210 Inspiring Leadership Quotes from Exceptional Leaders


Leadership is an art. It is about inspiring individuals to pursue a mutual vision as a team. Leading people can be one of the most fulfilling things to do, but it also comes with a great variety of difficulties. To help you in your journey as a leader, we’ve created this selection of the most powerful leadership quotes. P.S.: If you want even more, have a look at our collection of Theodore Roosevelt quotes, who was a remarkable leader.

Leadership skills are a very valuable asset. It is the ability of a person to rally people with a vita variety of personas, interests, and ambitions behind a common cause. While intelligence and creativity certainly play a role in leadership, emotional intelligence must not be underestimated. In fact, excellent leadership requires an interesting combination of various social skills rather than merely intellectual capabilities.

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.”
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Contrary to what many people think, leadership is not about bossing of those around. Instead, it is about inspiring others to overcome larger-than-life obstacles. It is about encouraging people to push their boundaries and to become the best version of themselves, they can be. Leadership is also about uniting more or less self-centered individuals behind a mutual vision and thereby forming a strong team.

Inspirational leadership quotes

These leadership quotes inspire you to be an exceptional leader

A great leader is able to ignite the spark within teams to envision a better tomorrow. But it’s not only about making others dream about what could be possible. Instead, leadership is also about guiding these very people towards the realization of this dream.

210 Great Leadership Quotes from Exceptional Leaders

Throughout the centuries, they have always been remarkable and exceptional leaders. These individuals found effective ways to encourage their followers to push the status quote and to go every extra mile necessary. Even more so, these leaders have managed to remain respected figures of authority while navigating through uncertain waters. The following list of the best leadership quotes stems from remarkably successful leaders who have managed to perfect the art of leading.

To give you a better overview, we’ve categorized the following quotes into these sections:

Feel free to skip ahead depending on what interests you most.

Enjoy this collection of great leadership quotes


Great leadership quote

“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


Quote about leadership

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


The art of leadership quote

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


Being a leader quote

“I have three precious things which I hold fast and prize. The first is gentleness; the second is frugality; the third is humility, which keeps me from putting myself before others. Be gentle and you can be bold; be frugal and you can be liberal; avoid putting yourself before others and you can become a leader among men.”
Lao Tzu


Telling others what to do quote

“Don’t tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.”
George S. Patton


“You have to be burning with an idea, or a problem, or a wrong that you want to right. If you’re not passionate enough from the start, you’ll never stick it out.”
Steve Jobs


“Jesus said several times, “Come, follow me.” His was a program of “do what I do,” rather than “do what I say.” His innate brilliance would have permitted him to put on a dazzling display, but that would have left his followers far behind. He walked and worked with those he was to serve. His was not a long-distance leadership. He was not afraid of close friendships; he was not afraid that proximity to him would disappoint his followers. The leaven of true leadership cannot lift others unless we are with and serve those to be led.”
Spencer W. Kimball


“If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then, you are an excellent leader.”
Dolly Parton


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


“It’s hard to lead a cavalry charge if you think you look funny on a horse.”
Adlai E. Stevenson


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


“A leader is someone willing to give his strength to others that they may have the strength to stand on their own.”
Beth Revis


“I cannot trust a man to control others who cannot control himself.”
Robert E. Lee


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


“With the best leaders, when the work is done, the task accomplished, the people will say ‘We have done this ourselves.'”
Lao Tzu

Do you want even more leadership quotes? Keep on reading


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


“Leadership, on the other hand, is about creating change you believe in.”
Seth Godin


“A leader takes people where they would never go on their own.”
Hans Finzel


“The goal of management is to remove obstacles.”
Paul Orfalea


“When you put together deep knowledge about a subject that intensely matters to you, charisma happens. You gain courage to share your passion, and when you do that, folks follow.”
Jerry Porras


“Leading people is like cooking. Don’t stir too much. It annoys the ingredients. And spoils the food.”
Rick Julian


“It is the capacity to develop and improve their skills that distinguishes leaders from followers.”
Warren Bennis


“A man who is willing to humble himself before God and his family and say: “I was wrong.” will find that his family has all the confidence in the world in him and will much more readily follow him. If he stubbornly refuses to repent or admit he was wrong, their confidence in him and in his leadership erodes.”
Jim Anderson


“Always remember, Son, the best boss is the one who bosses the least. Whether it’s cattle, or horses, or men; the least government is the best government”
Ralph Moody


“Teach them the quiet words of kindness, to live beyond themselves. Urge them toward excellence, drive them toward gentleness, pull them deep into yourself, pull them upward toward manhood, but softly like an angel arranging clouds. Let your spirit move through them softly.”
Pat Conroy


“A man can only lead when others accept him as their leader, and he has only as much authority as his subjects give to him. All of the brilliant ideas in the world cannot save your kingdom if no one will listen to them.”
Brandon Sanderson


“Leaders are not, as we are often led to think, people who go along with huge crowds following them. Leaders are people who go their own way without caring, or even looking to see, whether anyone is following them.”
John Holt


“Leaders live by choice, not by accident.”
Mark Gorman


“Remember teamwork begins by building trust. And the only way to do that is to overcome our need for invulnerability.”
Patrick Lencioni


“He that thinketh he leadeth and hath no one following him is only taking a walk.”
John C. Maxwell

These leadership quotes are on point


“The ruler attains wholeness in the correct governance of the people.”
Lao Tzu


“Every great leader can take you back to a defining moment when they decided to lead.”
John Paul Warren


“You can’t move up in the staircase of leadership unless you are emotionally intelligent.”
Amit Ray


“Those who let things happen usually lose to those who make things happen.”
Dave Weinbaum


“Accountants are in the past, managers are in the present, and leaders are in the future.”
Paul Orfalea


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


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


“There are two kinds of leaders, cowboys, and Shepherds. Cowboys drive and Shepherds lead.”
John Paul Warren


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


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

Leadership quotes like this inspire you to greatness


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


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


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


“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


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

Inspiring leadership quotes


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


“The leaders who work most effectively, it seems to me, never say “I.” And that’s not because they have trained themselves not to say “I.” They don’t think “I.” They think “we”; they think “team.” They understand their job to be to make the team function. They accept responsibility and don’t sidestep it, but “we” gets the credit. This is what creates trust, what enables you to get the task done.”
Peter Drucker


“Perhaps those who are best suited to power are those who have never sought it.”
J.K. Rowling


“A leader must lead. Where others see obstacles, he must see opportunities. When others see problems, he must see possibilities.”
David J. Vaughan


“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


“Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.”
Harry S. Truman


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


“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


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


“The first key to leadership is self-control.”
Jack Weatherford


“There is a difference between being a leader and being a boss. Both are based on authority. A boss demands blind obedience; a leader earns his authority through understanding and trust.”
Klaus Balkenhol


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


“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


“The most improper job of any man, is bossing other men. Not one in a million is fit for it, and least of all those who seek the opportunity.”
J.R.R. Tolkien


“In the end, it is important to remember that we cannot become what we need to be, by remaining what we are.”
Max Depree


“A star wants to see himself rise to the top. A leader wants to see those around him rise to the top.”
Simon Sinek


“Leaders always choose the harder right rather than the easier wrong.”
Orrin Woodward


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


“Real leadership is being the person others will gladly and confidently follow.”
John C. Maxwell


“A boss says “go and make sure you do it”; a leader says “let’s go and make it happen”. Bosses control people; leaders involve them.”
Israelmore Ayivor


“A leader should demonstrate his thoughts and opinions through his actions, not through his words.”
Jack Weatherford


“Each day you are leading by example. Whether you realize it or not or whether it’s positive or negative, you are influencing those around you.”
Rob Liano


“Great leaders have three things; inner light, inner vision and inner strength.”
Amit Ray


“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


“No matter how tiny you look, you can lead huge men if you have what the huge men don’t have.”
Michael Bassey Johnson


“If you are good at discouraging yourself, you can’t be a good leader because leadership is built on inspiring others to face challenges.”
Israelmore Ayivor


“Early on I realized that I had to hire people smarter and more qualified than I was in a number of different fields, and I had to let go of a lot of decision-making. I can’t tell you how hard that is. But if you’ve imprinted your values on the people around you, you can dare to trust them to make the right moves.”
Howard Schultz


“Every time you make a rule you take away a choice – and choice, with all of its illuminating repercussions, is the fuel for learning.”
Marcus Buckingham


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


“Your duty is to lead as best you can, following the dictates of your conscience.”
Brandon Sanderson


“The person who sees the difficulties so clearly that he does not discern the possibilities cannot inspire a vision in others.”
J. Oswald Sanders


“Some great men owe most of their greatness to the ability of detecting in those they destine for their tools the exact quality of strength that matters for their work.”
Joseph Conrad


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

Famous leadership quotes


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


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


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


“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


“He said, one time, that no true leader burdened his followers with a greater load than they could carry, and no true leader sets too fast a pace for his follows to keep up.”
Malcolm X


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


“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


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


“Too many kings can ruin an army”


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


“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”
Peter Drucker


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


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


“The secret of leadership is simple: Do what you believe in. Paint a picture of the future. Go there. People will follow.”
Seth Godin


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


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


“He who wishes to be obeyed must know how to command”
Niccolò Machiavelli


“Every time you have to speak, you are auditioning for leadership.”
James Humes


“Be with a leader when he is right, stay with him when he is still right, but, leave him when he is wrong.”
Abraham Lincoln


“No great manager or leader ever fell from heaven, its learned not inherited.”
Tom Northup


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


“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 F. Drucker


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


“Give as few orders as possible,” his father had told him once long ago. “Once you’ve given orders on a subject, you must always give orders on that subject.”
Frank Herbert


“Together we are better”
John Paul Warren


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


“Surround yourself with great people; delegate authority; get out of the way”
Ronald Reagan


“Your first and foremost job as a leader is to take charge of your own energy and then help to orchestrate the energy of those around you.”
Peter F. Drucker


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


“Tis skill, not strength, that governs a ship”
Thomas Fuller


“When eagles are silent, parrots begin to chatter.”
Winston Churchill


“Start with the end in mind.”
Stephen R. Covey


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


“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


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


“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


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


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

Leadership quotes by women


“In most cases being a good boss means hiring talented people and then getting out of their way.”
Tina Fey


“In the future, there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders.”
Sheryl Sandberg


“To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.”
Eleanor Roosevelt


“‘Restore connection’ is not just for devices, it is for people too. If we cannot disconnect, we cannot lead.”
Arianna Huffington


“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


“When you accept a leadership role, you take on extra responsibility for your actions toward others.”
Kelley Armstrong


“Leaders are not just born. Sure, some people are born with strong competencies and strengths for leading in certain situations, but it is very clear that leadership can also be developed. That means everyone can strengthen their skills and abilities to lead and influence.”
Dr. Susan Madsen


“Our emerging workforce is not interested in command and control leadership. They don’t want to do things because I said so, they want to do things because they want to do them.”
Irene Rosenfield


“Some leaders are born women.”
Geraldine Ferraro


“If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then, you are an excellent leader.”
Dolly Parton


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


“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


“You don’t need a title to be a leader. You lead by example.”
Jamie Woodburn


“Don’t waste your energy trying to educate or change opinions; go over, under, through, and opinions will change organically when you’re the boss. Or they won’t. Who cares? Do your thing, and don’t care if they like it.”
Tina Fey


“Finally I was able to see that if I had a contribution I wanted to make, I must do it, despite what others said. That I was OK the way I was. That it was all right to be strong.”
Wangari Maathai


“Leadership is not a person or a position. It is a complex moral relationship between people based on trust, obligation, commitment, emotion, and a shared vision of the good.”
Joanne Ciulla


“I measure my own success as a leader by how well the people who work for me succeed.”
Maria Shi


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


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


“Great leaders get people to admit the truth because they know that dreams are buried under the lies they tell themselves, in order to feel okay with giving up.”
Shannon L. Alder


“Even if it’s your dog, you’ve got authority over somebody. Start treating him better.”
Joyce Meyer


“Leadership is about the team – the culture they keep and embrace, it’s about empathy for your customers, clients, employees and the communities where you do business, it’s about doing the right thing for the right reasons, being confident enough to take risks and responsible enough to think of those who your decisions and risks may affect.”
Kat Cole


“Leadership should be more participative than directive, more enabling than performing.”
Mary D. Poole


“I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.”
Rosa Parks


“You can live safe and be protected by people just like you, or you can stand up and be a leader for what is right.”
Shannon L. Alder


“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


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


“Part of leadership is knowing when to go ahead with a decision that’s within your authority because you’re really convinced it’s the right thing, even if other people don’t understand it at that point.”
Dr Ingrid Mattson


“The way to achieve your own success is to be willing to help somebody else get it first.”
Iyanla Vanzant


“Stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone ought to be.”
Elizabeth Gilbert


“Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence, and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.”
Sheryl Sandberg

Servant leadership quotes


“You are good. But it is not enough just to be good. You must be good for something. You must contribute good to the world. The world must be a better place for your presence. And the good that is in you must be spread to others.”
Gordon B. Hinckley


“My research debunks the myth that many people seem to have… that you become a leader by fighting your way to the top. Rather, you become a leader by helping others to the top. Helping your employees is as important, and many times more so, than trying to get the most work out of them.”
William Cohen


“If leadership serves only the leader, it will fail. Ego satisfaction, financial gain, and status can all be valuable tools for a leader, but if they become the only motivations, they will eventually destroy a leader. Only when service for a common good is the primary purpose are you truly leading.”
Sheila Murray Bethel


“Success is not how high you have climbed, but how you make a positive difference to the world.”
Roy T. Bennett


“Remember that mentor leadership is all about serving. Jesus said, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Tony Dungy


“True leaders understand that leadership is not about them but about those they serve. It is not about exalting themselves but about lifting others up.”
Sheri L. Dew


“A person who is worthy of being a leader wants power not for himself, but in order to be of service.”
Sam J. Ervin, Jr.


“Servant-leadership is more than a concept, it is a fact. Any great leader, by which I also mean an ethical leader of any group, will see herself or himself as a servant of that group and will act accordingly.”
M. Scott Peck


“Great leaders create more leaders, not followers.”
Roy T. Bennett


“Servant-leadership is all about making the goals clear and then rolling your sleeves up and doing whatever it takes to help people win. In that situation, they don’t work for you, you work for them.”
Ken Blanchard


“The servant-leader is servant first. Becoming a servant-leader begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. That person is sharply different from one who is a leader first.”
Robert Greenleaf


“Organizations exist to serve. Period. Leaders live to serve. Period.”
Tom Peters


“Ultimately, a leader is not judged so much by how well he or she leads, but by how well he or she serves.”
Kevin Cashman


“A new moral principle is emerging, which holds that the only authority deserving of one’s allegiance is that which is freely and knowingly granted by the led to the leader in response to, and in proportion to, the clearly evident servant stature of the leader.”
Robert Greenleaf


“The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant.”
Max De Pree


“I don’t think there’s anything as wonderful in life as being able to help someone else.”
Betty Ford


“One of the great ironies of life is this: He or she who serves almost always benefits more than he or she who is served.”
Gordon B. Hinckley


“People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
John C. Maxwell


“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
Mahatma Gandhi


“True leadership must be for the benefit of the followers, not to enrich the leader.”
John C. Maxwell

Funny leadership quotes


“Would I rather be feared or loved? Easy. Both. I want people to be afraid of how much they love me.”
Michael Scott


“Only one man in a thousand is a leader of men – the other 999 follow women.”
Groucho Marx


“The problem with being a leader is that you’re never sure if you’re being followed or chased.”
Claire A. Murray


“First rule of leadership: everything is your fault.”
John Lasseter


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


“Leader. Ship. The word ‘ship’ is hidden in side the word ‘leadership,’ as its… derivation.”
Michael Scott


“Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t!”
Margaret Thatcher


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


“It is a terrible thing to look over your shoulder when you are trying to lead — and find no one there.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt


“Never forget that only dead fish swim with the stream.”
Malcolm Muggeridge


“Good management is the art of making problems so interesting and their solutions so constructive that everyone wants to get to work and deal with them.”
Paul Hawken


“Leadership has been defined as the ability to hide your panic from others.”
Lao Tzu


“Unfortunately it’s also true to say that good management is a bit like oxygen – it’s invisible and you don’t notice its presence until it’s gone, and then you’re sorry.”
Charles Stross


“You can build a throne with bayonets, but you can’t sit on it for long.”
Boris Yeltsin


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


“I am more afraid of an army of 100 sheep led by a lion than an army of 100 lions led by a sheep.”


“You do not lead by hitting people over the head – that’s assault, not leadership.”
Dwight D. Eisenhower


“Success in almost any field depends more on energy and drive than it does on intelligence. This explains why we have so many stupid leaders.”
Sloan Wilson


“They accepted my donation, so they’re aware they’d better serve my interests or I’ll buy some leadership that will.”
Tom Robbins


“Being a leader is making the people you love hate you a little more each day.”
Patrick Ness


“The key to being a good manager is keeping the people who hate me away from those who are still undecided.”
Casey Stengel


“Life is like a dogsled team. If you ain’t the lead dog, the scenery never changes.”
Lewis Grizzard


“Ten soldiers wisely led will beat a hundred without a head.”


“People who enjoy meetings should not be in charge of anything.”
Thomas Sowell


“When trouble arises and things look bad, there is always one individual who perceives a solution and is willing to take command. Very often, that person is crazy.”
Dave Barry


“The fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.”
Carl Sagan


“If you make people think they’re thinking, they’ll love you. If you really make them think, they’ll hate you.”
Don Marquis


“There go my people. I must find out where they are going so I can lead them.”
Alexandre Ledru-Rollin

Military leadership quotes


“Lead me, follow me, or get the hell out of my way.”
George S. Patton Jr.


“The day the soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help them or concluded that you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership.”
Colin Powell


“If soldiers are punished before they have grown attached to you, they will not prove submissive; and, unless submissive, then will be practically useless. If, when the soldiers have become attached to you, punishments are not enforced, they will still be unless.”
Sun Tzu


“A general never shows despair. He instills confidence in his troops. He leads them forward, even into the mouth of death.”
Rick Riordan


“Rank does not confer privilege or give power. It imposes responsibility.”
Peter Drucker


“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


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


“It doesn’t take a hero to order men into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle.”
General Norman Schwarzkopf


“There’s likely a place in paradise for people who tried hard, but what really matters is succeeding. If that requires you to change, that’s your mission.”
Stanley McChrystal


“The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office.”
Dwight Eisenhower


“To get the best out of your men, they must feel that you are their real leader and must know that they can depend upon you.”
John J. Pershing


“Because the crew was convinced that I was “on their team” there were never any issues with negative criticism… You as a mentor have to establish that you are sincerely interested in the problems of the person you are mentoring.”
L. David Marquet


“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


“The truly great leader overcomes all difficulties, and campaigns and battles are nothing but a long series of difficulties to be overcome. The lack of equipment, the lack of food, the lack of this or that are only excuses; the real leader displays his quality in his triumphs over adversity, however great it may be.”
General of the Army George C Marshall


“The most important thing I learned is that soldiers watch what their leaders do. You can give them classes and lecture them forever, but it is your personal example they will follow.”
Colin Powell

I hope you enjoyed this collection of the best leadership quotes. What does it take to be a great leader? We’re excited to hear from you in the comment section below.

Stay victorious!


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Steve is the founder of Planet of Success, the #1 choice when it comes to motivation, self-growth and empowerment. This world does not need followers. What it needs is people who stand in their own sovereignty. Join us in the quest to live life to the fullest!

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