Leadership Sayings and Quotes

Being a leader requires a special set of skills. Leaders must be able to motivate as well as direct. This is easier said than done. Let the wise and insightful leadership quotes below to inspire you to be the boss

To lead people, walk behind them.     

Lao Tzu

Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm.     

Publilus Syrus

Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren't used to an environment where excellence is expected.     

Steve Jobs

The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves.     

Ray Kroc

Lead, follow, or get out of the way.     

Thomas Pane

It's hard to lead a cavalry charge if you think you look funny on a horse.     

Adlai Stevenson II

He who cannot be a good follower cannot be a good leader.     


If you would convince a man that he does wrong, do right. But do not care to convince him. Men will believe what they see. Let them see.     

Henry David Thoreau

Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.     

Harold McAlindon

The art of leadership is saying no, not yes. It is very easy to say yes.     

Tony Blair

Part of the happiness of life consists not in fighting battles, but in avoiding them. A masterly retreat is in itself a victory.     

Norman Vincent Peale

Leadership and learning are indispensable to one another.     

John F. Kennedy

Don't find fault, find a remedy.     

Henry Ford

Keep your fears to yourself, but share your courage with others.     

Robert Louis Stevenson

Learn to see things backwards, inside out, and upside down.     

John Heider

Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.     

Theodore Roosevelt

Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.     

Peter Drucker

Good leadership consists of showing average people how to do the work of superior people.     

John D. Rockefeller

Power isn’t control at all — power is strength, and giving that strength to others. A leader isn’t someone who forces others to make him stronger; a leader is someone willing to give his strength to others that they may have the strength to stand on their own.     

Beth Revis

Leadership is simple: Add value to people everyday.      

Mike Krzyzewski

Our recovery didn't happen by accident. It happened because we did what we were hired to do: to lead and manage by results.      

Michael Bloomberg

The key to being a good leader is to focus on the mission and know how to implement a plan without getting lost in the swamp!      

Donald J. Palmisano

Leadership starts with respecting others and paying attention to the needs of those around you. Respecting those who you lead, may lead, follow or just touch with your mind and eyes. You don't lead because you want to lead; you lead because they want to follow.      

Norman McSwain

The manager asks how and when; the leader asks what and why.      

Warren G. Bennis

Leadership is an art that includes possessing a vision based on unwavering principles, and an ability to inspire and encourage others to be leaders.      

W. Jeff Terry

A swift and vigorous transition to attack—the flashing sword of vengeance—is the most brilliant point of the defensive.      

Karl von Clausewitz

Leadership is about identifying where you want to go, why it is important to go, and what's in it for others—both the positive and the negative. Leaders lead by example. Leadership is personal. It is working shoulder to shoulder. You must show you are willing to get your hands dirty. You must work at least as hard as those you wish to lead. They eat first. They get sleeping quarters first. You will put yourself at risk, both professionally and physically. Leadership is service before self.      

Dr. James P. Bagian

You must lead from the front, always. Speed is everything. There must be a sense of urgency. Listen to the locals. Keep the public informed on the details, they often know more than the Nobel Prize Laureates. Ignore the politics; focus on doing a good job.      

Governor Jindal

Leadership is action, not position.      

Donald H. McGannon

A good leader is someone who sees beyond themselves and really thinks about how they can move their organization forward by helping others to fulfill their potential.      

Sharon Allen