• Jonno White

239 Inspirational Quotes On True Leadership (2022)

Updated: Nov 17

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


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


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


4. I think one of the keys to leadership is recognizing that everybody has gifts and talents. A good leader will learn how to harness those gifts toward the same goal. — Ben Carson, U.S. . Secretary of Housing and Urban Development


5. “Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” — Warren G. Bennis


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


7. Leadership is a matter of having people look at you and gain confidence, seeing how you react. If you’re in control, they’re in control. — Tom Landry


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


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


10. “Leadership is unlocking people’s potential to become better.” — Bill Bradley


11. Successful leaders see the opportunities in every difficulty rather than the difficulty in every opportunity. — Reed Markham


12. “If you delegate tasks, you create followers. If you delegate authority, you create leaders.” — Craig Groeschel


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


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


15. 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


16. True leadership stems from individuality that is honestly and sometimes imperfectly expressed. Leaders should strive for authenticity over perfection. — Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook


17. “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” — John C. Maxwell


18. 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. 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


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


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


21. 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


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


23. “People ask the difference between a leader and a boss. The leader leads, and the boss drives.” — Theodore Roosevelt


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


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


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


27. 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


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


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


30. “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


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


32. 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


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


34. 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


35. 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


36. . 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


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


38. Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence. — Sheryl Sandberg


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


40. 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


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 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


43. A leader should have higher grit and tenacity, and be able to endure what the employees can’t. — Jack Ma


44. 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


45. 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


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


47. The hardest thing about being a leader is demonstrating or showing vulnerability. When the leader demonstrates vulnerability and sensibility and brings people together, the team wins. — Howard Schultz


48. I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. — Alexander the Great, former king of Macedonia


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


50. “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” — Plato


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


52. 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


53. The supreme quality of leadership is integrity. — Dwight Eisenhower


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


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


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


57. Being a leader is making the people you love hate you a little more each day. — Patrick Ness


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


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


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


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


62. 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


63. “Leadership should be focused on extending the ladder of opportunity for everyone.” – Justin Trudeau


64. 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


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


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


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


68. “Recognise when you are wrong and make amends. Never be too proud to apologise or patch things up.” — Kator Tarkaa


69. He who has never learned to obey cannot be a good commander. — Aristotle


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


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


72. 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


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


74. “Leadership is an action, not a position.” — Donald McGannon


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


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


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


78. “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


79. 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


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


81. “We do not need magic to transform our world. We carry all of the power we need inside ourselves already.” — J.K. Rowling


82. “The hardest thing about being a leader is demonstrating or showing vulnerability. When the leader demonstrates vulnerability and sensibility and brings people together, the team wins.” — Howard Schultz


83. “A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.” — Henry Adams


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


85. 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


86. High sentiments always win in the end. The leaders who offer blood, toil, tears and sweat always get more out of their followers than those who offer safety and a good time. When it comes to the pinch, human beings are heroic. . — George Orwell, author and journalist


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


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


89. “Whenever you do a thing, act as if all the world were watching.” — Thomas Jefferson


90. “Find the smartest people you can and surround yourself with them.” — Marissa Meyer


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


92. “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 S. Sharma


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


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


95. “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.” — Douglas MacArthur


96. “See the good in people and help them.” — Mahatma Gandhi


97. 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


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


99. “A real leader uses every issue, no matter how serious and sensitive, to ensure that at the end of the debate, we should emerge stronger and more united than ever before.” — Nelson Mandela


100. 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


101. Leadership should be more participative than directive, more enabling than performing. — Mary D. Poole


102. A man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd. — Max Lucado, Christian author and preacher


103. “If you want to be a leader who attracts quality people, the key is to become a person of quality yourself.” — Jim Rohn


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


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


106. “No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit for doing it.” — Andrew Carnegie


107. “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” — John F. Kennedy


108. “Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.” — Sheryl Sanberg


109. “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


110. Leadership is the art of giving people a platform for spreading ideas that work. — Seth Godin


111. 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


112. Earn your leadership every day. –Michael Jordan


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


114. More leaders have been made by accident, circumstance, sheer grit, or will than have been made by all the leadership courses put together. — Warren Bennis


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


116. 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


117. 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


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


119. 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


120. 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


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


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


123. 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


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


125. “Real leadership is leaders recognizing that they serve the people that they lead.” — Pete Hoekstra


126. 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


127. “Leaders walk a fine line between self-confidence and humility.” – Stanley McChrystal


128. “Leadership is an opportunity to serve. It is not a trumpet call to self-importance.” — J. Donald Walters


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


130. “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


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


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


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


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


135. “The right ingredients can create a legend.” — Coco Chanel


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


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


138. Never give an order that can't be obeyed. —General Douglas MacArthur


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


140. Ninety percent of leadership is the ability to communicate something people want. — Dianne Feinstein, U.S. Senator


141. “A good leader inspires people to have confidence in the leader. A great leader inspires people to have confidence in themselves.” — Eleanor Roosevelt


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


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


144. Outstanding leaders go out of the way to boost the self -esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish. — Sam Walton, founder of Walmart and Sam’s Club


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


146. A leader is one who sees more than others see, who sees farther than others see, and who sees before others see. — Leroy Eimes


147. 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


148. Leadership is unlocking people's potential to become better. —Bill Bradley


149. “People who are truly strong lift others up. People who are truly powerful bring others together.” — Michelle Obama


150. He who has never learned to obey cannot be a good commander. —Aristotle


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


152. “Connect deeply with others. Our humanity is the one thing that we all have in common.” — Melinda Gates


153. A tyrant is always stirring up some war or other, in order that the people may require a leader. — Plato


154. “Integrity, insight, and inclusiveness are the three essential qualities of leadership.” — Sadhguru


155. 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


156. You don’t need a title to be a leader. — Multiple Attributions


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


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


159. I am endlessly fascinated that playing football is considered a training ground for leadership, but raising children isn't. —Dee Dee Myers


160. “As we look ahead to the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.” — Bill Gates


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


162. 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


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


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


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


166. 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


167. 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


168. “A boss has the title, the leader has the people.” — Simon Sinek


169. When I give a minister an order, I leave it to him to find the means to carry it out. —Napoleon Bonaparte


170. Victims make excuses. Leaders deliver results. – Robin Sharma


171. “Making your mark on the world is hard. If it were easy, everybody would do it. But it’s not. It takes patience, it takes commitment and it comes with plenty of failures along the way.” — Barack Obama


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


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


174. “The role of leadership is to transform the complex situation into small pieces and prioritize them.” — Carlos Ghosn


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


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


177. 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


178. A leader who doesn’t hesitate before he sends his nation into battle is not fit to be a leader. — Golda Meir


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


180. 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


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


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


183. Leadership is an action, not a position. — Donald McGannon


184. “The price of greatness is responsibility.” — Winston Churchill


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


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


187. Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy. —Norman Schwarzkopf


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


189. A person always doing his or her best becomes a natural leader, just by example. — Joe DiMaggio


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


191. 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


192. 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


193. 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


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


195. Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy. — Norman Schwarzkopf


196. Leaders live by choice, not by accident. — Mark Gorman


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


198. “If you think you are leading and turn around to see no one following you, then you are just taking a walk.” — John C. Maxwell


199. 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


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


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


202. 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


203. 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


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


205. “Great leaders do not desire to lead but to serve.” — Myles Munroe


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


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


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


209. 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


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


211. “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


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


213. Leadership is influence. —John C. Maxwell


214. You don’t have to hold a position in order to be a leader. — Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company


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


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


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


218. To be a leader, you have to make people want to follow you, and nobody wants to follow someone who doesn’t know where he is going. — Joe Namath, former New York Jets quarterback


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


220. To command is to serve, nothing more and nothing less. —Andre Malraux


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


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


223. 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


224. To command is to serve, nothing more and nothing less. — Andre Malraux


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


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