Leadership Quotations

Leadership Quotes — General

Looking for inspiration? Here are some of the best leadership quotations from around the world.

"It’s only after you’ve stepped outside your comfort zone that you begin to change, grow, and transform".

Roy T. Bennett

"The key to successful leadership is influence, not authority."

Ken Blanchard

"Efficiency is doing the thing right. Effectiveness is doing the right thing."

Peter F. Drucker

"Be with a leader when he is right, stay with him when he is still right, but, leave him when he is wrong."

Abraham Lincoln

"Truly powerful people have great humility. They do not try to impress, they do not try to be influential. They simply are. People are magnetically drawn to them. They are most often very silent and focused, aware of their core selves. ... They never persuade, nor do they use manipulation or aggressiveness to get their way. They listen. If there is anything they can offer to assist you, they offer it; if not, they are silent".

Sanaya Roman

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

Harold R. McAlindon (also attributed to Emerson and others)

Leadership: The art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

There go the people. I must follow them for I am their leader.

Alexandre Ledru-Rollin

What chance gathers she easily scatters. A great person attracts great people and knows how to hold them together.

Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

While a good leader sustains momentum, a great leader increases it.

John C. Maxwell

A general is just as good or just as bad as the troops under his command make him.

General Douglas MacArthur

Learn to see things backwards, inside out, and upside down.

John Heider, Tao of Leadership

Men are governed only by serving them; the rule is without exception.

V. Cousin

The real leader has no need to lead — he is content to point the way.

Henry Miller

Be known for pleasing others, espcecially if you govern them...Ruling others has one advantage: you can do more good than anyone else.

Baltasar Gracián

“A leader is a dealer in hope.”

Napoleon Bonaparte

“A person, who no matter how desperate the situation, gives others hope, is a true leader.”

Daisaku Ikeda

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.”

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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

John Quincy Adams

“Good leaders make people feel that they’re at the very heart of things, not at the periphery. Everyone feels that he or she makes a difference to the success of the organization. When that happens, people feel centered and that gives their work meaning.”

Warren Bennis

“Lead and inspire people. Don’t try to manage and manipulate people. Inventories can be managed but people must be lead.”

Ross Perot

“Nobody rises to low expectations.”

Calvin Lloyd

“One cannot consent to creep when one feels the impulse to soar.”

Helen Keller

“Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle, or to be the mirror that reflects it.”

Edith Wharton

Resist your time - take a foothold outside of it.

Lord Acton

Go to the people. Learn from them. Live with them. Start with what they know. Build with what they have. The best of leaders when the job is done, when the task is accomplished, the people will say we have done it ourselves.

Lao Tzu

Rely on your own strength of body and soul. Take for your star self-reliance, faith, honesty and industry. Don't take too much advice — keep at the helm and steer your own ship, and remember that the great art of commanding is to take a fair share of the work. Fire above the mark you intend to hit. Energy, invincible determination with the right motive, are the levers that move the world.

Noah Porter

There is always room for a man of force and he makes room for many. Society is a troop of thinkers and the best heads among them take the best places.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

John Quincy Adams

Be willing to make decisions. That's the most important quality in a good leader.

George S. Patton

In governing, don't try to control.

Tao Te Ching

“We should seize every opportunity to give encouragement. Encouragement is oxygen to the soul. The days are always dark enough. There is no need for us to emphasize the fact by spreading further gloom.”

George M. Adams