Transforming Leadership to Shape the Future

Strategic Leadership Institute

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Pretoria, 0129
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Leadership Quotes

Here's a collection of inspiring, funny, controversial and even downright strange quotes about leadership. If you have leadership quotes that are not here, please send them to us at: admin@stratleader.net

  • A bold onset is half the battle. - Giuseppe Garibaldi
     
  • Absolute identity with one's cause is the first and great condition of successful leadership. - Woodrow Wilson 
     
  • 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
     
  • A first-rate organizer is never in a hurry. He is never late. He always keeps up his sleeve a margin for the unexpected - Arnold Bennett
     
  • A good general not only sees the way to victory; he also knows when victory is impossible. - Polybius 
     
  • 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 
     
  • A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week. – George Patton
     
  • A good objective of leadership is to help those who are doing poorly to do well and to help those who are doing well to do even better. - Jim Rohn
     
  • A great leader’s courage to fulfill his vision comes from passion, not position. —John Maxwell
     
  • A great man is one who can have power and not abuse it. - Henry L. Doherty
     
  • A great person attracts great people and knows how to hold them together. - Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
     
  • A leader is a dealer in hope. - Napoleon Bonaparte 
     
  • 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
     
  • A leader is one who influences a specific group of people to move in a God-given direction. - J. Robert Clinton
     
  • A leader’s role is to raise people’s aspirations for what they can become and to release their energies so they will try to get there. - David R. Gergen
     
  • 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
     
  • 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
     
  • A man who wants to lead an orchestra must turn his back on the crowd. - James Crook
     
  • 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
     
  • Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm. - Publilius Syrus OR Democritus
     
  • A ruler should be slow to punish and swift to reward. - Ovid 
     
  • A sense of humor is part of the art of leadership, of getting along with people, of getting things done. - Dwight D. Eisenhower
     
  • As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others. - Bill Gates
     
  • 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
     
  • A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds. - Francis Bacon
     
  • Become the kind of leader that people would follow voluntarily; even if you had no title or position. - Brian Tracy 
     
  • Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others. - Jack Welch
     
  • Change in all things is sweet. - Aristotle
     
  • Character matters; leadership descends from character. - Rush Limbaugh
     
  • Charisma becomes the undoing of leaders. It makes them inflexible, convinced of their own infallibility, unable to change. - Peter Drucker
     
  • Dictators ride to and fro upon tigers which they dare not dismount. And the tigers are getting hungry. - Winston Churchill
     
  • Dissatisfaction and discouragement are not caused by the absence of things but the absence of vision. - Anonymous
     
  • Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. - Ralph Waldo Emerson OR Harold R. McAlindon
     
  • Don’t necessarily avoid sharp edges. Occasionally they are necessary to leadership. - Donald Rumsfeld
     
  • Don't tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results. - George S. Patton 
     
  • Earn your leadership every day. – Michael Jordan
     
  • Education is the mother of leadership. - Wendell Willkie
     
  • Educationists should build the capacities of the spirit of inquiry, creativity, entrepreneurial and moral leadership among students and become their role model. - Abdul Kalam
     
  • Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes. - Peter Drucker
     
  • Effective leadership is putting first things first. Effective management is discipline, carrying it out. - Stephen Covey
     
  • Example is not the main thing in influencing others, it is the only thing. - Albert Schweitzer
     
  • Following the herd often leads to the slaughterhouse. - Nerella Campigotto
     
  • Forget about yourself and just think of your people. It's always the people who make things happen. - Corazon Aquino
     
  • 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
     
  • Great leaders are not defined by the absence of weakness, but rather by the presence of clear strengths. - John Zenger
     
  • Good leadership consists of showing average people how to do the work of superior people. - John D. Rockefeller
     
  • Good leaders must first become good servants. - Robert Greenleaf 
     
  • He who has great power should use it lightly. - Seneca
     
  • He who has never learned to obey cannot be a good commander. - Aristotle
     
  • 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
     
  • 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 am a man of fixed and unbending principles, the first of which is to be flexible at all times. - Everett Dirksen
     
  • I am endlessly fascinated that playing football is considered a training ground for leadership, but raising children isn’t. - Dee Dee Myers
     
  • I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure: which is: Try to please everybody. - Herbert B. Swope
     
  • I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody. - Bill Cosby
     
  • If an incompetent chieftain is removed, seldom do we appoint his highest-ranking subordinate to his place. - Attila the Hun
     
  • If a rhinoceros were to enter this restaurant now, there is no denying he would have great power here. But I should be the first to rise and assure him that he had no authority whatever. - G.K. Chesterton to Alexander Woollcott 
     
  • If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform one million realities. - Maya Angelou
     
  • I forgot to shake hands and be friendly. It was an important lesson about leadership. - Lee Iacocca
     
  • If the blind lead the blind, both shall fall in the ditch. - Jesus Christ
     
  • If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in the dark with a mosquito. - Anonymous
     
  • If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. - John Quincy Adams 
     
  • 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
     
  • Ill can he rule the great that cannot reach the small. - Edmund Spenser
     
  • In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. - T. Jefferson
     
  • Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower. - Steve Jobs
     
  • In our system leadership is by consent, not command. To lead a President must persuade. Personal contacts and experiences help shape his thinking. They can be critical to his persuasiveness and thus to his leadership. - Donald Rumsfeld
     
  • In this world a man must either be an anvil or hammer. - Henry W. Longfellow
     
  • In times of change, learners inherit the Earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists. - Eric Hoffer
     
  • In today's economy, the most important resource is no longer labor, capital or land; it is knowledge. - Peter Drucker 
     
  • I start with the premise that the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers. - Ralph Nader
     
  • I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people. - Mohandas K. Gandhi
     
  • I think leadership comes from integrity – that you do whatever you ask others to do. I think there are non-obvious ways to lead. Just by providing a good example as a parent, a friend, a neighbor makes it possible for other people to see better ways to do things. Leadership does not need to be a dramatic, fist in the air and trumpets blaring, activity. - Scott Berkun
     
  • It is absurd that a man should rule others, who cannot rule himself. (Absurdum est ut alios regat, qui seipsum regere nescit.) - Latin Proverb
     
  • 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
     
  • It is better to have a lion at the head of an army of sheep, than a sheep at the head of an army of lions. - Daniel Defoe
     
  • It is impossible to imagine anything which better becomes a ruler than mercy. - Seneca
     
  • 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
     
  • I would rather regret the things I have done than the things I have not. - Lucille Ball
     
  • Lead and inspire people. Don’t try to manage and manipulate people. Inventories can be managed but people must be lead. - Ross Perot
     
  • Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way. - General George Patton
     
  • Leaders are more powerful role models when they learn than when they teach. - Rosabeth Moss Kantor 
     
  • 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
     
  • Leaders are simultaneously champions of the vision, custodians of the values and shepherds of the people. - Manie Bosman
     
  • Leaders must be close enough to relate to others, but far enough ahead to motivate them. - John Maxwell
     
  • Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other. - John Fitzgerald Kennedy
     
  • Leadership can be thought of as a capacity to define oneself to others in a way that clarifies and expands a vision of the future. - Edwin H. Friedman
     
  • Leadership cannot just go along to get along. Leadership must meet the moral challenge of the day. - Jesse Jackson
     
  • Leadership is action, not position. - Donald H. McGannon
     
  • Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy. - Norman Schwarzkopf
     
  • 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
     
  • Leadership is getting players to believe in you. If you tell a teammate you're ready to play as tough as you're able to, you'd better go out there and do it. Players will see right through a phony. And they can tell when you're not giving it all you've got. - Larry Bird
     
  • Leadership is getting someone to do what they don't want to do, to achieve what they want to achieve.  - Tom Landry
     
  • Leadership is influence. - John C. Maxwell 
     
  • 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
     
  • Leadership is mostly about the courage and willingness to do what it takes and sacrifice what is needed to achieve what is required. - Manie Bosman
     
  • Leadership is not magnetic personality, that can just as well be a glib tongue. It is not "making friends and influencing people", that is flattery. Leadership is lifting a person's vision to higher sights, the raising of a person's performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations. - Peter F. Drucker
     
  • 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 Powel
     
  • 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
     
  • Leadership is the ability to hide your panic from others. - Anonymous
     
  • Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it. - Dwight D. Eisenhower
     
  • Leadership is the key to 99 percent of all successful efforts. - Erskine Bowles
     
  • Leadership is unlocking people’s potential to become better. - Bill Bradley
     
  • Leadership should be born out of the understanding of the needs of those who would be affected by it. - Marian Anderson
     
  • Leadership should be more participative than directive, more enabling than performing. - Mary D. Poole
     
  • Leadership to me means duty, honor, country. It means character, and it means listening from time to time. - George W. Bush
     
  • Let him who would be moved to convince others, be first moved to convince himself. - Thomas Carlyle
     
  • Management is about arranging and telling. Leadership is about nurturing and enhancing. - Tom Peters
     
  • Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things. - Peter F. Drucker
     
  • Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall. - Stephen R. Covey
     
  • Management means, in the last analysis, the substitution of thought for brawn and muscle, of knowledge for folklore and superstition, and of cooperation for force. - Peter Drucker
     
  • 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
     
  • Misfortunes, untoward events, lay open, disclose the skill of a general, while success conceals his weakness, his weak points. - Horace
     
  • 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
     
  • 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
     
  • Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power. - Abraham Lincoln
     
  • Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead
     
  • Never mistake knowledge for wisdom. One helps you make a living; the other helps you make a life. - Sandra Carey
     
  • Next to the assumption of power is the responsibility of relinquishing it. - Benjamin Disraeli
     
  • No general can fight his battles alone. He must depend upon his lieutenants, and his success depends upon his ability to select the right man for the right place. - Philip Armour
     
  • No institution can possibly survive if it needs geniuses or supermen to manage it. It must be organized in such a way as to be able to get along under a leadership composed of average human beings. - Peter Drucker
     
  • No man is good enough to govern another man without that other's consent. - Abraham Lincoln
     
  • No man will ever make a great leader who wants to do it all by himself or to get all the credit for doing it. - Andrew Carnegie 
     
  • Not the cry, but the flight of a wild duck, leads the flock to fly and follow. - Chinese Proverb
     
  • Only one man in a thousand is a leader of men: the other 999 follow women. - Groucho Marx
     
  • Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be. - Ralph Waldo Emerson 
     
  • 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
     
  • People are more easily led than driven. - David Harold Fink
     
  • People ask the difference between aleader and a boss... The leader works in the open, and the boss in covert. The leader leads, and the boss drives. - Theodore Roosevelt 
     
  • People buy into the leader before they buy into the vision. - John Maxwell
     
  • Praise works with only three typ es of people; men, women, and children. - Anonymous 
     
  • So much of what we call management consists in making it difficult for people to work. - Peter Drucker
     
  • The art of leadership is saying no, not saying yes. It is very easy to say yes. - Tony Blair
     
  • The best example of leadership is leadership by example. - Jerry McClain
     
  • 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
     
  • The cardinal responsibility of leadership is to identify the dominant contradiction at each point of the historical process and to work out a central line to resolve it. - Mao Tse-Tung
     
  • 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
  • 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
     
  • 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
     
  • The greatest good you can do for another is not just share your riches but to reveal to them their own. - Benjamin Disraeli 
     
  • The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership. - Harvey Firestone
     
  • The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority. - Kenneth Blanchard
     
  • The leadership instinct you are born with is the backbone. You develop the funny bone and the wishbone that go with it. - Elaine Agather
     
  • The leader has to be practical and a realist, yet must talk the language of the visionary and the idealist. - Eric Hoffer
     
  • The leader’s job is not to cover all the bases - it is to see that all bases are covered. - James Crupi
     
  • The leaders who work most effectively, it seems to me, never say “I.” And that’s not because they have trained themselves not to say “I.” They don’t think “I.” They think “we”; they think “team.” They understand their job to be to make the team function. They accept responsibility and don’t sidestep it, but “we” gets the credit…. This is what creates trust, what enables you to get the task done. - Peter Drucker
     
  • The led must not be compelled; they must be able to choose their own leader. - Albert Einstein
     
  • The manager asks how and when; the leader asks what and why. - 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
     
  • The only real training for leadership is leadership. - Antony Jay
     
  • The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible. - Arthur C. Clarke
     
  • The power is detested, and miserable the life, of him who wishes to be feared rather than to be loved. - Cornelius Nepos
     
  • The price of greatness is responsibility. - Winston Churchill
     
  • The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves. - Ray Kroc
     
  • The real leader has no need to lead, he is content to point the way. - Henry Miller
     
  • The task of leadership is not to put greatness into people, but to elicit it, for the greatness is there already. - John Buchan
     
  • There are many elements to a campaign. Leadership is number one. Everything else is number two. - Bertolt Brecht
     
  • There are three essentials to leadership: humility, clarity and courage. - Fuchan Yuan
     
  • There are two kinds of men who never amount to much - those who cannot do what they are told and those who can do nothing else. - Cyrus H. K. Curtis
     
  • There go the people.I must follow them for I am their leader. - Alexandre Ledru-Rollin
     
  • There's plenty of room at the top, but there's no room to sit down. - Helen Downey
     
  • 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 task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been. - Henry Kissinger
     
  • The very essence of leadership is its purpose. And the purpose of leadership is to accomplish a task. That is what leadership does–and what it does is more important than what it is or how it works. - Colonel Dandridge M. Malone
     
  • The very essence of leadership is that you have to have vision. You can't blow an uncertain trumpet. - Theodore M. Hesburgh
     
  • To be a great leader and so always master of the situation, one must of necessity have been a great thinker in action. An eagle was never yet hatched from a goose's egg. - James Thomas 
     
  • To command is to serve, nothing more and nothing less. —Andre Malraux
     
  • To do great things is difficult; but to command great things is more difficult. - Friedrich Nietzsche
     
  • To lead people, walk beside them … As for the best leaders, the people do not notice their existence. The next best, the people honor and praise. The next, the people fear; and the next, the people hate … When the best leader’s work is done the people say, ‘We did it ourselves!" - Lao-Tsu 
     
  • 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
     
  • We must recognize that as the dominant power in the world we have a special responsibility. In addition to protecting our national interests, we must take the leadership in protecting the common interests of humanity. - George Soros
     
  • What you cannot enforce / Do not command. - Sophocles
     
  • When I give a minister an order, I leave it to him to find the means to carry it out. - Napoleon Bonaparte
     
  • When nothing is sure, everything is possible. - Margaret Drabble 
     
  • Where there is no vision, the people perish. - Proverbs 29:18 
     
  • Unless structure follows strategy, inefficiency results. - Alfred Chandler
     
  • You don't lead by hitting people over the head - that's assault, not leadership. - Dwight D. Eisenhower
     
  • 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
  • You don't have to hold a position in order to be a leader. - Anthony J D'Angelo
     
  • You don’t need a title to be a leader. – Multiple Attributions 
     
  • 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
     
  • You manage things; you lead people. - Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper

 

SOURCES (in no particular order):

Inspirational Quotes http://www.inspirational-quotes.info/leadership.html

Leadership 501 http://www.leadership501.com/leadership-quotes/316/

Best Leadership Quotes http://www.famous-quotes-and-quotations.com/leadership-quotes.html

Brainy Quote http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/leadership.html

The Positivity Blog http://www.positivityblog.com/index.php/2007/07/06/25-great-quotes-on-leadership/

Winston Churchill Leadership http://www.winston-churchill-leadership.com/leadership-quote.html

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