Looking for the best leadership quotes? We’ve compiled a list of top 150 greatest quotes and sayings on leadership: how to be a leader, what it takes and more.

Top 150 Greatest Leadership Quotes


150

“The leader is one who, out of the clutter, brings simplicity… out of discord, harmony… and out of difficulty, opportunity.” – Albert Einstein


149

“My jobs is not to be easy on people. My job is to make them better.” – Steve Jobs


148

“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


147

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


146

“Communication is the most important skill any leader can possess.” – Richard Branson


145

“Earn your leadership every day.” – Michael Jordan


144

“All leaders are readers.” – Jim Rohn


143

“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


142

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


141

“Leadership is liberating people to do what is required of them in the most effective and humane way possible.” – Max De Pree


140

“Leadership involves finding a parade and getting in front of it.” – John Naisbitt

leadership quote


139

“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


138

“Ninety percent of leadership is the ability to communicate something people want.” – Dianne Feinstein


137

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” – Abraham Lincoln


136

“It is well to respect the leader. Learn from him. Observe him. Study him. But don’t worship him. Believe you can surpass. Believe you can go beyond. Those who harbor the second-best attitude are invariably second-best doers.” – David J. Schwartz


135

“The only safe ship in a storm is leadership.” – Faye Wattleton


134

“The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves.” – Ray Kroc


133

“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


132

“Leadership is an ever-evolving position.” – Mike Krzyzewski


131

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


130

“A leader is one who sees more than others see, who sees farther than others see, and who sees before others see.” – Leroy Eimes

leadership quotes


129

“The task of leadership is not to put greatness into humanity, but to elicit it, for the greatness is already there.” – John Buchan


128

“The role of leadership is to transform the complex situation into small pieces and prioritize them.” – Carlos Ghosn


127

“A leader is not an administrator who loves to run others, but someone who carries water for his people so that they can get on with their jobs.” – Robert Townsend


126

“Leadership is about creating, day by day, a domain in which we and those around us continually deepen our understanding of reality and are able to participate in shaping the future. This, then, is the deeper territory of leadership – collectively ‘listening to what is wanting to emerge in the world, and then having the courage to do what is required.” – Joseph Jaworski


125

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


124

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill


123

“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


122

“Real leadership is leaders recognizing that they serve the people that they lead.” – Pete Hoekstra


121

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” – Barack Obama


120

“Leaders think and talk about the solutions. Followers think and talk about the problems.” – Brian Tracy

leadership quote


119

“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


118

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


117

“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


116

“Great leaders are not defined by the absence of weakness, but rather by the presence of clear strengths.” – John Zenger


115

“The greatest leaders mobilize others by coalescing people around a shared vision.” – Ken Blanchard


114

“Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” – Lao Tzu


113

“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


112

“It’s not about money or connections — it’s the willingness to outwork and outlearn everyone.” – Mark Cuban


111

“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


110

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

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109

“Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence.” – Albert Einstein


108

“A leader is a person you will follow to a place you would not go by yourself.” – Joel Barker


107

“There are no office hours for leaders.” – Cardinal J. Gibbons


106

“Leaders come in two flavors, expanders and containers. The best leadership teams have a mix of both.” – Barbara Corcoran


105

“Becoming a leader is synonymous with becoming yourself. It is precisely that simple and it is also that difficult.” – Warren Bennis


104

“My job as a leader is to make sure everybody in the company has great opportunities, and that they feel they’re having a meaningful impact.” – Larry Page


103

“The ability to learm is the most important quality a leader can have.” – Sheryl Sandberg


102

“Don’t follow the crowd, let the crowd follow you.” – Margaret Thatcher


101

“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


100

“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

leadership quote


99

“If you want to build something great, you should focus on what the change is that you want to make in the world.” – Mark Zuckerberg


98

“Leadership is not about a title or a designation. It’s about impact, influence and inspiration. Impact involves getting results, influence is about spreading the passion you have for your work, and you have to inspire team-mates and customers.” – Robin S. Sharma


97

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


96

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


95

“A strong leader avoids becoming over-confident to the point of impaired judgment.” – Daniel Lubetzky


94

“Leadership is the key to 99 percent of all successful efforts.” – Erskine Bowles


93

“Leadership is about having the courage to go against the advice of the so-called experts and doing what your instinct tells you is right.” – Robert Kraft


92

“Actions, not words, are the ultimate results of leadership.” – Bill Owens


91

“The world needs new leadership, but the new leadership is about working together.” – Jack Ma


90

“At the heart of great leadership is a curious mind, heart, and spirit.” – Chip Conley

leadership quote


89

“My number one philosophy for leadership is leadership by example. If you are not willing to do it yourself, how can you show others how to do it?” – Linda McMahon


88

“You have to lead people gently toward what they already know is right.” – Phil Crosby


87

“Control is not leadership; management is not leadership; leadership is leadership. If you seek to lead, invest at least 50 percent of your time in leading yourself–your own purpose, ethics, principles, motivation, conduct. Invest at least 20 percent leading those with authority over you and 15 percent leading your peers.” – Dee Hock


86

“To have long term success as a coach or in any position of leadership, you have to be obsessed in some way.” – Pat Riley


85

“Leaders have to act more quickly today. The pressure comes much faster.” – Andy Grove


84

“Character matters; leadership descends from character.” – Rush Limbaugh


83

“Leadership to me means duty, honor, country. It means character, and it means listening from time to time.” – George W. Bush


82

“Leadership is about making the right decision and the best decision before, sometimes, it becomes entirely popular.” – Martin O’Malley


81

“The leader is one who mobilizes others toward a goal shared by leaders and followers… Leaders, followers and goals make up the three equally necessary supports for leadership.” – Garry Wills


80

“When you’re in a leadership role, you can never please all of the people all of the time. There’s also a lot of responsibility that goes along with it that others may not realize.” – Joyce Meyer

leadership quotes


79

“True leadership isn’t about having an idea. It’s about having an idea and recruiting other people to execute on this vision.” – Leila Janah


78

“What I’ve really learned over time is that optimism is a very, very important part of leadership.” – Bob Iger


77

“Leadership is standing with your people. People say you have to live to fight another day, but sometimes you have to show you are a true leader.” – Leymah Gbowee


76

“Leadership is an active role; ‘lead’ is a verb. But the leader who tries to do it all is headed for burnout, and in a powerful hurry.” – Bill Owens


75

“One of the sad truths about leadership is that, the higher up the ladder you travel, the less you know.” – Margaret Heffernan


74

“Leadership means forming a team and working toward common objectives that are tied to time, metrics, and resources.” – Russel Honore


73

“Character in leadership is the most important balance for leadership. Without character, leaders have no safety. Leadership has no protection without character.” – Myles Munroe


72

“It’s very important in a leadership role not to place your ego at the foreground and not to judge everything in relationship to how your ego is fed.” – Ruth J. Simmons


71

“I think leadership is something you earn, more through actions than words.” – Ander Crenshaw


70

“The thing I’m most focused on today is, how am I maximizing the effectiveness of the leadership team, and what am I doing to nurture it?” – Satya Nadella

leadership quote


69

“Leadership is inspiring extraordinary people to step up and serve their country.” – Justin Trudeau


68

“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


67

“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


66

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


65

“One secret of leadership is that the mind of a leader never turns off. Leaders even when they are sightseers or spectators, are active; not passive observers.” – James Humes


64

“How the hell can I ask people who work for me to travel cheaply if I travel in luxury? It’s a question of good leadership.” – Ingvar Kamprad


63

“Optimism is the ultimate definition of a leader. A leader has to look optimistically at what is ahead while not ignoring the challenges that must be overcome. Those challenges are in government, politics, world leadership, and even in community life.” – Linda McMahon


62

“Leadership should be born out of the understanding of the needs of those who would be affected by it.” – Marian Anderson


61

“Leadership is a mindset in action. So don’t wait for the title. Leadership isn’t something that anyone can give you – you have to earn it and claim it for yourself.” – Travis Bradberry


60

“I think leadership is more than just being able to cross the t’s and dot the i’s. It’s about character and integrity and work ethic.” – Steve Largent


59

“Leadership is a mindset that shifts from being a victim to creating results. Any one of us can demonstrate leadership in our work and within our lives.” – Robin S. Sharma


58

“Good leadership consists of showing average people how to do the work of superior people.” – John D. Rockefeller


57

“Leadership is possible in all different ways, and in all different areas of life. Whether it is with friends or family, I expect them to set a great example for me, and hopefully I will do the same for them. And that is all part of being a leader.” – Steve Nash


56

“Leadership is hard to define and good leadership even harder. But if you can get people to follow you to the ends of the earth, you are a great leader.” – Indra Nooyi


55

“Well, I think that – I think leadership’s always been about two main things: imagination and courage.” – Paul Keating


54

“Leadership is absolutely about inspiring action, but it is also about guarding against mis-action.” – Simon Sinek


53

“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


52

“Leadership consists of picking good men and helping them do their best.” – Chester W. Nimitz


51

“Leadership is an opportunity to serve. It is not a trumpet call to self-importance.” – J. Donald Walters


50

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

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49

“Leadership offers an opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life, no matter what the project.” – Bill Owens


48

“Leadership cannot really be taught. It can only be learned.” – Harold S. Geneen


47

“No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit for doing it.” – Andrew Carnegie


46

“Leadership is all about taking people on a journey. The challenge is that most of the time, we are asking people to follow us to places we ourselves have never been.” – Andy Stanley


45

“Just as discipline and freedom are opposing forces that must be balanced, leadership requires finding the equilibrium in the dichotomy of many seemingly contradictory qualities between one extreme and another.” – Jocko Willink


44

“Leadership is something you earn, something you’re chosen for. You can’t come in yelling, ‘I’m your leader!’ If it happens, it’s because the other guys respect you.” – Ben Roethlisberger


43

“Leadership is about doing the right thing, even if it going against a vast number of naysayers and mediocre people.” – N. R. Narayana Murthy


42

“Leadership is about vision and responsibility, not power.” – Seth Berkley


41

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


40

“One thing that somebody told me is that leadership is a lonely role – some people can do it, and some people can’t.” – Kyrie Irving


39

“One of the tests of leadership is the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency.” – Arnold H. Glasow


38

“As a business owner, leadership is more than just telling others what to do. Leadership is about the investment we make into others and the responsibilities we accept for being the voice and direction that others count on.” – Lewis Howes


37

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


36

“A good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame, a little less than his share of the credit.” – Arnold H. Glasow


35

“Whether we’re talking about leadership, teamwork, or client service, there is no more powerful attribute than the ability to be genuinely honest about one’s weaknesses, mistakes, and needs for help.” – Patrick Lencioni


34

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


33

“The secret to success is good leadership, and good leadership is all about making the lives of your team members or workers better.” – Tony Dungy


32

“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


31

“The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.” – Ken Blanchard


30

“Leadership is working with goals and vision; management is working with objectives.” – Russel Honore

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29

“I learned that leadership is about falling in love with the people and the people falling in love with you. It is about serving the people with selflessness, with sacrifice, and with the need to put the common good ahead of personal interests.” – Joyce Banda


28

“Go as far as you can see; when you get there, you’ll be able to see farther.” – J. P. Morgan


27

“I think leadership is service and there is power in that giving: to help people, to inspire and motivate them to reach their fullest potential.” – Denise Morrison


26

“A man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd.” – Max Lucado


25

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


24

“Leadership is unlocking people’s potential to become better.” – Bill Bradley


23

“I know of no single formula for success. But over the years I have observed that some attributes of leadership are universal and are often about finding ways of encouraging people to combine their efforts, their talents, their insights, their enthusiasm and their inspiration to work together.” – Queen Elizabeth II


22

“People ask the difference between a leader and a boss. The leader leads, and the boss drives.” – Theodore Roosevelt


21

“The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.” – Ralph Nader


20

“A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

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19

“Leadership can change its mind; leadership can open its eye. Leadership can even be replaced.” – Ehud Barak


18

“One of my beliefs about leadership is it’s not how many followers you have, but how many people you have with different opinions that you can bring together and try to be a good listener.” – Robert Kraft


17

“Leadership is a choice, not a position.” – Stephen Covey


16

“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


15

“Leaders must be close enough to relate to others, but far enough ahead to motivate them.” – John C. Maxwell


14

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


13

“Leadership is a way of thinking, a way of acting and, most importantly, a way of communicating.” – Simon Sinek


12

“The speed of the leader is the speed of the gang.” – Mary Kay Ash


11

“Effective leadership is putting first things first. Effective management is discipline, carrying it out.” – Stephen Covey


10

“I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people.” – Mahatma Gandhi


9

“Leadership is simply the ability of an individual to coalesce the efforts of other individuals toward achieving common goals. It boils down to looking after your people and ensuring that, from top to bottom, everyone feels part of the team.” – Frederick W. Smith


8

“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


7

“Leadership is an individual sport, one that has to be fine-tuned to each of the people that reports to you. Leaders also need to provide the direction, energy, encouragement and inspiration for each person who reports directly to the leader as well as for the overall organization.” – David Petraeus


6

“Leadership is service to others.” – Denise Morrison


5

“The art of leadership is not to spend your time measuring, evaluating. It’s all about selecting the person. And if you believe you selected the right person, then you give that person the freedom, the authority, the delegation to innovate and to lead with some very simple measure.” – Pierre Nanterme


4

“To me, leadership is about encouraging people. It’s about stimulating them. It’s about enabling them to achieve what they can achieve – and to do that with a purpose.” – Christine Lagarde


3

“Sometimes leadership is planting trees under whose shade you’ll never sit. It may not happen fully till after I’m gone. But I know that the steps we’re taking are the right steps.” – Jennifer Granholm


2

“I think leadership is not something you learn; it’s something you discover.” – Myles Munroe


1

“Uncertainty is a permanent part of the leadership landscape. It never goes away.” – Andy Stanley