Leadership steers others toward a common goal through listening, motivating, inspiring, and encouraging them.
Leadership is about persuading and motivating people to greatness. Vision, dedication, and the ability to encourage and steer a team toward a common goal are required.
Being a leader, on the other hand, is not always simple and could pose its own set of obstacles.
We’ve selected some of the most inspirational leadership quotes to help you remain focused and inspired on your leadership path.
These quotes give insight and wisdom from some of history’s greatest leaders, as well as the motivation and advice you need to lead with purpose and effect.
Table of Contents
Best Quotes on Leadership
1. “Leadership is not about titles, positions or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another.” ~ John C. Maxwell
2. “The key to successful leadership is influence, not authority.” ~ Kenneth H. Blanchard
3. “He who cannot be a good follower cannot be a good leader.” ~ Aristotle
4. “Leadership is the key to 99 percent of all successful efforts.” ~ Erskine Bowles
5. “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
6. “Leadership is unlocking people’s potential to become better.” ~ Bill Bradley.
7. “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” ~ Peter F. Drucker
8. “Don’t follow the crowd. Let the crowd follow you.” ~ Margaret Thatcher
9. A cowardly leader is the most dangerous of men. ~ Stephen King
10. “When the leader lacks confidence, the followers lack commitment.” ~ John C. Maxwell.
Also Read: 43 Black Leaders Quotes to Celebrate Black History Month and 53 Servant Leadership Quotes and Sayings to Inspire You
Great Quotes on Leadership
11. “A successful person finds the right place for himself. But a successful leader finds the right place for others.” ~ John C. Maxwell
12. “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
13. “There is a difference between being a leader and being a boss. Both are based on authority. A boss demands blind obedience; a leader earns his authority through understanding and trust.” ~ Klaus Balkenhol
14. “A person who is quietly confident makes the best leader.” ~ Fred Wilson
15. “Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.” ~ Vince Lombardi
16. “A leader is a dealer in hope.” ~ Napoleon
17. “A person, who no matter how desperate the situation, gives others hope, is a true leader.” ~ Daisaku Ikeda
18. “The task of the leader is to get people from where they are to where they have not been. ” ~ Henry Kissinger
19. “Leaders must be close enough to relate to others, but far enough ahead to motivate them.” ~ John C. Maxwell
20. “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
21. “Leadership is the challenge to be something more than average.” ~ Jim Rohn
22. “As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.” ~ Bill Gates.
23. “The day the soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help them or concluded that you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership.” ~ Colin Powell
24. “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
25. “Real leadership is being the person others will gladly and confidently follow.” ~ John C. Maxwell
26. “A leader who produces other leaders multiples their influences.” ~ John C. Maxwell
27. “You do not lead by hitting people over the head – that’s assault, not leadership.” ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower
28. “Leadership is not just about giving energy… it’s unleashing other people’s energy.” ~ Paul Polman
29. “Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” ~ Warren Bennis.
30. “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” ~ John Maxwell
31. “The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.” ~ Kenneth Blanchard
32. “Leaders think and talk about the solutions. Followers think and talk about the problems.” ~ Brian Tracy.
Inspiring Quotes on Leadership
33. “What you do has far greater impact than what you say.” ~ Stephen R. Covey
34. “When you were made a leader you weren’t given a crown, you were given the responsibility to bring out the best in others.” ~ Jack Welch
35. “The true value of a leader is not measured by the work they do. A leader’s true value is measured by the work they inspire others to do.” ~ Simon Sinek
36. “The boss inspires fear; the leader inspires enthusiasm.” ~ John C. Maxwell
37. “Become the kind of leader that people would follow voluntarily; even if you had no title or position.” ~ Brian Tracy
38. “The greatest gift of leadership is a boss who wants you to be successful.” ~ Jon Taffer
39. “Time is neutral and does not change things. With courage and initiative, leaders change things.” ~ Jesse Jackson
40. “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” ~ Steve Jobs
41. “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
42. “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” ~ Jack Welch
43. “Bosses push, Leaders pull. Real leadership is servant leadership.” ~ Dave Ramsey
44. “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” ~ John C. Maxwell
45. “The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.” ~ Ralph Nader
46. “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.
Powerful Quotes on Leadership
47. “One of the tests of leadership is the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency.” ~ Arnold H. Glasow
48. “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” ~ Martin Luther King Jr.
49. “To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity.” ~ Douglas Adams
50. “Don’t speak unless you can improve on the silence.” ~ Spanish proverb
51. “I cannot give you a formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure, which is: try to please everybody.” ~ Herbert Bayard Swope
52. “Leadership is influence.” ~ John C. Maxwell
53. “Earn your leadership every day.” ~ Michael Jordan
54. “If you are working on something exciting that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you.” ~ Steve Jobs
55. “When we do more than we are paid to do, eventually we will be paid more for what we do.” ~ Zig Ziglar
56. “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
57. “Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm.” ~ Publilius Syrus
58. “Great leaders hire outstanding people, train them well, inspire them, and then get out of their way.” ~ Frank Sonnenberg
59. “The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves.” ~ Ray Kroc
60. “When a manager openly expresses his faith in an employee’s skill, he doesn’t just improve mood and motivation; he actually improves their likelihood of succeeding.” ~ Shawn Achor
61. “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
62. “Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes.” ~ Peter F. Drucker
63. “My job is not to be easy on people. My job is to take these great people we have and to push them and make them even better.” ~ Steve Jobs.
Inspirational Quotes on Leadership
64. “Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers who can cut through the argument debate and doubt to offer a solution everybody can understand.” ~ Colin Powell
65. “The more intentional you are about your leadership growth, the greater your potential for becoming the leader you’re capable of being. Never stop learning.” ~ John C. Maxwell
66. “An example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.” ~ Albert Schweitzer
67. “Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.” ~ George S. Patton Jr.
68. “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 De Pree
69. “Don’t blow off another’s candle for it won’t make yours shine brighter.” ~ Jaachynma N.E. Agu
70. “Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” ~ Vince Lombardi
71. “Great leaders are not defined by the absence of weakness, but rather by the presence of clear strengths.” ~ John Peter Zenger
72. “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” ~ Edward Everett Hale
73. “People buy into the leader before they buy into the vision.” ~ John C. Maxwell
74. “The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled.” ~ Plutarch
75. “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
76. “Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.” ~ Peter F. Drucker
77. “Lead and inspire people. Don’t try to manage and manipulate people. Inventories can be managed but people must be lead.” ~ H. Ross Perot
78. “While a good leader sustains momentum, a great leader increases it.” ~ John C. Maxwell
79. “He who has learned how to obey will know how to command.” ~ Solon
80. “The leader has to be practical and a realist, yet must talk the language of the visionary and the idealist.” ~ Eric Hoffer
81. “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
82. “Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way.” ~ George S. Patton Jr.
83. “A cowardly leader is the most dangerous of men.” ~ Stephen King.
Strong Quotes on Leadership
84. “A great person attracts great people and knows how to hold them together.” ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
85. “A great leader’s courage to fulfill his vision comes from passion, not position.” ~ John C. Maxwell
86. “Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall.” ~ Stephen R. Covey
87. “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
88. “To command is to serve, nothing more and nothing less.” ~ André Malraux
89. “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
90. “Most of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to get their work done.” ~ Peter F. Drucker
91. “A ruler should be slow to punish and swift to reward.” ~ Ovid
92. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” ~ Margaret Mead
93. “Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticized anyway. You’ll be “damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.”” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
94. “When you put together deep knowledge about a subject that intensely matters to you, charisma happens. You gain courage to share your passion, and when you do that, folks follow.” ~ Jerry I. Porras
95. “The best leaders are the ones who show their true colors not during the banner years but during times of struggle.” ~ Shawn Achor
96. “Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.” ~ Steve Jobs
97. “The very essence of leadership is that you have to have vision. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet.” ~ Theodore Hesburgh
98. “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 G. Bennis
99. “Most people can bear adversity. But if you wish to know what a man really is, give him power.” ~ Robert G. Ingersoll
100. “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.” ~ Bernard Law Montgomery
101. “Affirmation without discipline is the beginning of delusion.” ~ Jim Rohn
102. “A leader should be visionary and have more foresight than an employee.” ~ Jack Ma
102. “A good general not only sees the way to victory; he also knows when victory is impossible.” ~ Polybius
103. “If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform one million realities.” ~ Maya Angelou
104. “Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.” ~ Harry S. Truman
105. “Great leaders do not desire to lead but to serve.” ~ Myles Munroe
106. “If you want to be a leader who attracts quality people, the key is to become a person of quality yourself.” ~ Jim Rohn
107. “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” ~ Winston Churchill
108. “A person who is happy is not because everything is right in his life, He is happy because his attitude towards everything in his life is right.” ~ Sundar Pichai.
Motivational Quotes on Leadership
109. “Integrity, insight, and inclusiveness are the three essential qualities of leadership.” ~ Sadhguru
110. “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
111. “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
112. “Leadership is a choice, not a position.” ~ Stephen Covey
113. “If you want to improve the organization, you have to improve yourself, and the organization gets pulled up with you.” ~ Indra Nooyi
114. “For the success of any mission, it is necessary to have creative leadership. Creative leadership is vital for government, non-governmental organizations as well as industries.” ~ A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
115. “Leadership is an opportunity to serve. It is not a trumpet call to self-importance.” ~ J. Donald Walters
116. “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” ~ John F. Kennedy
117. “Great leaders can see the greatness in others when they can’t see it themselves and lead them to their highest potential they don’t even know.” ~ Roy T. Bennett
118. “Leadership is the ability to guide others without force into a direction or decision that leaves them still feeling empowered and accomplished.” ~ Lisa Cash Hanson
119. “A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
120. “You need a commitment that is long-term and a commitment to leadership because that’s the only way you build excellence.” ~ Azim Premji
121. “Leadership is about empathy. It is about having the ability to relate to and connect with people for the purpose of inspiring and empowering their lives.” ~ Oprah Winfrey
122. “Management is about persuading people to do things they do not want to do, while leadership is about inspiring people to do things they never thought they could.” ~ Steve Jobs
123. “Being a good listener is absolutely critical to being a good leader; you have to listen to the people who are on the front line.” ~ Richard Branson
124. “The art of leadership is saying no, not saying yes. It is very easy to say yes.” ~ Tony Blair
125. “Great leaders have three things; inner light, inner vision, and inner strength.” ~ Amit Ray
126. “Leadership is the art of giving people a platform for spreading ideas that work.” ~ Seth Godin
127. “The first job of leadership is to love people. Leadership without love is manipulation.” ~ Rick Warren
128. “Good leaders build products. Great leaders build cultures. Good leaders deliver results. Great leaders develop people. Good leaders have a vision. Great leaders have values. Good leaders are role models at work. Great leaders are role models in life.” ~ Adam Grant
129. “Be with a leader when he is right, stay with him when he is still right, but leave him when he is wrong.” ~ Abraham Lincoln
130. “Leadership is an action, not a position” ~ Donald McGannon
131. “Be the leader you wish you had.” ~ Simon Sinek
132. “Find the right people, not the best people.” ~ Jack Ma
133. “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” ~ Harry S. Truman
134. “Leaders become great, not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others.” ~ John C. Maxwell
135. “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.
You Might Like
- Habit Quotes to Change Your Life
- Money Quotes You Must Read to Become Wealthy
- Hard Work Quotes To Succeed In Life & Business
- Forgiveness Quotes to Forgive, Let Go and Move Ahead
- Motivational Quotes to Turn Failure into Success and Reach Your Potential
- Inspirational Success Quotes for Life
References and Sources: