Authority Sayings and Quotes

Below you will find our collection of inspirational, wise, and humorous old authority quotes, authority sayings, and authority proverbs, collected over the years from a variety of sources.

Authority and power are two different things: power is the force by means of which you can oblige others to obey you. Authority is the right to direct and command, to be listened to or obeyed by others. Authority requests power. Power without authority is tyranny.     

Jacques Maritain

Authority is not a quality one person 'has', in the sense that he has property or physical qualities. Authority refers to an interpersonal relation in which one person looks upon another as somebody superior to him.     

Erich Fromm

Authority poisons everybody who takes authority on himself.     

Vladimir Lenin

The Word of God gives power, authority and abundant life to a man.     

Sunday Adelaja

Being an authority on paper does not immediately grant you authority over a group until it is earned by you and given by them.     

A.J. Darkholme

If you would know who controls you see who you may not criticise.     


Authority—when abused through micromanagement, intimidation, or verbal or nonverbal threats—makes people shut down & productivity ceases.     

John Stoker

Authority doesn't work without prestige, or prestige without distance.     

Charles De Gaulle

No authority is higher than reality.     

Peter Nivio Zarlenga

Authority is mainly a moral power; therefore, it must first call upon the conscience, that is, upon the duty that each person has to contribute willingly to the common good.     

Pope John XXIII

To punish me for my contempt for authority, fate made me an authority myself.     

Albert Einstein

It is in our authority and power to stop torment and sickness and deliver people from vanity.     

Sunday Adelaja

Authentic spiritual authority is what puts you in touch with reality.     

John Ortberg

It is not wisdom but Authority that makes a law.     

Thomas Hobbes

Authority confined in you does not make you a leader. It is the authority created by you that makes you influence people with your purpose.     

Israelmore Ayivor

Authority is ability to rule. Dominion is rulership.     

Sherry K. White

Authority could derive from passion, not pieces of paper.     

Daniel Mendelsohn

Real spiritual authority has to do with the truth of the actual words being spoken, and the spirit of the person behind the words. Really, authority is about truth: honest-living truth.     

John Ortberg

Authority is never without hate.     


Authority has to exist before it can be limited, and it is authority that is in scarce supply in those modernizing countries where government is at the mercy of alienated intellectuals, rambunctious colonels, and rioting students.     

Ferdinand Marcos

Authority is by nothing so much strengthened and confirmed as by custom; for no man easily distrusts the things which he and all men have been always bred up to.     

William Temple

Authority is something from which we are constantly subtracting, of which there remains always a residue, and which we attempt to make smaller and smaller.     

Federica Montseny

The authority of any governing institution must stop at its citizen's skin.     

Gloria Steinem

Power is like being a lady... if you have to tell people you are, you aren't.     

Margaret Thatcher

Moral authority is never retained by any attempt to hold on to it. It comes without seeking and is retained without effort.     

Mahatma Gandhi

Authority forgets a dying king.     

Alfred Lord Tennyson

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.     

Ronald Reagan

The authority of those who teach is often an obstacle to those who want to learn.     

Marcus Tullius Cicero

Authority is a solvent of humanity: look at any husband, any father of a family, and note the absorption of the person by the persona, the individual by the role. Then multiply the family, and the authority, by some hundreds and see the effect upon a sea-captain, to say nothing of an absolute monarch. Surely man in general is born to be oppressed or solitary, if he is to be fully human; unless it so happens that he is immune to the poison.     

Patrick O'Brian

Authority must be respected and chosen wisely.     

Lech Walesa

You can't stop a teacher when they want to do something. They just do it.     

J.D. Salinger

Authority is not a power, it is a responsibility.     

Amit Kalantri

Authority to dream is not given, it is taken. Take it. Do not let the judgment of others be the final word. Without a doubt, if there is a one-word, one-step cure for bad peg moments, that word is perseverance. Let that be your final word.     

J. Loren Norris

The only ship you can truly steer in this ocean is the one you're sailing. Quit trying to alter the winds; harness them.     

Richelle E. Goodrich

Authority, without any condition and reservation, belongs to the nation.     

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk

Authority without wisdom is like a heavy axe without an edge, fitter to bruise than polish.     

Anne Bradstreet

Authority in its very nature prevents the full awareness of oneself and therefore ultimately destroys freedom; in freedom alone can there be creativeness.     

Jiddu Krishnamurti

No man has any natural authority over his fellow men.     

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

The man whose authority is recent is always stern.     


Whenever there is authority, there is a natural inclination to disobedience.     

Thomas Chandler Haliburton

Wherever there is a man who exercises authority, there is a man who resists authority.     

Oscar Wilde

Authority is established by God for the wellbeing of His people.     

Sunday Adelaja

When you make your peace with authority, you become authority.     

Jim Morrison

We have one authority and one law and everyone has the responsibility to follow that law and that authority.     

Mahmoud Abbas

Authority has every reason to fear the skeptic, for authority can rarely survive in the face of doubt.     

Vita Sackville-West

Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence.     

Leonardo da Vinci

The wisest have the most authority.     


Authority, when first detecting chaos at its heels, will entertain the vilest schemes to save its orderly facade.     

Alan Moore

The ultimate authority must always rest with the individual's own reason and critical analysis.     

Dalai Lama

Moral authority comes from following universal and timeless principles like honesty, integrity, treating people with respect.     

Stephen Covey