for others; great leaders inspire others to raise their own bar. – Orrin Woodward

To do great things is difficult; but to command great things is more difficult. -Friedrich Nietzsche

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

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

To do great things is difficult; but to command great things is more difficult. – Friedrich Nietzsche

To have long term success as a coach or in any position of leadership, you have to be obsessed in some way. – Pat Riley

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

We live in a society obsessed with public opinion. But leadership has never been about popularity. – Marco Rubio

Whatever you are, be a good one. – Abraham Lincoln

Ninety percent of leadership is the ability to communicate something people want. – Dianne Feinstein

The task of leadership is not to put greatness into humanity, but to elicit it, for the greatness is already there. – John Buchan

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

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

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

There are three essentials to leadership: humility, clarity and courage. – Fuchan Yuan

I am endlessly fascinated that playing football is considered a training ground for leadership, but raising children isn’t. – Dee Dee Myers

A leader is not an administrator who loves to run others, but someone who carries water for his people so that they can get on with their jobs. – Robert Townsend

Leadership cannot really be taught. It can only be learned. – Harold Geneen

Look over your shoulder now and then to be sure someone’s following you. – Henry Gilmer

Leadership is not magnetic personality, that can just as well be a glib tongue. It is not ‘making friends and influencing people,’ that is flattery. Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to higher sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations. – Peter F. Drucker

Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower. – Steve Jobs

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

A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week. -George Patton

The supreme quality of leadership is integrity. -Dwight Eisenhower

You don’t lead by hitting people over the head-that’s assault, not leadership. -Dwight Eisenhower

Earn your leadership every day. -Michael Jordan

Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great. – John D. Rockefeller

The supreme quality of leadership is integrity. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers. -Ralph Nader

Earn your leadership every day. – Michael Jordan

You cannot be a leader, and ask other people to follow you, unless you know how to follow, too. – Sam Rayburn

Those who let things happen usually lose to those who make things happen. – Dave Weinbaum

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power. – Abraham Lincoln

Leadership is an ever-evolving position. – Mike Krzyzewski

You get in life what you have the courage to ask for. – Nancy D. Solomon

Leadership is an action, not a position. – Donald McGannon

Don’t tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results. – George S. Patton Jr.

A leader is one who sees more than others see, who sees farther than others see, and who sees before others see. – Leroy Eimes

The most effective way to lead is to lead from within. – Lolly Daskal

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.