50 Top Leadership Quotes

[bctt tweet=”50 top #leadership quotes to inspire you today”]

Today’s post is a quick one. I found myself putting this together for a workshop and thought I should share my top 50 leadership quotes with you. I always find this list is a good gut check and motivator for me as I look ahead. I hope it’s helpful for you, too. They aren’t in any particular order, so read through them and find your inspiration for the week!  I’d love to know which is your favorite!

[bctt tweet=”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”]

  1. Where there is no vision, the people perish. —Proverbs 29:18
  2. I must follow the people. Am I not their leader? —Benjamin Disraeli
  3. You manage things; you lead people. —Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper
  4. 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 
  5. Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way. — General George Patton
  6. Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others. —Jack Welch 
  7. You don’t need a title to be a leader. –Multiple Attributions
  8. A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way. —John Maxwell 
  9. 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 
  10. Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has. —Margaret Mead

[bctt tweet=”Before you are a #leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a #leader, #success is all about #growing others. — @Jack_Welch “]

  1. The nation will find it very hard to look up to the leaders who are keeping their ears to the ground. —Sir Winston Churchill
  2. 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 
  3. To command is to serve, nothing more and nothing less. —Andre Malraux
  4. He who has never learned to obey cannot be a good commander. —Aristotle
  5. I start with the premise that the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers. —Ralph Nader 
  6. Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes. —Peter Drucker
  7. Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm. —Publilius Syrus
  8. A great person attracts great people and knows how to hold them together. —Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
  9. 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
  10. 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 KeseyChess set featuring the king piece. Caption: 50 inspiring leadership quotes
  11. People buy into the leader before they buy into the vision. —John Maxwell
  12. So much of what we call management consists in making it difficult for people to work. —Peter Drucker
  13. The art of leadership is saying no, not saying yes. It is very easy to say yes. —Tony Blair
  14. 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
  15. A great leader’s courage to fulfill his vision comes from passion, not position. —John Maxwell
You might also like to read...
Management vs. Leadership: My team’s lunchtime debate

[bctt tweet=”Effective #leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes. —Peter Drucker”]

  1. 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
  2. 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 
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. The leader has to be practical and a realist yet must talk the language of the visionary and the idealist. —Eric Hoffer
  7. Leaders think and talk about the solutions. Followers think and talk about the problems. —Brian Tracy 
  8. A man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd. —Max Lucado 
  9. Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. —General George Patton
  10. Do what you feel in your heart to be right–for you’ll be criticized anyway. —Eleanor Roosevelt
You might also like to read...
5 Important Service Leadership Questions

[bctt tweet=”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”]

  1. Great leaders are not defined by the absence of weakness, but rather by the presence of clear strengths. —John Zenger
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. —John Quincy Adams
  5. It is absurd that a man should rule others, who cannot rule himself. —Latin Proverb
  6. 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
  7. Lead and inspire people. Don’t try to manage and manipulate people. Inventories can be managed but people must be lead. —Ross Perot
  8. Leaders must be close enough to relate to others, but far enough ahead to motivate them. —John Maxwell
  9. Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy. —Norman Schwarzkopf
  10. Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall. —Stephen Covey 
You might also like to read...
Are you making the #1 leadership mistake?

[bctt tweet=”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. — @JohnCMaxwell”]

Which are your favorites and why? Share them with me in the comments or on twitter @wadamj.

Post A Reply