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Here are 150 top leadership quotes to get your inner leader motivated and inspired.   To be a good leader means that you are continually learning and growing from other leaders.  Reading quotes, books and listening to audios are great things you can do to grow your leadership skills.

I’ve compiled for you my personal favorite leadership quotes.  I hope they motivate you to be a better leader like they have for myself.

leadership quotes

150 Leadership Quotes

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

5.  A great person attracts great people and knows how to hold them togethe                                                                   —Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe      

 

6.  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

               

7.  Leadership is influence. —John C. Maxwell      

                                                                                                      

8.  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  

 

9.  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

 

10.  People buy into the leader before they buy into the vision. —John Maxwell

 

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

 

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

 

13.  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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

17.  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

 

18.  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

 

19.  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

 

20.  “Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do, and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.” General George S. Patton

 

21.  “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, entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker

 

22.  “Those who try to lead the people can only do so by following the mob.”Oscar Wilde, writer and poet

 

23.  “The led must not be compelled. They must be able to choose their own leader.” Albert Einstein, physicist

 

24.  “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.” President Harry Truman

 

25.  “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” Steve Jobs, co-founder and CEO of Apple

 

26.  “If you think you are leading and turn around to see no one following, then you are just taking a walk.” Benjamin Hooks, retired director of the NAACP

 

27.  “You cannot be a leader, and ask other people to follow you, unless you know how to follow, too.”– Sam Rayburn, former speaker of the house

 

28.  “You do not lead by hitting people over the head. That’s assault, not leadership.” President Dwight D. Eisenhower

 

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

 

30.  A ruler should be slow to punish and swift to reward. —Ovid

 

31.  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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

38.  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

 

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

 

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

 

41.  Education is the mother of leadership. —Wendell Willkie

 

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

 

43.  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

 

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

 

45.  He who has great power should use it lightly. —Seneca

 

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

 

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

 

48.  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

 

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

 

50.  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

 

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

 

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

 

52.  It is absurd that a man should rule others, who cannot rule himself. —Latin Proverb

 

53.  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

 

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

 

55.  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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

60.  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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

64.  Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall. —Stephen Covey

 

65.  Never give an order that can’t be obeyed. —General Douglas MacArthur

 

66.  No man is good enough to govern another man without that other’s consent. —Abraham Lincoln

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

70.  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

 

71.  The greatest leaders mobilize others by coalescing people around a shared vision. —Ken Blanchard

 

72.  The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership. —Harvey Firestone

 

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

 

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

 

75.  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

 

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

 

77.  Whatever you are, be a good one. —Abraham Lincoln

 

78.  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

 

79.  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

 

80.  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

 

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

 

82.  A cowardly leader is the most dangerous of men. —Stephen King

 

83.  My responsibility is getting all my players playing for the name on the front of the jersey, not the one on the back. –Unknown

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

87.  Earn your leadership every day. –Michael Jordan

 

88.  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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

92.  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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

96.  “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.”– Jack Welch, former GE chairman and CEO

 

97.  Leadership is a combination of strategy and character. If you must be without one, be without the strategy.” – S. General H. Norman Schwarzkopf

 

98.  “People ask the difference between a leader and a boss. The leader leads, and the boss drives.” –President Theodore Roosevelt

 

99.  “Leadership involves finding a parade and getting in front of it.” –John Naisbitt, author

 

100.  “Leadership is the capacity to transform vision into reality.” –Warren G. Bennis, founding chairman of the Leadership Institute at the University of Southern California

 

100. “To lead people, walk beside them. As for the best leaders, the people do not notice their existence … When the best leader’s work is done, the people say, ‘We did it ourselves!'” –Lao Tsu, Chinese philosopher

 

101.  “A good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame, a little less than his share of the credit.”    – Arnold Glasow, humorist and author

 

102.  “The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind him in other men the conviction and the will to carry on.”– Walter Lippmann, writer, reporter and political commentator

 

103.  “The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been.” –former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger

 

104.  “The task of leadership is not to put greatness into humanity, but to elicit it, for the greatness is already there.” –John Buchan, novelist, historian and politician

 

105.  A leader is a dealer in hope. —Napoleon Bonaparte

 

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

 

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

 

108.  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

 

109.  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

 

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

 

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

 

112.  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

 

113.  “A leader is one who sees more than others see, who sees farther than others see and who sees before others see.” –Leroy Eimes, author and leadership expert

 

114.  “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, former first lady

 

115.  “Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson, American essayist, poet and philosopher

 

116.  “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

 

117.  “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” –William Arthur Ward, author

 

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

 

119.  “As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.” –Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft

 

120.  “In the simplest terms, a leader is one who knows where he wants to go, and gets up and goes.” –John Erskine, author

 

121.  “A leader is a dealer in hope.”– Napoleon Bonaparte

 

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

 

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

 

124.  “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”Helen Keller

 

124.  “The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them.” – Ralph Nichols          

                                                                   

126.  “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” –Steve Jobs

 

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

 

128.  “It’s not what you achieve, it’s what you overcome. That’s what defines your career.” –Carlton Fisk

 

129.  “Failure doesn’t mean you are a failure it just means you haven’t succeeded yet.” – Robert H. Schuller

 

130.  “Think big and don’t listen to people who tell you it can’t be done. Life’s too short to think small.”            – Tim Ferriss

 

131.  “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude” –Maya Angelou

 

132.  “If you don’t build your dream. Someone will hire you to help build theirs.” –Tony Gaskins 

 

133.“Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle.” –Christian D. Larson

 

134.  “If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place.” –Nora Roberts

 

135.  “No man can succeed in a line of endeavor which he does not like.” – Napoleon Hill

 

136.  “The only way to get people to like working hard is to motivate them. Today, people must understand why they’re working hard. Every individual in an organization is motivated by something different.”       –Rick Pitino

 

137.  “The only person you are destined become is the person you decide to be.” –  Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

138.  “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.” –Aristotle

 

139.  Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room. –Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon.com

 

140.  “A sense of humor is part of the art of leadership, of getting along with people, of getting things done.” –Dwight D. Eisenhower

 

141.  “It is not fair to ask others what you are unwilling to do yourself.”
Eleanor Roosevelt

 

142.  Delegating work works, provided the one delegating works, too. Robert Half

 

143.  The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been.” - Henry Kissinger

 

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

 

145.  A leader is one who influences a specific group of people to move in a God-given direction.” — J. Robert Clinton

 

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

 

147.  “Leadership is difficult but it is not complex.” –Michael McKenney

 

148.  “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

 

149.  “Leader in its most important sense means being the agent of your own life, influencing the things you care about most in the world to make it a richer life. “ — Stewart Friedman, Total Leadershi

150.  Leadership is not so much about technique and methods as it is about opening the heart. Leadership is about inspiration—of oneself and of others. Great leadership is about human experiences, not processes. Leadership is not a formula or a program, it is a human activity that comes from the heart and considers the hearts of others. It is an attitude, not a routine.” — Lance Secretan, Industry Week, October 12, 1998

 

Every leader needs conditioning and the right tools to become the best person that you can be so you can lead in whatever it is you’re called to.  With this free report below and these leadership quotes to help you grow your leadership skills.  You too can become a top producer in your direct sales business.

 

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