101 Best Quotes About Leadership – CV Nation

101 Best Quotes About Leadership

Posted by Neil Faragher on

Are you looking for leadership inspiration? We’ve listed 101 of the best leadership quotes to get you inspired and help you learn about leadership.

1. ‘You can’t ever lose control, not when you are dealing with 30 top professionals who are all millionaires. If they misbehave, we fine them but we keep it indoors. And if anyone steps out of my control, that’s them dead.’ – Sir Alex Ferguson

2. ‘Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.’ – Winston Churchill

3. ‘A leader is a dealer in hope.’—Napoleon Bonaparte

4. ‘Any leader has to have a certain amount of steel in them, so I am not that put out being called the Iron Lady.’ – Margret Thatcher

5. ‘Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.’ – John F. Kennedy

6. ‘A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a moulder of consensus.’ – Martin Luther King

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

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

9. ‘Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.’ – Steve Jobs

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

11. ‘A leader is best when people barely know he exists when his work is done, his aim fulfilled. They will all say: we did it ourselves.’ – Lao Tzu

12. ‘The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things; he is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.’ – Ronald Reagan

13. ‘We should not look back unless it is to derive useful lessons from past errors, and for the purpose of profiting by dearly bought experience.’ – George Washington

14. ‘Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.’ – Napoleon Bonaparte

15. ‘A real leader uses every issue, no matter how serious and sensitive, to ensure that at the end of the debate we emerge stronger and more united than ever before.’ – Nelson Mandela

16. ‘Leadership never ascends from the pew to the pulpit, but invariably descends from the pulpit to the pew.’ – Martin Luther King

17. ‘We are stubborn on vision. We are flexible on details.’ – Jeff Bezos

18. ‘The very essence of leadership is that you have to have vision. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet.’ – Theodore M Hesburgh

19. ‘The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves.’ – Ray Kroc

20. ‘My job as a leader is to make sure everybody in the company has great opportunities, and that they feel they're having a meaningful impact and are contributing to the good of society.’ – Larry Page

21. ‘Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.’ – Michael Jordan

22. ‘One voice can change a room. And if it can change a room, it can change a city. And if it can change a city, it can change a state.’ – Barack Obama

23. ‘Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked. Leadership is defined by results, not attributes.’ – Peter Drucker

24. ‘A leader is a person you will follow to a place you wouldn’t go by yourself.’ – Joel Barker

25. ‘People ask the difference between a leader and a boss. The leader leads, and the boss drives.’ – Theodore Roosevelt

26. ‘The art of leadership is saying no, not saying yes.’ – Tony Blair

27. ‘Leaders must be close enough to relate to others, but far enough ahead to motivate them.’ – John Maxwell

28. ‘Management is about arranging and telling. Leadership is about nurturing and enhancing.’ – Tom Peters

29. ‘Leadership is about taking responsibility, not making excuses.’ – Mitt Romney

30. ‘I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people.’ – Mahatma Gandhi

31. ‘The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership.’ – Harvey S. Firestone

32. ‘But lest some unlucky event should happen unfavourable to my reputation, I beg it may be remembered by every gentleman in the room that I this day declare with the utmost sincerity, I do not think myself equal to the command I am honoured with.’ – George Washington

33. ‘Courage isn't having the strength to go on, it is going on when you don't have strength.’ – Napoleon Bonaparte

34. ‘Real leaders must be ready to sacrifice all for the freedom of their people.’ – Nelson Mandela

35. ‘The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.’ – Martin Luther King

36. ‘It’s perfectly healthy–encouraged, even–to have an idea tomorrow that contradicted your idea today.’ – Jeff Bezos

37. ‘Failure is an option here. If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough.’ – Elon Musk

38. ‘It is not usual to speak of an employee as a partner and yet what else is he?’ – Henry Ford

39. ‘The nation will find it very hard to look up to the leaders who are keeping their ears to the ground.’ – Winston Churchill

40. ‘The role of leadership is to transform the complex situation into small pieces and prioritise them.’ – Carlos Ghosn

41. ‘Lead and inspire people. Don’t try to manage and manipulate people. Inventories can be managed but people must be led.’ – Ross Perot

42. ‘The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army or in an office.’ – Dwight D. Eisenhower

43. ‘I don't think leadership demands yes or no answers. I think leadership is providing the forum for making the right decision, which doesn't demand unanimity.’ – Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr.

44. ‘Everyone who's ever taken a shower has an idea. It's the person who gets out of the shower, dries off and does something about it who makes a difference.’ – Nolan Bushnell

45. ‘Without initiative, leaders are simply workers in leadership positions.’ – Bo Bennett

46. ‘When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier.’ – Roy E. Disney

47. ‘Be the chief, but never the lord.’ – Lao Tzu

48. ‘A good leader can engage in a debate frankly and thoroughly, knowing that at the end he and the other side must be closer, and thus emerge stronger.’ – Nelson Mandela

49. ‘Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others?’ – Martin Luther King

50. ‘I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live up to what light I have.’ – Martin Luther King

51. ‘Too many rules stifle innovation.’ – Sergey Brin

52. ‘If you’re co-founder or CEO, you have to do all kinds of tasks you might not want to do… If you don’t do your chores, the company won’t succeed.’ – Elon Musk

53. ‘Vision without execution is just hallucination.’ – Henry Ford

54. ‘Real leadership means tackling tough problems ourselves and not leaving them to our children.’ – Jon Kyl

55. ‘The speed of the leader is the speed of the gang.’ – Mary Kay Ash

56. ‘You have to lead people gently toward what they already know is right.’ – Phil Crosby

57. ‘I know of no single formula for success. But over the years I have observed that some attributes of leadership are universal and are often about finding ways of encouraging people to combine their efforts, their talents, their insights, their enthusiasm and their inspiration to work together.’ – Queen Elizabeth II

58. ‘In this age, I don't care how tactically or operationally brilliant you are. If you cannot create harmony, even vicious harmony, on the battlefield based on trust across service lines, across coalition and national lines and across civilian/military lines, you need to go home, because your leadership is obsolete.’ – Jim Mattis

59. ‘Leadership should be born out of the understanding of the needs of those who would be affected by it.’ – Marian Anderson

60. ‘The topic of leadership is a touchy one. A lot of leaders fail because they don't have the bravery to touch that nerve or strike that chord.’ – Kobe Bryant

61. ‘In matters of style, swim with the current. In matters of principle, stand like a rock.’ – Thomas Jefferson

62. ‘I think the currency of leadership is transparency. You've got to be truthful. I don't think you should be vulnerable every day, but there are moments where you've got to share your soul and conscience with people and show them who you are and not be afraid of it.’ – Howard Schultz

63. ‘If there is such a thing as good leadership, it is to give a good example.’ – Ingvar Kamprad

64. ‘Leadership is standing with your people. People say you have to live to fight another day, but sometimes you have to show you are a true leader.’ – Leymah Gbowee

65. ‘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

66. ‘He who has never learned to obey cannot be a good commander.’ – Aristotle

67. ‘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

68. ‘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

69. ‘Leadership cannot be taught. Either you're a leader by the time you're 12 years old, or you never will be.’ – Jon Taffer

70. ‘Just as discipline and freedom are opposing forces that must be balanced, leadership requires finding the equilibrium in the dichotomy of many seemingly contradictory qualities between one extreme and another.’ – Jocko Willink

71. ‘Leadership is a mindset in action, so don't wait for the title. Leadership isn't something that anyone can give you. You have to earn it and claim it for yourself.’ – Travis Bradberry

72. ‘Leaders think and talk about the solutions. Followers think and talk about the problems.’ – Brian Tracy

73. ‘There are no office hours for leaders.’ – James Gibbons

74. ‘One of the tests of leadership is the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency.’ – Arnold Glasow

75. ‘I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure, which is try to please everybody.’ – Herbert Bayard Swope

76. ‘Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm.’ – Publilius Syrus

77. ‘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

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

79. ‘A great person attracts great people and knows how to hold them together.’ – Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

80. ‘I think leadership's always been about two main things: imagination and courage.’ – Paul Keating

81. ‘One secret of leadership is that the mind of a leader never turns off. Leaders, even when they are sightseers or spectators, are active, not passive observers.’ – James Humes

82. ‘Don't be afraid to change the model.’ – Reed Hastings

83. ‘You want to be the pebble in the pond that creates the ripple for change.’ – Tim Cook

84. ‘The world needs new leadership, but the new leadership is about working together.’ – Jack Ma

85. ‘Managers will tell people what to do, whereas leaders will inspire them to do it, and there are a few things that go into the ability to inspire.’ – Jeff Weiner

86. ‘As a leader, it is important to not just see your success but focus on the success of others.’ – Sundar Pichai

87. ‘A good leader doesn’t get stuck behind a desk.’ – Richard Branson

88. ‘What I've really learned over time is that optimism is a very, very important part of leadership.’ – Bob Iger

89. ‘Leadership appears to be the art of getting others to want to do something you are convinced should be done.’ – Vance Packard

90. ‘Absolute identity with one's cause is the first and great condition of successful leadership.’ – Woodrow Wilson

91. ‘Only the guy who isn't rowing has time to rock the boat.’ – Jean-Paul Sartre

92. ‘Education is the mother of leadership.’ – Wendell Willkie

93. ‘If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.’ – John Quincy Adams

94. ‘Leadership is unlocking people's potential to become better.’ – Bill Bradley

95. ‘To do great things is difficult; but to command great things is more difficult.’ – Friedrich Nietzsche

96. ‘We live in a society obsessed with public opinion. But leadership has never been about popularity.’ – Marco Rubio

97. ‘Leadership is hard to define and good leadership even harder. But if you can get people to follow you to the ends of the earth, you are a great leader.’ – Indra Nooyi

98. ‘Train people well enough so they can leave. Treat them well enough so they don’t want to.’ – Richard Branson

99. ‘The ear of the leader must ring with the voices of the people.’ – Woodrow Wilson

100. ‘Leadership is not a popularity contest. It's about leaving your ego at the door. The name of the game is to lead without a title.’ – Robin Sharma

101. ‘As a leader, I am tough on myself and I raise the standard for everybody. However, I am very caring because I want people to excel at what they are doing, so that they can aspire to be me in the future.’ – Indra Nooyi

Share this post

← Older Post Newer Post →