Here are my choices for the 101 best leadership quotes arranged alphabetically according to author’s first name.
1. The art of leadership . . . consists in consolidating the attention of the people against a single adversary and taking care that nothing will split up that attention. . . . The leader of genius must have the ability to make different opponents appear as if they belong to one category.
2. No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself, or to get all the credit for doing it.
3. You don’t have to hold a position in order to be a leader.
4. The only real training for leadership is leadership.
5. One of the tests of leadership is the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency.
6. A good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame, a little less than his share of the credit.
7. Leadership is NOT about changing the mindset of the individual or group, but in the cultivation of an environment that brings out the best and even inspires the individuals in that group to do what needs to be done.
Arthur W. Newcomb
8. Show me the leader and I will know his men. Show me the men and I will know their leader.
9. Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.
10. If anything goes bad, I did it. If anything goes semi-good, we did it. If anything goes real good, you did it. That’s all it takes to get people to win football games.
11. Leadership is unlocking people’s potential to become better.
12. A real leader has the ability to motivate others to their highest level of achievement; then gives them the opportunity and the freedom to grow.
13. A leader certainly needs a clear vision of the organization and where it is going, but a vision is of little value unless it is shared in a way so as to generate enthusiasm and commitment. Leadership and communication are inseparable.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
14. You do not lead by hitting people over the head – that’s assault, not leadership.
15. Power flows to the man who knows how. Responsibilities gravitate to the person who can shoulder them.
16. One of the greatest talents of all is the talent to recognize and to develop talent in others.
General Colin Powell
17. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them.
Harvey S. Firestone
18. The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership.
19. A dream is just a dream. A goal is a dream with a plan and a deadline.
20. If you wish others to believe in you, you must first convince them that you believe in them.
Henry David Thoreau
21. He is the best sailor who can steer within fewest points of the wind and exact a motive power out of the greatest obstacles.
22. Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.
23. The world of the 1990s and beyond will not belong to ‘managers’ or those who can make the numbers dance. The world will belong to passionate, driven leaders – people who not only have enormous amounts of energy but who can energize those whom they lead.
24. Giving people self-confidence is by far the most important thing that I can do. Because then they will act.
25. It is hard to look up to a leader who keeps his ear to the ground.
26. A man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd.
27. I’ve never found an important decision made by a great organization that was made at a point of unanimity. Significant decisions carry risks and inevitably some will oppose it. In these settings, the great legislative leader must be artful in handling uncomfortable decisions, and this requires rigor.
28. 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.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
29. Treat a man as he is and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he can and should be and he will become as he can and should be.
John F. Kennedy
30. Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.
31. A great leader’s courage to fulfill his vision comes from passion, not position.
32. Most people who want to get ahead do it backward. They think, ‘I’ll get a bigger job, then I’ll learn how to be a leader.’ But showing leadership skill is how you get the bigger job in the first place. Leadership isn’t a position, it’s a process.
33. Leaders must be close enough to relate to others, but far enough ahead to motivate them.
34. Leadership is more ? if not much more ? influence, rather than position.
35. Leadership is influence.
36. A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.
37. People buy into the leader before they buy into the vision.
38. Remember, man does not live on bread alone: sometimes he needs a little buttering up.
39. Anyone can follow a path, but only a leader can blaze one.
40. Once our minds are ‘tattooed’ with negative thinking, our chances for long-term success diminish.
41. Character creates consistency, and if your people know what they can expect from you, they will continue to look to you for leadership.
42. Great communication depends on two simple skills—context, which attunes a leader to the same frequency as his or her audience, and delivery, which allows a leader to phrase messages in a language the audience can understand.
43. Earn the right to be heard by listening to others. Seek to understand a situation before making judgments about it.
44. Take the emotional temperature of those listening to you. Facial expressions, voice inflection and posture give clues to a person’s mood and attitude.
45. Credibility is a leader’s currency. With it, he or she is solvent; without it, he or she is bankrupt.
46. A highly credible leader under-promises and over-delivers.
47. The key to becoming a more efficient leader isn’t checking off all the items on your to-do list each day. It’s in forming the habit of prioritizing your time so that you are accomplishing your most important goals in an efficient manner.
48. Talented performers flock to the best and brightest leaders, and these leaders in turn lift the lids off their people and uncork the latent talent inside of them.
49. Leaders don’t rise to the pinnacle of success without developing the right set of attitudes and habits; they make every day a masterpiece.
50. The best leaders are humble enough to realize their victories depend upon their people.
51. Passion creates energy and magnetically pulls co-workers and customers into a shared vision, and it is exceptionally strong when linked with a leader’s values.
52. Leadership involves the heavy burden of responsibility, and the fear of getting it wrong can paralyze a leader.
53. Feedback is the breakfast of champions.
54. In the past a leader was a boss. Today’s leaders must be partners with their people… they no longer can lead solely based on positional power.
55. People who produce good results feel good about themselves.
56. The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.
57. Too many leaders act as if the sheep… their people… are there for the benefit of the shepherd, not that the shepherd has responsibility for the sheep.
58. Vision comes alive when everyone sees where his or her contribution makes a difference.
59. You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get them across, your ideas won’t get you anywhere.
60. There’s something unique and different that makes a leader, and it’s not about creativity or courage or integrity…. A leader’s job is to rally people toward a better future.
61. Your success in life isn’t based on your ability to simply change. It is based on your ability to change faster than your competition, customers and business.
62. To help others develop, start with yourself.
63. I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people.
64. 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.
65. Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.
66. Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes.
67. 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.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
68. Trust men and they will be true to you; treat them greatly and they will show themselves great.
69. The deeper your relationship with others, the more effective will be your leadership. People will not follow you if they do not trust you, and before someone will lend you a hand, you must first touch their heart.
70. Mastery in work and in life is about committing yourself to being excellent in everything you do, no matter how small and no matter if no one is watching. Do you practice excellence in your most private moments?
71. The first fifteen minutes of your day should be spent planning your day. Set specific goals as to what you will accomplish. These clear goals will give you focal points on which you can govern your actions and provide your with a template you can live your day from.
72. Surround yourself with the best people you can find, delegate authority, and don’t interfere as long as the policy you’ve decided upon is being carried out.
73. 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.
74. Effective leadership is putting first things first. Effective management is discipline, carrying it out.
75. In the last analysis, what we are communicates far more eloquently than anything we say or do.
76. Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall.
77. The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.
78. Innovate, develop, motivate, inspire, trust — be a leader.
Theodore M. Hesburgh
79. The very essence of leadership is that you have to have vision. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet.
80. 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.
Thomas Woodrow Wilson
81. Power consists in one’s capacity to link his will with the purpose of others, leading by reason and a gift of cooperation.
82. Leadership is getting someone to do what they don’t want to do, to achieve what they want to achieve.
83. Leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders.
84. The simple act of paying positive attention to people has a great deal to do with productivity.
85. Be enthusiastic as a leader. You can’t light a fire with a wet match.
86. Leadership is one of the highest forms of service. It is best exercised when it freely motivates others to a decision that is really theirs — but which may never have been reached without the leader’s beneficial influence.
87. A leader’s job is to look into the future and see the organization not as it is, but as it can become.
Warren G. Bennis
88. Becoming a leader is synonymous with becoming yourself. It is precisely that simple, and it is also that difficult.
89. Excellence is a better teacher than mediocrity. The lessons of the ordinary are everywhere. Truly profound and original insights are to be found only in studying the exemplary.
90. Failing organizations are usually over-managed and under-led.
91. Good leaders make people feel that they’re at the very heart of things, not at the periphery.
92. Great things are accomplished by talented people who believe they will accomplish them.
93. Leaders keep their eyes on the horizon, not just on the bottom line.
94. Leaders must encourage their organizations to dance to forms of music yet to be heard.
95. Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.
96. The manager accepts the status quo; the leader challenges it.
97. The manager asks how and when; the leader asks what and why.
98. The manager has a short-range view; the leader has a long-range perspective.
99. 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.
100. The price of greatness is responsibility.
101. The ear of the leader must ring with the voices of the people.