101 Inspiring Leadership Quotes by Great Leaders

Throughout history there have been incredible leaders and today we are witnessing leaders changing the world in front of our eyes. Bill Gates, Sheryl Sandberg, and Sundar Pichai are all names that come to mind for me personally but this list covers leadership quotes by famous leaders from nearly every industry.

Now it’s your turn. Being a leader is no easy task but sometimes all you need is a boost to keep moving forward! Whether you’re looking for inspiration or just need a little reminder of what it takes to be a good leader, these 101 leadership quotes have got you covered. Enjoy!

Let the leadership quotes begin!

"A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops." - Henry Adams
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1) “A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.” – Henry Adams

2) “The ability to learn is the most important quality a leader can have.” – Padmasree Warrior

3) “Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence, and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.” – Sheryl Sandberg

4) “All our dreams can come true – if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney

5) “Leadership is an action, not a position.” – Donald McGannon

6) “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” – John F. Kennedy

7) “Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm.” – Publilius Syrus

8) “Anyone, anywhere can make a positive difference.” – Mark Sanborn

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

"As we look ahead to the next century, leaders will be those who empower others." - Bill Gates
Facebook / Paddlefish Panda

10) “As we look ahead to the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.” – Bill Gates

11) “Leadership should be more participative than directive, more enabling than performing.” – Mary D. Poole

12) “Become the kind of leader that people would follow voluntarily, even if you had no title or position.” – Brian Tracy

13) “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” – Jack Welch

14) “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

15) “Change from the top down happens at the will and whim of those below.” – Peter Block

16) “A leader is a dealer in hope.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

Quotes for future great leaders.

17) “Great leaders do not desire to lead but to serve.” – Myles Munroe

18) “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

19) “Every time you have to speak, you are auditioning for leadership.” – James Humes

"Don't follow the crowd. Let the crowd follow you." - Margaret Thatcher
Twitter / @benjaminkwalker

20) “Don’t follow the crowd. Let the crowd follow you.” – Margaret Thatcher

21) “Great things happen nationally when topmost leadership is goaded and supported from below.” – John W. Gardner

22) “If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.” – Henry David Thoreau

23) “You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand.” – Woodrow Wilson

24) “I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion.” – Alexander the Great

25) “If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.” – Henry Ford

26) “The important thing is this: to be able to give up in any given moment all that we are for what we can become.” – DeSeaux

27) “In the face of leadership flaws, too many people assume cynical perspectives, rather than do the hard work of building relationships in which they can have more positive influence.” – Ira Chaleff

28) “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” – Steve Jobs

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

Leadership Quotes by Nelson Mandela

"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
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30) “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

31) “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

32) “It is a curious thing, Harry, but perhaps those who are best suited to power are those who have never sought it. Those who, like you, have leadership thrust upon them, and take up the mantle because they must, and find to their own surprise that they wear it well.” – J.K. Rowling

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33) “The key to successful leadership is influence, not authority.” – Kenneth H. Blanchard

34) “If you knew how much work went into it, you wouldn’t call it genius.” – Michelangelo

Inspiring Quotes by General George Patton

"Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way." - General George Patton
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35) “Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way.” – General George Patton

36) “Don’t tell people how to do things, tell them what to do, and let them surprise you with their results.” – General George Patton

37) “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

38) “Leaders instill in their people a hope for success and a belief in themselves. Positive leaders empower people to accomplish their goals.” – Unknown

Leadership Quotes by Warren Bennis

"Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality." - Warren Bennis
scatteredquotes.com

39) “Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” – Warren Bennis

40) “Followers who tell the truth, and leaders who listen to it, are an
unbeatable combination.” – Warren Bennis

41) “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

42) “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

Leadership Quotes by Peter Drucker

"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
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43) “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

44) “Efficiency is doing the thing right. Effectiveness is doing the right thing.” – Peter Drucker

45) “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” – Thomas Edison

46) “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” – William Arthur Ward

47) “I must follow the people. Am I not their leader?” – Benjamin Disraeli

48) “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

49) “You don’t need a title to be a leader.” – Unknown

50) “Never has man reached his destination by persistence in deviation from the straight path.” – Mahatma Gandhi

51) “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

52) “Nothing so undermines organizational change as the failure to think through the losses people face.” – William Bridges

Leadership Quotes by Seth Godin

"Leadership is the art of giving people a platform for spreading ideas that work." - Seth Godin
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53) “Leadership is the art of giving people a platform for spreading ideas that work.” – Seth Godin

54) “The secret of leadership is simple: Do what you believe in. Paint a picture of the future. Go there. People will follow.” – Seth Godin

55) “One of the criticisms I’ve faced over the years is that I’m not aggressive enough or assertive enough or maybe somehow, because I’m empathetic, it means I’m weak. I totally rebel against that. I refuse to believe that you cannot be both compassionate and strong.” – Jacinda Ardern

Leadership Quotes by Roy T. Bennett

"It’s only after you’ve stepped outside your comfort zone that you begin to change, grow, and transform." - Roy T. Bennett
Twitter / @inspiringthinkn

56) “It’s only after you’ve stepped outside your comfort zone that you begin to change, grow, and transform.” – Roy T. Bennett

57) “Success is not how high you have climbed, but how you make a positive difference to the world.” – Roy T. Bennett

58) “Be grateful for what you already have while you pursue your goals. If you aren’t grateful for what you already have, what makes you think you would be happy with more.” – Roy T. Bennett

59) “You never change your life until you step out of your comfort zone; change begins at the end of your comfort zone.” – Roy T. Bennett

60) “Let the improvement of yourself keep you so busy that you have no time to criticize others.” – Roy T. Bennett

61) “Listen with curiosity. Speak with honesty. Act with integrity. The greatest problem with communication is we don’t listen to understand. We listen to reply. When we listen with curiosity, we don’t listen with the intent to reply. We listen for what’s behind the words.” – Roy T. Bennett

62) “Always remember people who have helped you along the way, and don’t forget to lift someone up.” – Roy T. Bennett

63) “If you have a strong purpose in life, you don’t have to be pushed. Your passion will drive you there.” – Roy T. Bennett

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64) “It’s okay to admit what you don’t know. It’s okay to ask for help. And it’s more than okay to listen to the people you lead – in fact, it’s essential.” – Mary Barra

Leadership Quotes by John Maxwell

"A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way." - John Maxwell
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65) “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” – John Maxwell

66) “People don’t care how much you know – until they know how much you care.” – John Maxwell

67) “To add value to others, one must first value others.” – John Maxwell

68) “The single biggest way to impact an organization is to focus on leadership development. There is almost no limit to the potential of an organization that recruits good people, raises them up as leaders and continually develops them.” – John Maxwell

69) “The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The leader adjusts the sails.” – John Maxwell

70) “When people talk, listen completely.” – Ernest Hemingway

71) “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

Leadership Quotes by Eleanor Roosevelt

"One's philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes...and the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility." - Eleanor Roosevelt
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72) “One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes…and the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

73) “To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

74) “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

75) “Rarely are opportunities presented to you in a perfect way. In a nice little box with a yellow bow on top. ‘Here, open it, it’s perfect. You’ll love it.’ Opportunities – the good ones – are messy, confusing and hard to recognize. They’re risky. They challenge you.” – Susan Wojcicki

76) “A reflective reading of history will show that no man ever rose to military greatness who could not convince his troops that he put them first, above all else.” – General Maxwell Taylor

77) “A leader should be visionary and have more foresight than an employee.” – Jack Ma

78) “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 Powell

79) “Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.” – Theodore Roosevelt

80) “I start with the premise that the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.” – Ralph Nader

81) “I never stopped trying to become qualified for the job.” – Darwin E. Smith

Leadership Quotes by Winston Churchill

"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm." - Winston Churchill
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82) “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill

83) “The price of greatness is responsibility.” – Winston Churchill

84) “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

85) “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” – Proverbs 29:18

86) “When things go wrong in your command, start searching for the reason in increasingly large circles around your own desk.” – General Bruce Clarke

87) “I never thought in terms of being a leader. I thought very simply in terms of helping people.” – John Hume

88) “To complaints of a job poorly done, one often hears the excuse, ‘I am not responsible.’ I believe that is literally correct. The man who takes such a stand in fact is not responsible; he is irresponsible.” – Admiral Hyman G. Rickover

89) “Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.” – Margaret Fuller

Being a great boss and leader means treating people with respect.

"Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you help them become what they are capable of being." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
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90) “Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you help them become what they are capable of being.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

91) “The true mark of a leader is the willingness to stick with a bold course of action – an unconventional business strategy, a unique product-development roadmap, a controversial marketing campaign – even as the rest of the world wonders why you’re not marching in step with the status quo. In other words, real leaders are happy to zig while others zag. They understand that in an era of hyper-competition and non-stop disruption, the only way to stand out from the crowd is to stand for something special.” – Bill Taylor

92) “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.

93) “The very essence of leadership is that you have to have vision. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet.” – Theodore M. Hesburgh

Leadership Quotes by Jim Rohn

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

95) “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

96) “We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.” – Kurt Vonnegut

Leadership Quotes by Ronald Reagan

"When you can't make them see the light, make them feel the heat." - Ronald Reagan

97) “When you can’t make them see the light, make them feel the heat.” – Ronald Reagan

98) “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

99) “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” – Dr. Seuss

100) “You manage things; you lead people.” – Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper

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

I hope you enjoyed these inspiring quotes!

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Last update on 2022-06-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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