34 Awesome Quotes on Leadership

by Mitch Ditkoff

34 Awesome Quotes on Leadership1. “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” – Peter F. Drucker

2. “If you don’t understand that you work for your mislabeled ‘subordinates,’ then you know nothing of leadership. You know only tyranny.” – Dee Hock

3. “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

4. “The led must not be compelled; they must be able to choose their own leader.” – Albert Einstein

5. “The manager asks how and when; the leader asks what and why.” – Warren Bennis

6. “The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you.” – Max DePree

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

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

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

10. “Lead and inspire people. Don’t try to manage and manipulate people. Inventories can be managed but people must be lead.” – Ross Perot

11. “Those who try to lead the people can only do so by following the mob.” – Oscar Wilde

12. “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

13. “Leadership is practiced not so much in words as in attitude and in actions.” – Harold S. Geneen

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

15. “The very essence of leadership is that you have to have a vision.” – Theodore Hesburgh

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

17. “Leaders conceive and articulate goals that lift people out of their petty preoccupations and unite them in pursuit of objectives worthy of their best efforts.” – John Gardner

18. “Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

19. “The ability to summon positive emotions during periods of intense
stress lies at the heart of effective leadership.” – Jim Loehr

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

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

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

23. I’m sad to report that in the past few years, ever since uncertainty became our insistent 21st century companion, leadership has taken a great leap backwards to the familiar territory of command and control.” – Margaret Wheatley

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

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

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

27. “You don’t lead by hitting people over the head. That’s assault, not leadership.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower

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

29. “No institution can possibly survive if it needs geniuses or supermen to manage it. It must be organized in such a way as to be able to get along under a leadership composed of average human beings.” – Peter Drucker

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

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

32. “To be able to lead others, a man must be willing to go forward alone.” – Harry Truman

33. “Example is not the main thing in influencing others; it is the only thing.” – Albert Schweitzer

34. “People ask the difference between a leader and a boss. The leader works in the open, and the boss in covert.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Big thanks to Val Vadeboncoeur for locating most of these quotes.

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Mitch DitkoffMitch Ditkoff is the Co-Founder and President of Idea Champions and the author of “Awake at the Wheel”, as well as the very popular Heart of Innovation blog.