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300 Best Napoleon Bonaparte Quotes on Leadership (2023)

1. “A picture is worth a thousand words. ”


2. “If you wish to be a success in the world, promise everything, deliver nothing. ”


3. “In politics, stupidity is not a handicap. ”


4. “You become strong by defying defeat and by turning loss into gain and failure to success. ” – Napoleon Bonaparte


5. “There are two levers for moving men — interest and fear. ” – Napoleon Bonaparte


6. “The strong man is the one who is able to intercept at will the communication between the senses and the mind. ”


7. Skepticism is a virtue in history as well as in philosophy


8. “A form of government that is not the result of a long sequence of shared experiences, efforts, and endeavors can never take root. ”


9. “The people to fear are not those who disagree with you, but those who disagree with you and are too cowardly to let you know. ”


10. “A woman laughing is a woman conquered. ”


11. “The surest way to remain poor is to be an honest man. ”


12. Impossible is a word to be found only in the dictionary of fools


13. “Music is what tell us that the human race is greater than we realize. ”


14. “France has more need of me than I have need of France. ” This is also one of the famous quotes about France


15. You become strong by defying defeat and by turning loss and failure into success. ”


16. “A picture is worth a thousand words.”


17. “Friends must always be treated as if one day they might be enemies. ” – Napoleon Bonaparte


18. “Soldiers generally win battles; generals get credit for them. ” – Napoleon Bonaparte


19. “Ten people who speak make more noise than ten thousand who are silent. ”


20. “It requires more courage to suffer than to die. ”


21. “In politics… never retreat, never retract… never admit a mistake. ”


22. “Death is nothing, but to live defeated and inglorious is to die daily. ”


23. “The world suffers a lot. Not because the violence of bad people. But because of the silence of the good people. ”


24. “Impossible is a word to be found only in the dictionary of fools. ” – Napoleon Bonaparte


25. “I am sometimes a fox and sometimes a lion. The whole secret of government lies in knowing when to be the one or the other. ”


26. “Success is the most convincing talker in the world. ” – Napoleon Bonaparte


27. “The best way to keep one’s word is not to give it. ”


28. “It requires more courage to suffer than to die. ” – Napoleon Bonaparte


29. “This soldier, I realized, must have had friends at home and in his regiment; yet he lay there deserted by all except his dog. I looked on, unmoved, at battles which decided the future of nations. Tearless, I had given orders which brought death to thousands. Yet here I was stirred, profoundly stirred, stirred to tears. And by what? By the grief of one dog.'


30. “In order to govern, the question is not to follow out a more or less valid theory but to build with whatever materials are at hand. The inevitable must be accepted and turned to advantage. ”


31. The great proof of madness is the disproportion of one’s designs to one’s means


32. “True character stands the test of emergencies. Do not be mistaken, it is weakness from which the awakening is rude. ”


33. “Men are Moved by two levers only: fear and self interest.”


34. In politics… never retreat, never retract… never admit a mistake


35. “Nothing is more difficult, and therefore more precious, than to be able to decide. ” – Napoleon Bonaparte


36. “History is written by the winners. ”


37. “You must not fight too often with one enemy, or you will teach him all your art of war. ”


38. “The army is the true nobility of our country. ”


39. “Throw off your worries when you throw off your clothes at night. ”


40. “Gentlemen,” concluded Napoleon, “I will give you the same toast as before, but in a different form. Fill your glasses to the brim. Gentlemen, here is my toast: To the prosperity of The Manor Farm!”


41. Once you have made up your mind, stick to it; there no longer any ‘if’ or ‘but. ’


42. The people to fear are not those who disagree with you but those who disagree with you and are too cowardly to let you know


43. “Men are moved by two levers only: fear and self interest. ” – Napoleon Bonaparte


44. “One must change one’s tactics every ten years if one wishes to maintain one’s superiority. ”


45. “The truest wisdom is a resolute determination. ”


46. There are only two forces that unite men – fear and interest


47. “A woman laughing is a woman conquered.”


48. “The greater the man, the less is he opinionative, he depends upon events and circumstances. ”


49. “The amateurs discuss tactics: the professionals discuss logistics. ”


50. All religions have been made by men


51. “In politics, stupidity is not a handicap.”


52. “Courage isn’t having the strength to go on - it is going on when you don’t have strength. ”


53. “Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go. ” – Napoleon Bonaparte


54. “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake. ”


55. “A leader is a dealer in hope. ” – Napoleon Bonaparte


56. “I am surrounded by priests who repeat incessantly that their kingdom is not of this world, and yet they lay hands on everything they can get. ”


57. “Conquests will come and go but Delambre's work will endure.”


58. In politics stupidity is not a handicap


59. “Imagination governs the world.”


60. “Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet. Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.”


61. “Public opinion is the thermometer a monarch should constantly consult. ”


62. “There is one kind of robber whom the law does not strike at, and who steals what is most precious to men: time. ”


63. Ambition never is in a greater hurry than I; it merely keeps pace with circumstances and with my general way of thinking


64. “The word impossible is not in my dictionary. ”


65. “The French complain of everything, and always. ” – Napoleon Bonaparte


66. Friends must always be treated as if one day they might be enemies


67. “Imagination rules the world. ” – Napoleon Bonaparte


68. “The battlefield is a scene of constant chaos. The winner will be the one who controls that chaos, both his own and the enemies. ”


69. A man will fight harder for his interests than for his rights


70. “As a rule it is circumstances that make men. ”


71. “There is no place in a fanatic’s head where reason can enter. ”


72. “We are waging war as generous enemies, and we wish only to crush the tyrants who enslave you. ”


73. “It is the cause, not the death, that makes the martyr.”


74. Respect the burden


75. “If they want peace, nations should avoid the pin-pricks that precede cannon-shots. ” – Napoleon Bonaparte


76. An army marches on its stomach


77. A revolution is an idea which has found its bayonets


78. “A picture is worth a thousand words. ”


79. “The only conquests that are permanent and leave no regrets are our conquests over ourselves. ”


80. “The stupid speak of the past, the wise of the present, and fools of the future. ” – Napoleon Bonaparte


81. “If you want a thing done well, do it yourself. ”


82. “The reason most people fail instead of succeed is they trade what they want most for what they want at the moment.”


83. “The reason most people fail instead of succeed is they trade what they want most for what they want at the moment. ”


84. “The great difficulty with politics is, that there are no established principles. ”


85. “Soldiers generally win battles; generals get credit for them. ”


86. “If I had to choose a religion, the sun as the universal giver of life would be my god. ”


87. History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon


88. “Courage isn’t having the strength to go on – it is going on when you don’t have strength. ”


89. “To extraordinary circumstances we must apply extraordinary remedies. ” – Napoleon Bonaparte


90. Men are moved by two levers only: fear and self interest


91. When soldiers have been baptized in the fire of a battlefield, they have all one rank in my eyes


92. “Nothing is more difficult, and therefore more precious, than to be able to decide.”


93. “I can no longer obey; I have tasted command, and I cannot give it up. ”


94. “History is a set of lies agreed upon. ” – Napoleon Bonaparte


95. “The surest way to remain poor is to be an honest man. ” – Napoleon Bonaparte


96. 'Victory and disaster establish indestructible bonds between armies and their commanders.'


97. “History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon. ”


98. “Friends must always be treated as if one day they might be enemies. ”


99. “Space I can recover. Time, never. ”


100. “Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action comes, stop thinking and go in.”


101. “Ten people who speak make more noise than ten thousand who are silent.”


102. “The world suffers a lot. Not because the violence of bad people. But because of the silence of the good people.”


103. I can no longer obey; I have tasted command, and I cannot give it up


104. “A man will fight harder for his interests than for his rights. ” – Napoleon Bonaparte


105. “Let the path be open to talent. ”


106. “Never tell your enemy he is doing the wrong thing. ” – Napoleon Bonaparte


107. “Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets. ”


108. “I start out by believing the worst. ”


109. The French complain of everything, and always


110. “History is written by the winners.”


111. “Courage cannot be counterfeited. It is one virtue that escapes hypocrisy. ”


112. “Show me a family of readers, and I will show you the people who move the world.”


113. “I may lose a battle but I will never lose a minute. ”


114. “The hand that gives is among the hand that takes. Money has no fatherland, financiers are without patriotism and without decency, their sole object is gain. ”


115. “I make my battle plans from the spirit of my sleeping soldiers. ”


116. With audacity one can undertake anything, but not do everything


117. “You medical people will have more lives to answer for in the other world than even we generals. ”


118. “There is a joy in danger. ”


119. To see to it that the forces of Napoleon are driven out of Spain


120. “Victory belongs to the most persevering. ”


121. “If I had to choose a religion, the sun as the universal giver of life would be my god.”


122. “God is on the side with the best artillery. ” – Napoleon Bonaparte


123. “A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of coloured ribbon. ” – Napoleon Bonaparte


124. “He who fears being conquered is sure of defeat. ”


125. “Six hours sleep for a man, seven for a woman and eight for a fool. ” – Napoleon Bonaparte


126. “If you want a thing done well, do it yourself.”


127. “He who fears being conquered is sure of defeat. ” – Napoleon Bonaparte


128. “In our time none has the conception of what is great. It is up to me to show them. ” – Napoleon Bonaparte


129. “Give Me a Turkish Army. I will Conquer world. ”


130. “Imagination governs the world. ”


131. “Victory belongs to the most persevering. ” – Napoleon Bonaparte


132. “Let France have good mothers, and she will have good sons. ” – Napoleon Bonaparte


133. Soldiers generally win battles; generals get credit for them


134. “I have seen in the most significant of circumstances, that some little thing always decides great events. ”


135. “A man is known by his conduct to his wife, to his family, and to those under him. ” – Napoleon Bonaparte


136. “If you wish to be success in the world, promise everything, deliver nothing. ” – Napoleon Bonaparte


137. Victory belongs to the most persevering


138. “The human race is governed by its imagination. ” – Napoleon Bonaparte


139. To train an army of uniformed British clerks in Spain for the benefit of the accountants and copy-boys in London, or perchance


140. “The best cure for the body is a quiet mind. ”


141. “An order that can be misunderstood, will be misunderstood. ” –


142. “If we could read the past histories of all our enemies we would disregard all hostility for them. ”


143. “I have seen only yoU, I have admired only yoU, I desire only You. ” – Napoleon Bonaparte


144. “One must learn to forgive and not to hold a hostile, bitter attitude of mind, which offends those about us and prevents us from enjoying ourselves; one must recognize human shortcomings and adjust himself to them rather than to be constantly finding fault with them. ”


145. “You must not fight too often with one enemy, or you will teach him all your art of war. ” – Napoleon Bonaparte


146. “If I had not been born Napoleon, I would have liked to have been born Alexander. ” – Napoleon Bonaparte


147. “The poor man and the beggar are two quite different classes: one commands respect, the other arouses anger. ”


148. Death is nothing, but to live defeated and inglorious is to die daily


149. “There is no such thing as accident; it is fate misnamed. ”


150. History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon


151. “Always carry champagne! In victory You deserve it & in defeat You need it!”


152. “Death is nothing, but to live defeated and inglorious is to die daily. ” – Napoleon Bonaparte


153. Great ambition is the passion of a great character. Those endowed with it may perform very good or very bad acts. All depends on the principles which direct them


154. “He who fears being conquered is sure of defeat.”


155. “Show me a family of readers, and I will show you the people who move the world. ”


156. ‘I shall bring the nobles of this court so low they shall be obliged to beg their bred.’


157. “It is a mistake, too, to say that the face is the mirror of the soul. The truth is, men are very hard to know, and yet, not to be deceived, we must judge them by their present actions, but for the present only. ”


158. “Let her sleep, for when she wakes, she will shake the world. ”


159. “Ability is of little account without opportunity. ” – Napoleon Bonaparte


160. “You can ask me for anything you like, except time. ”


161. “I know he’s a good general, but is he lucky?”


162. Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich


163. “Great men are meteors designed to burn so that earth may be lighted. ”


164. “When you set out to take Vienna, take Vienna. ”


165. Power is my mistress. I have worked too hard at her conquest to allow anyone to take her away from me


166. “If you build an army of 100 lions and their leader is a dog, in any fight, the lions will die like a dog. But if you build an army of 100 dogs and their leader is a lion, all dogs will fight as a lion. ”


167. “There are but two powers in the world, the sword and the mind. In the long run the sword is always beaten by the mind”


168. “It is only by prudence, wisdom, and dexterity, that great ends are attained and obstacles overcome. Without these qualities nothing succeeds. ”


169. “Ordinarily men exercise their memory much more than their judgment. ”


170. Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake


171. “One should never forbid what one lacks the power to prevent. ”


172. “A man will fight harder for his interests than for his rights. ”


173. “The only victory over love is flight. ” – Napoleon Bonaparte


174. “The French complain of everything, and always. ”


175. “You can not lead a battle if you think you look silly on a horse. ”


176. Ability is nothing without opportunity


177. “What is history but a fable agreed upon?”


178. “The only victories which leave no regret are those which are gained over ignorance. ” – Napoleon Bonaparte


179. “Success is the most convincing talker in the world. ”


180. “Men take only their needs into consideration – never their abilities. ”


181. Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets


182. “I base my calculation on the expectation that luck will be against me. ”


183. “We are either kings or pawns of men. ”


184. “Death is nothing; but to live defeated and inglorious is to die daily. ” – Napoleon Bonaparte


185. “We are made weak both by idleness and distrust of ourselves. Unfortunate, indeed, is he who suffers from both. If he is a mere individual he becomes nothing; if he is a king he is lost. ”


186. Those endowed with it may perform very good or very bad acts. All depends on the principles which direct them. ” Napoleon Bonaparte 16


187. “Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and I have founded empires. But on what did we rest the creations of our genius? Upon force. Jesus Christ founded his empire upon love; and at this hour millions of men would die for him.”


188. “Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever. ” – Napoleon Bonaparte


189. “Never depend on the multitude, full of instability and whims; always take precautions against it. ”


190. “Men who have changed the world never achieved their success by winning the chief citizens to their side, but always by stirring the masses. ” –


191. “If the art of war were nothing but the art of avoiding risks, glory would become the prey of mediocre minds. ” – Napoleon Bonaparte


192. “Ability is of little account without opportunity. ”


193. “Courage is like love, it must have hope for nourishment. ”


194. “Men are more easily governed through their vices than through their virtues. ”


195. “Never interfere with an enemy in the process of destroying himself. ”


196. “Better to have an open enemy, than hidden friends. ” – Napoleon Bonaparte


197. “Courage is like love; it must have hope to nourish it. ”


198. A leader is a dealer in hope


199. Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in


200. “Ah, that is different!” said Boxer. “If Comrade Napoleon says it, it must be right.”


201. “Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action comes, stop thinking and go in. ”


202. The best cure for the body is a quiet mind


203. “To understand the man you have to know what was happening in the world when he was twenty. ”


204. “Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet. Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich. ”


205. “The world suffers a lot. Not because the violence of bad people, but because of the silence of the good people. ”


206. Public opinion is the thermometer a monarch should constantly consult


207. I am the successor, not of Louis XVI, but of Charlemagne


208. “It is the cause, not the death, that makes the martyr. ”


209. I made all my generals out of mud


210. “If I had to choose a religion, the sun as the universal giver of life would be my god. ” – Napoleon Bonaparte


211. “History is a set of lies agreed upon.”


212. “Every hour of lost time is a chance of future misfortune. ”


213. France has more need of me than I have need of France


214. “Strategy is the art of making use of time and space. I am less concerned about the later than the former. Space we can recover, lost time never. ” – Napoleon Bonaparte


215. “Power is my mistress. I have worked too hard at her conquest to allow anyone to take her away from me. ”


216. You become strong by defying defeat and by turning loss and failure into success


217. The army is the true nobility of our country


218. “Men will risk their lives, even die for ribbons. ”


219. “Greatness is nothing unless it be lasting. ”


220. If I had to choose a religion, the sun as the universal giver of life would be my god


221. “You don’t reason with intellectuals. You shoot them. ”


222. “Great men are never cruel without necessity. ” – Napoleon Bonaparte


223. “The world suffers a lot. Not because the violence of bad people. But because of the silence of the good people. ” – Napoleon Bonaparte


224. There are only two forces in the world, the sword, and the spirit. In the long run, the sword will always be conquered by the spirit


225. The best way to keep one’s word is not to give it


226. “You don't reason with intellectuals. You shoot them.”


227. “Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets. ” – Napoleon Bonaparte


228. “The only victories which leave no regret are those which are gained over ignorance.”


229. “A throne is only a bench covered with velvet. ”


230. The battlefield is a scene of constant chaos. The winner will be the one who controls that chaos, both his own and the enemies


231. A Constitution should be short and obscure


232. “The future destiny of a child is always the work of the mother. ”


233. “We walk faster when we walk alone. ” – Napoleon Bonaparte


234. “Nothing is more difficult, and therefore more precious, than to be able to decide. ”


235. “The best way to keep one's word is not to give it. ”


236. Let the path be open to talent


237. You must not fight too often with one enemy, or you will teach him all your art of war


238. “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake. ” – Napoleon Bonaparte


239. “From the heights of these pyramids, forty centuries look down on us. ” – Napoleon Bonaparte


240. The act of policing is, in order to punish less often, to punish more severely


241. “I saw the crown of France laying on the ground, so I picked it up with my sword. ” – Napoleon Bonaparte


242. “Ability is nothing without opportunity. ”


243. “Never ascribe to malice that which can adequately be explained by incompetence. ”


244. “History is a set of lies agreed upon. ”


245. Courage is like love; it must have hope for nourishment


246. “We must laugh at man to avoid crying for him. ” – Napoleon Bonaparte


247. “Let France have good mothers, and she will have good sons. ”


248. “When you have an enemy in your power, deprive him of the means of ever injuring you. ”


249. “Those who receive the most images into their memories have the most lively imaginations. ”


250. “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.”


251. I have only one counsel for you – be master


252. If you want a thing done well, do it yourself


253. “I see only my objective – the obstacles must give way. ”


254. Men take only their needs into consideration – never their abilities


255. ‘Beasts of England’ had been abolished. From now onwards it was forbidden to sing it.


256. “Impossible is a word to be found only in the dictionary of fools.”


257. “The extent of your consciousness is limited only by your ability to love and to embrace with your love the space around you, and all it contains. ” – Napoleon Bonaparte


258. “In Love, Victory goes to the man who runs away. ” – Napoleon Bonaparte


259. A true man hates no one


260. “There are only two forces that unite men – fear and interest. ”


261. “Skepticism is a virtue in history as well as in philosophy. ”


262. “It is my wish that my ashes may repose on the banks of the Seine, in the midst of the French people, whom I have loved so well. ”


263. “Until you spread your wings, you’ll have no idea how far you can fly. ”


264. “A true man hates no one. ” – Napoleon Bonaparte


265. “It is only by prudence, wisdom, and dexterity, that great ends are attained and obstacles overcome. Without these qualities, nothing succeeds. ” – Napoleon Bonaparte


266. “Riches do not consist in the possession of treasures, but in the use made of them. ” – Napoleon Bonaparte


267. “A Constitution should be short and obscure. ”


268. “The reason most people fail instead of succeeding is they trade what they want most for what they want at the moment. ” – Napoleon Bonaparte


269. “There are but two powers in the world, the sword and the mind. In the long run the sword is always beaten by the mind. ”


270. “Courage isn't having the strength to go on - it is going on when you don't have strength.”


271. “As for me, to love you alone, to make you happy, to do nothing which would contradict your wishes, this is my destiny and the meaning of my life. ” – Napoleon Bonaparte


272. ‘Dress me slowly that I am in a hurry. ‘ – This is one of our favorite quotes about Napoleon. The basic concept: sometimes the best way to ‘go fast’ is to do things slow (but very well).


273. “The greatest danger occurs at the moment of victory. ”


274. “A leader is a dealer in hope. ”


275. “With audacity one can undertake anything, but not do everything. ”


276. Nothing is more difficult and therefore more precious than to be able to decide


277. “The best way to keep one's word is not to give it.”


278. “The great proof of madness is the disproportion of one’s designs to one’s means. ”


279. Riches do not consist in the possession of treasures, but in the use made of them


280. “I saw the crown of France laying on the ground, so I picked it up with my sword. ”


281. “China is a sleeping giant; let him sleep, for if he wakes, he will shake the World.”


282. ‘It is my wish that my ashes may repose on the banks of the Seine, in the midst of the French people, whom I have loved so well.’ – Napoleon is buried at the Hôtel des Invalides, not far from the Seine River.


283. “There are only two forces that unite men – fear and interest. ” – Napoleon Bonaparte


284. “It’s the unconquerable soul of man, and not the nature of the weapon he uses, that ensures victory. ”


285. “Men are Moved by two levers only: fear and self interest. ”


286. “Impossible is a word to be found only in the dictionary of fools. ”


287. “I would kiss a man’s arse if I needed him. ” – Napoleon Bonaparte


288. “The greatest danger occurs at the moment of victory. ” – Napoleon Bonaparte


289. “Give me an educated mother, I shall promise you the birth of a civilized, educated nation. ”


290. “He who knows how to flatter also knows how to slander. ”


291. “Impossible is the word found only in a fool’s dictionary. Wise people create opportunities for themselves and make everything possible…”


292. “If you build an army of 100 lions and their leader is a sheep, in any fight, the lions will die like a sheep, but if you build an army of 100 sheep and their leader is a lion, all sheep will fight like a lion.”


293. “All great events hang by a single thread. The clever man takes advantage of everything, neglects nothing that may give him some added opportunity; the less clever man, by neglecting one thing, sometimes misses everything. ”


294. “At twenty-two many things are allowed which are no longer permitted past thirty. ”


295. “A leader is a dealer in hope.”


296. Until you spread your wings, you’ll have no idea how far you can fly


297. “The fool has one great advantage over a man of sense — he is always satisfied with himself. ”


298. “It is astonishing what power words have over men. ”


299. “I love power like a musician loves music. ”


300. “If you want a thing done well, do it yourself. ” – Napoleon Bonaparte

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