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    The 100 Best Leadership Quotes of All Time

    November 29, 2021

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    Unmesh Lamture
    Written By
    Unmesh Lamture

    Leadership quotes are often used to motivate and propel teams and individuals to be their best. These quotes are not a result of just great thoughts but great actions as well - all these culminate in creating an experience that great leaders have managed to express in a short sentence or a phrase.

    Here are the 100 Best Leadership Quotes of all Time

    Philosophers and Educators

    1) " A leader is best when people barely know he exists. When his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will all say: We did it ourselves. "  - Lao-Tzu

    2) " Leadership is a choice, not a position. "  - Stephen Covey

    3) " The leader has to be practical, and a realist yet must talk the language of the visionary and the idealist. "  - Eric Hoffer

    4) " Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results, not attributes. "  -  Peter F. Drucker

    5) There is nothing quite as useless as doing with great efficiency something that should not be done at all.  - Peter F. Drucker

    6) Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right thing. - Peter F. Drucker

    7) 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

    8) A ruler should be slow to punish and swift to reward. - Ovid


    Leader of Nations

    9) Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. - Winston Churchill

    10)  A leader is a dealer in hope.  - Napoleon Bonaparte

    11) Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power. - Abraham Lincoln

    12) Don't follow the crowd. Let the crowd follow you. - Margaret Thatcher

    13) Doing what is right isn't the problem. It is knowing what is right. - Lyndon B. Johnson

    14) 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.  - APJ Abdul Kalam

    15) Always stay true to your goals and never let what somebody else says distract you from your goals. - Michelle Obama

    16) 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

    17) 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

    18) A good leader inspires people to have confidence in the leader. A great leader inspires people to have confidence in themselves. - Eleanor Roosevelt

    19) A leader is like a shepherd. He stays behind the flock, letting the most nimble go out ahead, whereupon the others follow, not realizing that all along, they are being directed from behind. - Nelson Mandela

    20)  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

    21) Leadership is unlocking people’s potential to become better.  - Bill Bradley

    22)   Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.   - John F. Kennedy

    23) 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 conclude you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership.  - Colin Powell

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

    25) Time is neutral and does not change things. With courage and initiative, leaders change things. - Jesse Jackson

    26) We can, we will, and we must come together.  - Joe Biden

    27) 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

    28) You cannot be a leader and ask other people to follow you unless you know how to follow, too.  - Sam Rayburn

    29) 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

    30) A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.  - Martin Luther King, Jr.

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

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

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



    34) 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

    35) You manage things; you lead people.  - Grace Murray Hopper

    36) A leader should be visionary and have more foresight than an employee.  - Jack Ma

    37) Those who let things happen usually lose to those who make things happen.  - Dave Weinbaum

    38) Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power. - Abraham Lincoln

    39) If you want to be a leader who attracts quality people, the key is to become a person of quality yourself. - Jim Rohn

    40) 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

    41) There exist limitless opportunities in every industry. Where there is an open mind, there will always be a frontier. - Charles F. Kettering

    42) Leadership is not just about giving energy… it’s unleashing other people’s energy.  - Paul Polman

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

    44) No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit for doing it. - Andrew Carnegie 

    45) 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

    46) As we look ahead to the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.  - Bill Gates

    47) 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

    48) You need a commitment that is long-term and a commitment to leadership because that's the only way you build excellence. - Azim Premji

    49) 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

    50) Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower. - Steve Jobs


    51) 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

    52) Leadership is having a compelling vision, a comprehensive plan, relentless implementation, and talented people working together.  - Alan Mulally

    53) I never stopped trying to become qualified for the job. - Darwin E. Smith

    54) You get in life what you have the courage to ask for.  – Nancy D Solomon

    55) Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. - Harold R. McAlindon

    56) Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others. - Jack Welch

    57) If you want to improve the organization, you have to improve yourself, and the organization gets pulled up with you. - Indra Nooyi

    58)   You have to be willing to be misunderstood if you’re going to innovate.  " - Jeff Bezos



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

    60) Leaders have a responsibility to open doors and create opportunities for others and to support them to reach their full potential.  - Anne Poelina


    Spiritual Leaders

    61) Great leaders do not desire to lead but to serve. - Myles Munroe

    62) Integrity, insight, and inclusiveness are the three essential qualities of leadership. – Sadhguru

    63) Leadership is an opportunity to serve. It is not a trumpet call to self-importance.  -
    J. Donald Walters

    64) Your work is to discover your work and then, with all your heart, give yourself to it. – Lord Buddha


    Stars and Sports Personalities

    65) Winning has a price, and leadership has a price. So I pulled people along when they didn't want to be pulled. I challenged people when they didn't want to be challenged. - Michael Jordan

    66) 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

    67)   Leaders are made; they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price that all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.  - Vince Lombardi

    68)  Courage and confidence are what decision-making is all about. Leaders show respect for people by giving them time. – Mike Krzyzewski

    69)   The most powerful leadership tool you have is your own personal example.  - John Wooden

    70) The greatest gift of leadership is a boss who wants you to be successful.  - Jon Taffer



    71) Keep your fears to yourself, but share your courage with others. - Robert Louis Stevenson

    72) A leader is a person you will follow to a place you would not go by yourself. - Joel Barker

    73) It is not so much that man is a herd animal, said Freud, but that he is a horde animal led by a chief.  - Ernest Becker

    74) 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

    75) Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.  - Ralph Waldo Emerson

    76) A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.  –  John C Maxwell

    77) People buy into the leader before they buy into the vision. - John C. Maxwell

    78) We cannot lead anyone farther than we have been ourselves.  - John C. Maxwell

    79) 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

    80) Leaders think and talk about the solutions. Followers think and talk about the problems. - Brian Tracy

    81) All that matters is that we start. - Simon Sinek

    82) Great leaders do not fear challenges, because challenges do not break leaders but sharpen them.  - Gift Gugu Mona

    83)  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

    84) 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

    85) Integrity is the most valuable and respected quality of leadership. Always keep your word.  - Brian Tracy.

    86) Management is about arranging and telling. Leadership is about nurturing and enhancing.  - Tom Peters

    87) Great leaders have three things; inner light, inner vision, and inner strength. - Amit Ray

    88) The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The leader adjusts the sails. - John Maxwell

    89) Leadership to me means duty, honor, and country. It means character, and it means listening from time to time to think we need the feminine qualities of leadership, which include attention to aesthetics and the environment, nurturing, affection, intuition, and the qualities that make people feel safe and cared for.  - Deepak Chopra

    90) 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

    91) Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself. - Leo Tolstoy

    92) Pity the leader caught between unloving critics and uncritical lovers. - John Gardner

    93) Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve. - Napoleon Hill

    94) A man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd. - Max Lucado

    95) A lot of people have gone further than they thought they could because someone else thought they could. - Zig Ziglar

    96) The first job of leadership is to love people. Leadership without love is manipulation. - Rick Warren

    97) Leaders don't create followers; they create more leaders. - Tom Peters

    98) Be willing to be uncomfortable. Be comfortable being uncomfortable. It may get tough, but it’s a small price to pay for living a dream. - Peter McWilliams

    99) A cowardly leader is the most dangerous of men.  - Stephen King

    100)  Leaders must be close enough to relate to others, but far enough ahead to motivate them. - John C. Maxwell



    A very important thing to remember when using powerful leadership quotes is to make sure that employees see their leaders adhering to the message in that quote.

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