125 Leadership Quotes

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Here are 125 of the best leadership quotes I could find. The goal? To inspire you and make you feel unstoppable in your mission. Enjoy!

leadership quotes genuine leader not searcher consensus molder martin luther king jr wisdom

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

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

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Mountaintops inspire leaders but valleys mature them. Winston Churchill Click to tweet

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Lead from the back and let others believe they are in front. Nelson Mandela Click to tweet

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I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the water to create many ripples. Mother Teresa Click to tweet


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The ability to learn is the most important quality a leader can have. Sheryl Sandberg Click to tweet

leadership quotes people dont buy what you do they why you simon sinek wisdom

People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. Simon Sinek Click to tweet

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A boss has the title, a leader has the people. Simon Sinek Click to tweet

leadership quotes efficiency doing thing right effectiveness peter f drucker wisdom

Efficiency is doing the thing right. Effectiveness is doing the right thing. Peter F. Drucker Click to tweet

leadership quotes cannot lead anyone farther than have been ourselves john c maxwell wisdom

We cannot lead anyone farther than we have been ourselves. John C. Maxwell Click to tweet


leadership quotes one voice can change room barack obama wisdom pawn

One voice can change a room. Barack Obama Click to tweet

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You manage things; you lead people. Grace Hopper Click to tweet

leadership quotes dont tell people how things tell them what let surprise you results george patton wisdom laptop

Don’t tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results. George Patton Click to tweet

leadership quotes point not become leader yourself warren bennis wisdom

No leader sets out to be a leader. People set out to live their lives, expressing themselves fully. When that expression is of value, they become leaders. So the point is not to become a leader. The point is to become yourself, to use yourself completely – all your skills, gifts and energies – in order to make your vision manifest. You must withhold nothing. You must, in sum, become the person you started out to be, and to enjoy the process of becoming. Warren Bennis Click to tweet

leadership quotes leaders must close enough related others far ahead motivate them john c maxwell wisdom nature lake mountains

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

Related quotes and topics: change, entrepreneur, success

The Best Leadership Quotes

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leadership quotes anyone anywhere can make positive difference mark sanborn wisdom man

Anyone, anywhere, can make a positive difference. Mark Sanborn Click to tweet

Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower. Steve Jobs

Do what is right, not what is easy. Unknown

Set and maintain high standards. If you have to be hard on people, do it with love and a genuine wish for them to improve. Praise people when they hit the standard. Sam Altman

A good leader must hate the wrong thing more than they hate the pain of doing the right thing. Angela Jiang

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

Leading people is the most challenging and, therefore, the most gratifying undertaking of all human endeavors. Jocko Willink

leadership quotes capacity translate vision into reality warren bennis wisdom silhouette group people

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

In the future, there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders. Sheryl Sandberg

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

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

The secret of leadership is simple: Do what you believe in. Paint a picture of the future. Go there. People will follow. Seth Godin

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

You have to be burning with an idea, or a problem, or a wrong that you want to right. If you’re not passionate enough from the start, you’ll never stick it out. Steve Jobs

Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision. Peter F. Drucker

leadership quotes people who enjoy meetings should charge anything thomas sowell wisdom group

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

The mark of a great man is one who knows when to set aside the important things in order to accomplish the vital ones. Brandon Sanderson

Be strong enough to stand alone, smart enough to know when you need help, and brave enough to ask for it. Unknown (Submitted by the Wisdom Quotes Community)

Don’t waste your energy trying to educate or change opinions; go over, under, through, and opinions will change organically when you’re the boss. Or they won’t. Who cares? Do your thing, and don’t care if they like it. Tina Fey

You don’t need a title to be a leader. Mark Sanborn Click to tweet

If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then, you are an excellent leader. Dolly Parton

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

I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions. Stephen R. Covey

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

Part 2. Leadership Quotes That Are…

The Most Famous Leadership Quotes

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Searching for a famous leadership quote? Check out those by Gandhi, Obama, Steve Jobs, Einstein, etc.
leadership quotes leader dealer hope napoleon boneparte wisdom

A leader is a dealer in hope. Napoleon Bonaparte Click to tweet

If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulder of giants. Isaac Newton

Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. Albert Einstein

The only safe ship in a storm is leadership. Faye Wattleton

We need to think of the future and the planet we are going to leave to our children and their children. Kofi Annan

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

Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. Barack Obama

Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago. Warren Buffett

Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step. Lao Tzu

leadership quotes alone can little together much helen keller wisdom group woman man computer

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

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

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

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10000 ways that won’t work. Thomas A. Edison

The only way to do great work is to love what you do. Steve Jobs

Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it. Buddha

A leader is like a shepherd. He stays behind the flock, letting the most nimble go out ahead, whereupon the others follow, not realizing that all along they are being directed from behind. Nelson Mandela

Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself. Leo Tolstoy

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

Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve. Napoleon Hill

We can, we will, and we must come together. Joe Biden

Be willing to be uncomfortable. Be comfortable being uncomfortable. It may get tough, but it’s a small price to pay for living a dream. Peter McWilliams

Believe you can and you’re halfway there. Theodore Roosevelt

Related article: Famous Quotes of All Time (From History)

Short Leadership Quotes

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One-liners, short leadership quotes, sayings and thoughts for your bio, social status, self-talk, motto, mantra, signs, posters, wallpapers, backgrounds.
leadership quotes price greatness responsiblity winston churchill wisdom man street

The price of greatness is responsibility. Winston Churchill

To lead people, walk behind them. Lao Tzu Click to tweet

We rise by lifting others. Robert Ingersoll

All leaders are readers. Jim Rohn

Hire character. Train skill. Peter Schutz

The greatest deficiency of any CEO is also the most critical of skills: clarity. Kapil Gupta

Act or do not act, but do not hedge. Peter F. Drucker

What gets measured gets improved. Peter F. Drucker

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Leadership is an action, not a position. Donald McGannon

Faith moves mountains, love transforms hearts. John Paul Warren

Ego clouds and disrupts everything. Jocko Willink

Faster. Stronger. Smarter. More humble. Less ego. Jocko Willink

The very essence of leadership is that you have to have a vision. Theodore Hesburgh

The cautious seldom err. Confucius Click to tweet

Leadership distilled down to 3 words: Make a difference. Robin Sharma

Victims make excuses. Leaders deliver results. Robin Sharma

Leadership involves finding a parade and getting in front of it. John Naisbitt

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Today a reader, tomorrow a leader. Margaret Fuller

Earn your leadership every day. Michael Jordan

My life didn’t please me, so I created my life. Coco Chanel

A winner is a dreamer who never gives up. Nelson Mandela

A king is one who fears nothing. Seneca

Leaders live by choice, not by accident. Mark Gorman

The test of leadership is, is anything or anyone better because of you? Mark Sanborn

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

Inspirational Leadership Quotes

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leadership quotes our destiny not written barack obama wisdom team people programming

Our destiny is not written for us, but by us. Barack Obama Click to tweet

Inventories can be managed, but people must be led. H. Ross Perot

As you enter positions of trust and power, dream a little before you think. Toni Morrison

If your objective is to be as good as you can be, then you’re going to want criticism. Ray Dalio

Make people feel like the hero of their journey and they will do more. Maxime Lagacé

The test of organization is not genius. It is its capacity to make common people achieve uncommon performance. Peter F. Drucker

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

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

Stop researching every aspect of it and reading all about it and debating the pros and cons of it. Start doing it. Jocko Willink

To be more requires a man who is conceited enough to believe that the world really needs him and depends on his getting into power. Peter F. Drucker

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

It’s not about money or connections – it’s the willingness to outwork and outlearn everyone. Mark Cuban

You can be a leader in your workplace, your neighborhood, or your family, all without having a title. Travis Bradberry

If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

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

leadership quotes requires belief mission unyielding perseverance achieve victory jocko willink wisdom sport group men

Leadership requires belief in the mission and unyielding perseverance to achieve victory. Jocko Willink

Leaders are people who believe so passionately that they can seduce other people into sharing their dream. Warren Bennis

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

A year from now you will wish you had started today. Karen Lamb

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

It’s your unlimited power to create and to love that can make the biggest difference in the quality of your life. Tony Robbins

Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence. Vince Lombardi

Leaders don’t force people to follow – they invite them on a journey. Charles S. Lauer

Want more inspiring quotes? Please check out Quotes About Strength That Will Make You Tougher

Wise Leadership Sayings

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leadership quotes manager accepts status quo leader challenges warren bennis wisdom

The manager accepts the status quo; the leader challenges it. Warren Bennis Click to tweet

Failing organizations are usually over-managed and under-led. Warren Bennis

Good leaders build products. Great leaders build cultures. Good leaders deliver results. Great leaders develop people. Good leaders have vision. Great leaders have values. Good leaders are role models at work. Great leaders are role models in life. Adam Grant

There is nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency something that should not be done at all. Peter F. Drucker

It is not so much that man is a herd animal, said Freud, but that he is a horde animal led by a chief. Ernest Becker

Pity the leader caught between unloving critics and uncritical lovers. John Gardner

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

Leadership is not just about giving energy… it’s unleashing other people’s energy. Paul Polman

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

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Leaders walk a fine line between self-confidence and humility. Stanley McChrystal

Leadership is liberating people to do what is required of them in the most effective and humane way possible. Max De Pree

If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old. Peter F. Drucker Click to tweet

If the highest aim of a captain were to preserve his ship, he would keep it in port forever. Thomas Aquinas

To be happy we need something to solve. Happiness is therefore a form of action. Mark Manson

Doing the right thing is more important than doing the thing right. Peter F. Drucker

There are two ways of being creative. One can sing and dance. Or one can create an environment in which singers and dancers flourish. Warren Bennis

When people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute. Simon Sinek

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 C. Maxwell

If a man knows not to which port he sails, no wind is favorable. Seneca

More words of wisdom

Part 3. Conclusion

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People buy into the leader before they buy into the vision. John C. Maxwell Click to tweet

Call to action: Read 5 Steps to Great Leadership (verywellmind.com)

Hope you enjoyed these inspiring leadership quotes. If you did, please share them with a friend today!

Author Bio

maxime lagace

Maxime Lagacé started collecting quotes in 2004 after he lost his girlfriend in a car accident.

In search of meaning, he dived in the self-improvement world, psychology and trail running. His goal was to understand his pain, his depression, his fears, his lack of motivation and inspiration.

Books, blogs, quotes and nature became his guide.

He finished his software engineering degree in 2007 at the École de Technologie Supérieure de Montréal. He also studied at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. A few years later, he started his first website to share his passion for quotes.

Maxime is a father of two, INFJ and also loves running. His best 5k is 17 minutes 41 seconds and his best marathon (42k) is in 3 hours 33 minutes 11 seconds (with 1800 meters of elevation gain).

Other notable interests of Maxime are health (mental and physical), meditation, nutrition, bananas, SEO, human potential, education, learning, productivity and minimalism.

Finally, he is (very) far from being perfect.

You can find him on Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Quora, Strava, Sportstats, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube.

Creation Date

January 11, 2018

Last Update

July 15, 2021

Disclaimer: This article may include affiliate links to books and products I love. If you choose to click through and make a purchase, I will earn a little commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you.

13 comments

  1. This quote is straigth forward, simple yet deep. Everyone is born with something unique inside of him or her that differs from the rest of the world. But sadly too few are bold to STAND OUT. The vast majority ‘COPY AND PASTE’ others. That’s why the world has more permanent followers who never turn to be leaders.

    1. Yes, that’s so true.
      I think it’s easier (but less rewarding in the end) to copy and paste others’ behaviors.
      The reason is that most of us want to fit in.
      BUT, ALL of us have special gifts to we must share with the world.

      Thanks for your comment,
      Maxime

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