89 Quotes About Leadership

Leadership is one of those things that can be difficult to define and even more difficult to master. But, while there may not be a single definition of leadership that everyone agrees on, there are certain traits and characteristics that are often associated with successful leaders.
In this post, we’ve collected 89 quotes about leadership from some of the most famous and influential people throughout history. We hope you’ll find these quotes inspiring and insightful as you continue your own journey towards becoming a great leader.

Quotes About Leadership

1. If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right. – Henry Ford

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

3. 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

4. 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

5. 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

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

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

8. Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected. – Steve Jobs

9. Be careful the environment you choose for it will shape you be careful the friends you choose for you will become like them. – W. Clement Stone

10. Don’t find fault, find a remedy. – Henry Ford

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

12. When the best leader’s work is done the people say, ‘We did it ourselves.’ – Lao Tzu

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

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

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

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

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

18. Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody expects of you. Never excuse yourself. – Henry Ward Beecher

19. Affirmation without discipline is the beginning of delusion. – Jim Rohn

20. Leadership – leadership is about taking responsibility, not making excuses. – Mitt Romney

21. A man always has two reasons for doing anything: a good reason and the real reason. – J. P. Morgan

22. The cautious seldom err. – Confucius

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

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

25. People ask the difference between a leader and a boss. The leader leads, and the boss drives. – Theodore Roosevelt

26. Give whatever you are doing and whoever you are with the gift of your attention. – Jim Rohn

27. A leader is a dealer in hope. – Napoleon Bonaparte

28. People who enjoy meetings should not be in charge of anything. – Thomas Sowell

29. Good leadership consists of showing average people how to do the work of superior people. – John D. Rockefeller

30. He who is prudent and lies in wait for an enemy who is not, will be victorious. – Sun Tzu

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

32. If you want a quality, act as if you already had it. – William James33. Enlightened leadership is spiritual if we understand spirituality not as some kind of religious dogma or ideology but as the domain of awareness where we experience values like truth, goodness, beauty, love and compassion, and also intuition, creativity, insight and focused attention. – Deepak Chopra

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

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

36. No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit for doing it. – Andrew Carnegie

37. Leadership is practiced not so much in words as in attitude and in actions. – Harold S. Geneen

 
Thought: Every single man and woman, who by their actions (or inactions) has left a mark on this world, has done it with leadership. The principle of leadership is simple: lead or get out of the way. It does not matter what you are doing; whether you are an entrepreneur or an employee at Subway, if you want to become successful you have to lead.

38. Good management is the art of making problems so interesting and their solutions so constructive that everyone wants to get to work and deal with them. – Paul Hawken39. To succeed in business it is necessary to make others see things as you see them. – Aristotle Onassis

40. You have to think anyway, so why not think big? – Donald Trump

41. 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

42. Example is leadership. – Albert Schweitzer

43. The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been. – Henry A. Kissinger

44. People who don’t take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year. People who do take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year. – Peter Drucker

45. If you care enough for a result, you will most certainly attain it. – William James

46. If you command wisely, you’ll be obeyed cheerfully. – Thomas Fuller

47. High expectations are the key to everything. – Sam Walton

48. If a window of opportunity appears, don’t pull down the shade. – Tom Peters

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

50. Every act of conscious learning requires the willingness to suffer an injury to one’s self-esteem. That is why young children, before they are aware of their own self-importance, learn so easily. – Thomas Szasz

51. Leadership is influence. – John C. Maxwell

52. Leadership is diving for a loose ball, getting the crowd involved, getting other players involved. It’s being able to take it as well as dish it out. That’s the only way you’re going to get respect from the players. – Larry Bird

53. No matter how carefully you plan your goals they will never be more than pipe dreams unless you pursue them with gusto. – W. Clement Stone

54. How we think shows through in how we act. Attitudes are mirrors of the mind. They reflect thinking. – David Joseph Schwartz

55. Go as far as you can see when you get there, you’ll be able to see farther. – J. P. Morgan

56. A leader does not deserve the name unless he is willing occasionally to stand alone. – Henry A. Kissinger

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

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

59. Making good decisions is a crucial skill at every level. – Peter Drucker

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

61. The real leader has no need to lead – he is content to point the way. – Henry Miller

62. Without initiative, leaders are simply workers in leadership positions. – Bo Bennett

63. There are three secrets to managing. The first secret is have patience. The second is be patient. And the third most important secret is patience. – Chuck Tanner

64. No person will make a great business who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit. – Andrew Carnegie

65. Luck is a dividend of sweat. The more you sweat, the luckier you get. – Ray Kroc

66. Everyone who’s ever taken a shower has an idea. It’s the person who gets out of the shower, dries off and does something about it who makes a difference. – Nolan Bushnell

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

68. It is, after all, the responsibility of the expert to operate the familiar and that of the leader to transcend it. – Henry A. Kissinger

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

70. In fair weather prepare for foul. – Thomas Fuller

71. The first man gets the oyster, the second man gets the shell. – Andrew Carnegie

72. Getting in touch with your true self must be your first priority. – Tom Hopkins

73. When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier. – Roy E. Disney

74. The key to being a good manager is keeping the people who hate me away from those who are still undecided. – Casey Stengel

75. Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton was the one who asked why. – Bernard Baruch

76. The amount of good luck coming your way depends on your willingness to act. – Barbara Sher

77. The exercise of power is determined by thousands of interactions between the world of the powerful and that of the powerless, all the more so because these worlds are never divided by a sharp line: everyone has a small part of himself in both. – Vaclav Havel

78. The speed of the leader is the speed of the gang. – Mary Kay Ash

79. The secret of my success is a two word answer: Know people. – Harvey S. Firestone

80. Doing is a quantum leap from imagining. – Barbara Sher

81. Time is neutral and does not change things. With courage and initiative, leaders change things. – Jesse Jackson

82. Leaders must encourage their organizations to dance to forms of music yet to be heard. – Warren G. Bennis

83. Clarity affords focus. – Thomas Leonard

84. I’m not a natural leader. I’m too intellectual I’m too abstract I think too much. – Newt Gingrich

85. The employer generally gets the employees he deserves. – J. Paul Getty

86. Obstacles are things a person sees when he takes his eyes off his goal. – E. Joseph Cossman

87. If you have ideas, you have the main asset you need, and there isn’t any limit to what you can do with your business and your life. Ideas are any man’s greatest asset. – Harvey S. Firestone

88. I look for what needs to be done. After all, that’s how the universe designs itself. – R. Buckminster Fuller

89. Today a reader, tomorrow a leader. – Margaret Fuller

We hope you enjoyed this collection of quotes. Check out our picture quote of the day here.

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