Quotes about leadership and a selection of leadership quotes in different categories

Welcome to our growing collection of quotes about leadership.I have split them up into different categories for you. Just scroll down to find the quote you are looking for.

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quotes about leadership

Quotes about leadership and change


“Leadership is about coping with change” – John Kotter


A leader is a dealer in hope.

Napoleon Bonaparte

Uncertainty will always be part of the taking charge process.
- Harold Geneen

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

Leadership Quotes and Learning

Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.
- Karen Kaiser Clark

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

We must become the change we want to see.
- Mahatma Gandhi

“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.”

John Fitzgerald Kennedy

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

Leaders are more powerful role models when they learn than when they teach.
~Rosabeth Moss Kantor

The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born-that there is a genetic factor to leadership. This myth asserts that people simply either have certain charismatic qualities or not. That's nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. Leaders are made rather than born.

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Warren G. Bennis


Quotes about leadership and humility


There go the people.I must follow them for I am their leader.
Alexandre Ledru-Rollin


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


Do you wish to rise? Begin by descending. You plan a tower that will pierce the clouds? Lay first the foundation of humility.

St. Augustine


If you don't understand that you work for your mislabelled 'subordinates,' then you know nothing of leadership. You know only tyranny.
Dee Hock


I light my candle from their torches.
Robert Burton


A general is just as good or just as bad as the troops under his command make him.
General Douglas MacArthur


A leader is best when people barely know he exists, not so good when people obey and acclaim him, worse when they despise him. But of a good leader who talks little when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: We did it ourselves.



Good leaders must first become good servants.
- Robert Greenleaf

And when we think we lead, we are most led.
- Lord Byron

I am a leader by default, only because nature does not allow a vacuum.
- Bishop Desmond Tutu

“To lead the people, walk behind them.”
- Lao Tzu

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quotes about learning

Quotes about leadership and courage


Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.

Peter F. Drucker



The leadership instinct you are born with is the backbone. You develop the funny bone and the wishbone that go with it.

Elaine Agather


Leadership demands that we make tough choices.
Alan Autry

Without initiative, leaders are simply workers in leadership positions.
Bo Bennett

Leadership does not depend on being right.
Ivan Illich

 Don't be afraid to take a big step when one is indicated. You can't cross a chasm in two small steps.
- David Loyd George

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

The trouble is, if you don't risk anything, you risk even more.
- Erica Jong

The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you.
- Max DePree

If it's a good idea, go ahead and do it. It is much easier to apologize than it is to get permission.
- Admiral Grace Hopper

A new leader has to be able to change an organization that is dreamless, soulless and visionless ... someone's got to make a wake up call.
- Warren Bennis

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

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

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

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Quotes about leadership and Influence


“Leadership is about tapping the wellspring of human motivation – and about fundamental relations with one’s fellows” – Tom Peters


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


What you cannot enforce, do not command.



When the effective leader is finished with his work, the people say it happened naturally.
- Lao Tse


“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 them or concluded that you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership.”


Colin Powell

Leadership is understanding people and involving them to help you do a job. That takes all of the good characteristics, like integrity, dedication of purpose, selflessness, knowledge, skill, implacability, as well as determination not to accept failure.
- Admiral Arleigh A. Burke

More quotes about leadership

Humans are ambitious and rational and proud. And we don’t fall in line with people who don’t respect us and who we don’t believe have our best interests at heart. We are willing to follow leaders, but only to the extent that we believe they call on our best, not our worst.
~Rachel Maddow

I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people.
~Mohandas K. Gandhi

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

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

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


"Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it."
– Dwight D. Eisenhower


In organizations, real power and energy is generated through relationships. The patterns of relationships and the capacities to form them are more important than tasks, functions, roles, and positions.
- Margaret Wheatly Leadership and the New Science

Leadership is the wise use of power. Power is the capacity to translate intention into reality and sustain it."
– Warren Bennis


The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it.

Theodore Roosevelt


Lead and inspire people. Don't try to manage and manipulate people. Inventories can be managed but people must be lead.
- Ross Perot

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Quotes about leadership and Visioning


The very essence of leadership is that you have to have vision. You can't blow an uncertain trumpet.

Theodore M. Hesburgh


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

“A great leader's courage to fulfill his vision comes from passion, not position.”

John Maxwell

Most important, leaders can conceive and articulate goals that lift people out of their petty preoccupations and unite them in pursuit of objectives worthy of their best efforts.
~John Gardner


Quotes about leadership and Character


“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, Jr.


“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

The most important quality in a leader is that of being acknowledged as such.
- Andre Maurois

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


“A leaders leads by example whether he intends to or not”


“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

“Leadership consists not in degrees of technique but in traits of character; it requires moral rather than athletic or intellectual effort, and it imposes on both leader and follower alike the burdens of self-restraint.”
- Lewis H. Lapham

More quotes about leadership below

“Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with the important matters.”
- Albert Einstein

Leadership is practiced not so much in words as in attitude and in actions.
- Harold Geneen

“Nothing so conclusively proves a man's ability to lead others as what he does from day to day to lead himself.”

Thomas J Watson Snr


In matters of style, swim with the current;
In matters of principle, stand like a rock.
~T. Jefferson


Leadership quotes and Management


“A boss creates fear, a leader confidence. A boss fixes blame, a leader corrects mistakes. A boss knows all, a leader asks questions. A boss makes work drudgery, a leader makes it interesting.”

Russel H Ewing


The quality of leadership, more than any other single factor, determines the success or failure of an organization.
- Fred Fiedler & Martin Chemers Improving Leadership Effectiveness

Processes don't do work, people do.
- John Seely Brown

The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.
- Albert Einstein

I used to think that running an organization was equivalent to conducting a symphony orchestra. But I don't think that's quite it; it's more like jazz. There is more improvisation.
- Warren Bennis

Most of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to get their jobs done
- Peter Drucker

Drowning in data, yet starved of information
- Ruth Stanat in The Intelligent Organization

“Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall

Quotes about leadership to follow

Steven Covey

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What Other Visitors Have Said

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Quotes about Leadership and Influence Not rated yet
As for the best leaders, the people do not notice their existence. The next best, the people honour and praise. The next, the people fear; and the next, …

Mike McCartney, President, McCartney Consulting, Ltd. Not rated yet
Leadership and management? Even kids know the difference. . . Have you ever seen them play, "Follow the manager"? Next question.

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