100 Leadership Quotes To Inspire You (And Your Team)

By Maxime Lagacé maxime lagace

Maxime is the founder and chief editor of WisdomQuotes. He has been writing and collecting quotes since 2004. He's also into personal development and productivity. Most of all, he's dedicated to help you live a simpler and more peaceful life. Learn more about him on his about page.

Here are 100 of the best leadership quotes I could find. The goal? To inspire you and make you feel unstoppable in your mission. You’ll discover quotes by Einstein, Emerson, Steve Jobs, and more. Enjoy!

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

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

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Mountaintops inspire leaders but valleys mature them. Winston Churchill

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

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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

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

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

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

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Efficiency is doing the thing right. Effectiveness is doing the right thing. Peter F. Drucker

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

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One voice can change a room. Barack Obama

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You manage things; you lead people. Grace Hopper

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

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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

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

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

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

Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower. Steve Jobs

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

Great leaders take much responsibility and little credit. Tyler Winklevoss (twitter.com)

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

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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

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

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

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

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

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

If you aren’t willing to be mocked, you’ll never be able to lead. Naval Ravikant (twitter.com)

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

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

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

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.
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A leader is a dealer in hope. Napoleon Bonaparte

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

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

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

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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Related article: The Most Famous Quotes of All Time

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.
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The price of greatness is responsibility. Winston Churchill

To lead people, walk behind them. Lao Tzu

We rise by lifting others. Robert Ingersoll

All leaders are readers. Jim Rohn

Leaders take the risk to trust first. Simon Sinek (twitter.com)

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

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

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 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

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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

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

We call someone leader not because they are in charge but because they have the courage to go first. To risk first. To trust first. First into the unknown. Simon Sinek (twitter.com)

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

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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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Part 3. Conclusion

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

Let’s recap:

  • Want to be a true leader? You’ll need to create yourself everyday.
  • Having leadership is having convictions.
  • It’s not what happens, it’s how you deal with it.
  • Having people behind you is more important than having a title behind you.
  • The best way to lead? By being and showing the example.

 

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

or 79 Strength Quotes That Will Make You Tougher

 

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

What was your favorite quote? Please let us know in the comment section below!

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.

Books, blogs, quotes and nature became his guide.

He started journaling, reflecting, writing his thoughts, feelings and quotes.

His goal was to understand his pain, his depression, his fears, his lack of motivation and inspiration.

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.

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, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube.

Last update

March 6, 2022

Originally published

January 11, 2018

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15 comments

  1. Leadership is a responsibility, not a privilege.- C. Hodge (unless I’m plagiarizing and don’t know it, in which case I’d hope you’ll tell me).

  2. 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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