200 Leadership Quotes to Bring Your Team to Great Heights

Inspire the team to be united and do better through these top leadership quotes.

Every organization needs a leader that trusts and understands them. These are the essential elements that will lead them to success. Without someone uniting them, they will not work toward one goal. 

We have compiled quotes that will teach you about unity and greatness. So, if you are running out of ideas on how to fire up the work environment, then this collection is perfect for you. 

Read our complete collection below.

Best Leadership Quotes

1. “A good leader leads the people from above them. A great leader leads the people from within them.” – M.D. Arnold

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

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

4. “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 

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

6. “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

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

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

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

10. “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 

11. “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

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

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

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

15. “What you do has far greater impact than what you say.” – Stephen Covey

Quotes That Will Inspire You to Be a Better Leader

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

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

18. “Leadership is about taking responsibility, not making excuses.” – Mitt Romney

19. “To command is to serve, nothing more and nothing less.” – Andre Malraux

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

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

22. “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

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

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

25. “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

26. “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

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

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

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

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

Leadership Quotes on Achieving Success

31. “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

32. “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

33. “Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success. Leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall.” – Stephen Covey

34. “A great leader’s courage to fulfill his vision comes from passion, not position.” – John Maxwell

35. “The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.” – Theodore Roosevelt

36. “The men who have done big things are those who were not afraid to attempt big things, who were not afraid to risk failure in order to gain success.” – Bertie Charles Forbes

37. “It’s fine to celebrate success, but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.” – Bill Gates

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

39. “Leadership is a series of behaviors rather than a role for heroes.” – Margaret Wheatley

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

41. “A lot of people have gone further than they thought they could because someone else thought they could.” – Zig Ziglar

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

43. “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.

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

45. “The first job of leadership is to love people. Leadership without love is manipulation.” – Rick Warren

Empowering Leadership Quotes

46. “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.” – Albert Einstein

47. “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

48. “Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody expects of you. Never excuse yourself.” – Henry Ward Beecher

49. “As a leader, your principal job is to create an operating environment where others can do great things.” – Richard Teerlink 

50. “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

51. “A great person attracts great people and knows how to hold them together.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

52. “High expectations are the key to everything.” – Sam Walton

53. “Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.” – Steve Jobs

54. “Trust is the essence of leadership.” – Colin Powell

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

56. “Don’t necessarily avoid sharp edges. Occasionally, they are necessary to leadership.” – Donald Rumsfeld

57. “The real leader has no need to lead. He is content to point the way.” – Henry Miller

58. “People buy into the leader before they buy into the vision.” – John Maxwell

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

60. “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.” – Bernard Law Montgomery

Leadership Quotes That Highlight Collectivism

61. “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

62. “Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers who can cut through argument, debate, and doubt to offer a solution everybody can understand.” – Colin Powell

63. “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

64. “Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do, and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.” – George Patton

65. “He who has never learned to obey cannot be a good commander.” – Aristotle

66. “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

67. “Lead and inspire people. Don’t try to manage and manipulate people. Inventories can be managed, but people must be led.” – Henry Ross Perot

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

69. “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

70. “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

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

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

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

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

75. “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

Quotes on What Great Leadership Is Like

76. “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

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

78. “The very essence of leadership is that you have to have a vision. It’s got to be a vision you articulate clearly and forcefully on every occasion. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet.” – Theodore Hesburgh

79. “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

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

81. “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

82. “If you can’t swallow your pride, you can’t lead. Even the highest mountain had animals that step on it.” – Jack Weatherford

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

84. “An organization’s ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly is the ultimate competitive advantage.” – Jack Welch

85. “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

86. “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 Sharma

87. “Management is about arranging and telling. Leadership is about nurturing and enhancing.” – Tom Peters

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

89. “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

90. “Leadership is an opportunity to serve. It is not a trumpet call to self-importance.” – Swami Kriyananda

Quotes on the Qualities of a Leader

91. “A ruler should be slow to punish and swift to reward.” – Ovid

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

93. “Time is neutral and does not change things. With courage and initiative, leaders change things.” – Jesse Jackson Jr.

94. “The art of leadership is saying no, not saying yes. It is very easy to say yes.” – Anthony Charles Lynton Blair

95. “Honor bespeaks worth. Confidence begets trust. Service brings satisfaction. Cooperation proves the quality of leadership.” – James Cash Penney

96. “The leader has to be practical, and a realist yet, must talk the language of the visionary and the idealist.” – Eric Hoffer

97. “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

98. “Of all the things I’ve done, the most vital is coordinating those who work with me and aiming their efforts at a certain goal.” – Walt Disney

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

100. “Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.” – Michael Jordan

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

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

103. “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

104. “Integrity is the most valuable and respected quality of leadership. Always keep your word.” – Brian Tracy

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

Motivational Leadership Quotes

106. “My job is not to be easy on people. My job is to take these great people we have and to push them and make them even better.” – Steve Jobs

107. “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

108. “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.” – Vince Lombardi

109. “If you want to improve the organization, you have to improve yourself, and the organization gets pulled up with you.” – Indra Nooyi

110. “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

111. “Leadership is not just about giving energy, it’s unleashing other people’s energy.” – Paul Polman

112. “All that is valuable in human society depends upon the opportunity for development accorded the individual.” – Albert Einstein

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

114. “True leadership stems from individuality that is honestly and sometimes imperfectly expressed. Leaders should strive for authenticity over perfection.” – Sheryl Sandberg

115. “Great leaders do not fear challenges because challenges do not break leaders but sharpen them.” – Gift Gugu Mona

116. “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

117. “Let no man imagine that he has no influence. Whoever he may be, and wherever he may be placed, the man who thinks becomes a light and a power.” – Henry George

118. “The greatness of a leader is measured by the achievements of the led. This is the ultimate test of his effectiveness.” – Omar Bradley

119. “There are three essentials to leadership: humility, clarity, and courage.” – Fuchan Yuan

120. “The supreme quality of leadership is integrity.” – Dwight Eisenhower

Leadership Quotes That Will Keep Your Passion Burning

121. “Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way.” – George Patton

122. “A good general not only sees the way to victory, he also knows when victory is impossible.” – Polybius

123. “If the highest aim of a captain were to preserve his ship, he would keep it in port forever.” – Thomas Aquinas

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

125. “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

126. “Leadership cannot just go along to get along. Leadership must meet the moral challenge of the day.” – Jesse Jackson Jr.

127. “Leadership is the creation of an environment in which others are able to self-actualize in the process of completing the job.” – John Mellecker

128. “Go as far as you can see. When you get there, you’ll be able to see farther.” – John Pierpoint Morgan

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

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

131. “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

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

133. “Our work is our most important resource to develop our people.” – Jim Trinka and Les Wallace

134. “To do great things is difficult, but to command great things is more difficult.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

135. “You cannot be effective if those who work for you are not. So building their effectiveness ought to be a priority.” – Richard N. Haass

Leadership Quotes on the Importance of Boosting Morale

136. “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

137. “Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.” – Mother Teresa

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

139. “The way you behave when you think you can get away with it is who you really are.” – Carly Fiorina

140. “In matters of style, swim with the current. In matters of principle, stand like a rock.” – Thomas Jefferson

141. “Many people believe that decentralization means loss of control. That’s simply not true. You can improve control if you look at control as the control of events and not people. Then, the more people you have controlling events, the more people you have that care about controlling the events, the more people you have proactively working to create favorable events, the more control you have within the organization, by definition.” – Wilbur Lyman Creech

142. “It is absurd that a man should rule others, who cannot rule himself.” – Latin Proverb

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

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

145. “You don’t lead by hitting people over the head—that’s assault, not leadership.” – Dwight Eisenhower

146. “If you want your people to think, don’t give instructions, give intent.” – David Marquet

147. “The most important thing about a commander is his effect on morale.” – William Joseph Slim

148. “Leadership does not always wear the harness of compromise.” – Woodrow Wilson

149. “It takes leaders to grow other leaders.” – Roy Dean Blunt

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

Leadership Quotes to Help You Improve the Workplace

151. “Don’t find fault. Find a remedy.” – Henry Ford

152. “You have to enable and empower people to make decisions independent of you. As I’ve learned, each person on a team is an extension of your leadership. If they feel empowered by you, they will magnify your power to lead. Trust is a great force multiplier.” – Thomas Joseph Ridge

153. “A competent leader can get efficient service from poor troops, while on the contrary, an incapable leader can demoralize the best of troops.” – John Pershing

154. “Trust is fundamental, reciprocal, and pervasive. If it is present, anything is possible. If it is absent, nothing is possible.” – George Shultz

155. “Successful leaders see the opportunities in every difficulty rather than the difficulty in every opportunity.” – Reed Markham

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

157. “Make sure you’re not just waiting for someone else to fix things or hoping that things will improve. Figure out what’s going on and make a plan to improve things.” – Kenneth Thomas

158. “When placed in command, take charge.” – Norman Schwarzkopf

159. “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” – George Bernard Shaw

160. “He who has great power should use it lightly.” – Lucius Annaeus Seneca

161. “The thing you can do to make your agency a more interesting place to work and consequently less bureaucratic is to enable those under you to feel they control their own areas of work. In this way, they acquire a sense of ownership in what gets done and how they do it.” – Kenneth Ashworth

162. “Nothing will work unless you do.” – John Wooden

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

164. “Never give an order that can’t be obeyed.” – Douglas MacArthur

165. “Feedback is a gift. Ideas are the currency of our next success. Let people see you value both feedback and ideas.” – Jim Trinka and Les Wallace

Leadership Quotes That Show How You Can Support Your Employees Well

166. “Leaders don’t inflict pain. They share pain.” – Max De Pree

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

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

169. “Keep your fears to yourself, but share your courage with others.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

170. “The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind him in other men the conviction and the will to carry on.” – Walter Lippmann

171. “A good leader inspires people to have confidence in the leader. A great leader inspires people to have confidence in themselves.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

172. “Only the guy who isn’t rowing has time to rock the boat.” – Jean-Paul Sartre

173. “Leadership is not about titles, positions, or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another.” – John Maxwell

174. “You take people as far as they will go, not as far as you would like them to go.” – Jeannette Rankin

175. “Doing what is right isn’t the problem. It is knowing what is right.” – Lyndon B Johnson

176. “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

177. “A leader is one who sees more than others see, who sees farther than others see, and who sees before others see.” – LeRoy Eims

178. “To handle yourself, use your head. To handle others, use your heart.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

179. “Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill

180. “You cannot be a leader and ask other people to follow you unless you know how to follow too.” – Sam Rayburn

Wise Quotes on Leadership 

181. “Earn your leadership every day.” – Michael Jordan

182. “Not the cry, but the flight of a wild duck leads the flock to fly and follow.” – Chinese Proverb

183. “Education is the mother of leadership.” – Wendell Willkie

184. “All leaders lead by example whether they intend to or not.” – Anonymous

185. “We live in a society obsessed with public opinion, but leadership has never been about popularity.” – Marco Rubio

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

187. “Wise leaders generally have wise counselors because it takes a wise person themselves to distinguish them.” – Diogenes

188. “A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.” – George Patton

189. “Don’t be afraid to take a big step when one is indicated. You can’t cross a chasm in two small steps.” – David Lloyd George

190. “Not one single leadership principle requires permission from anyone other than you.” – Jim Trinka and Les Wallace

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

192. “All men who have turned out worth anything have had the chief hand in their own education.” – Walter Scott

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

194. “To be persuasive, we must be believable. To be believable, we must be credible. To be credible we must be truthful.” – Edward R. Murrow

195. “To be a leader, you have to make people want to follow you, and nobody wants to follow someone who doesn’t know where he is going.” – Joe Namath

More Quotes That Will Guide You to Be a More Effective Leader

196. “Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.” – Albert Schweitzer

197. “We can, we will, and we must come together.” – Joe Biden

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

199. “We do not need magic to change the world. We carry all the power we need inside ourselves already. We have the power to imagine better.” – J.K. Rowling

200. “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” – Thomas Stearns Eliot

What Do You Think Is the Most Important Quality of a Leader?

Our society created roles to work toward a specific goal. It is also the same system that organizations adopt to achieve their objectives.

Leaders are the ones expected to unite and encourage the members. It is not used as a means to achieve self-interest and individual desires. Being a leader means guiding a collective toward the team’s definition of success.

It is impossible to accomplish great things alone. But, being a part of an organization allows us to be a part of something greater than ourselves. Remember that proper leadership can help change the world and make it a better place.

What is your biggest takeaway from this collection? Which leadership quote was most relevant to you? Share them in the comment section below.

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