Leadership quotes and sayings

It is better to have a lion at the head of an army of sheep, than a sheep at the head of an army of lions.
Daniel Defoe

My observation is that women are merely waiting for their husbands to assume leadership.
James Dobson

Don’t necessarily avoid sharp edges. Occasionally they are necessary to leadership.
Donald Rumsfeld

Conflict is the primary engine of creativity and innovation. People don’t learn by staring into a mirror; people learn by encountering difference.
Ronald Heifetz

An army of deer would be more formidable commanded by a lion, than an army of lions commanded by a stag.

I forgot to shake hands and be friendly. It was an important lesson about leadership.
Lee Iacocca

Good leaders make people feel that they’re at the very heart of things, not at the periphery. Everyone feels that he or she makes a difference to the success of the organization. When that happens people feel centered and that gives their work meaning.
Warren Bennis

Educationists should build the capacities of the spirit of inquiry, creativity, entrepreneurial and moral leadership among students and become their role model.
Abdul Kalam

Leadership is diving for a loose ball, getting the crowd involved, getting other players involved. It’s being able to take it as well as dish it out. That’s the only way you’re going to get respect from the players.
Larry Bird

Success comes before work only in the dictionary.

Motivation and inspiration energize people, not by pushing them in the right direction as control mechanisms do but by satisfying basic human needs for achievement, a sense of belonging, recognition, self-esteem, a feeling of control over one’s life, and the ability to live up to one’s ideals. Such feelings touch us deeply and elicit a powerful response.
John P. Kotter

The leader who exercises power with honour will work from the inside out, starting with himself.
Blaine Lee

I am more afraid of an army of one hundred sheep led by a lion than an army of one hundred lions led by a sheep.
Charles Maurice

Dissatisfaction and discouragement are not caused by the absence of things but the absence of vision.

The greatest enemy of best is “good”. If you’re willing to accept “good” you’ll never be the “best”.
Charles Kaiser, Jr.

Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got a hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.
George Bernard Shaw

Every person who wins in any undertaking must be willing to cut all sources of retreat. Only by doing so can one be sure of maintaining that state of mind known as a burning desire to win which is one of the essentials to success.
Napoleon Hill

Successful leaders have the courage to take action while others hesitate.
John C. Maxwell

Without a struggle, there can be no progress.
Frederick Douglass

As leaders shift their focus to customers and quality, they realize that the old authoritarian leadership style does not work anymore. To achieve quality, service, and rapid response, leaders must utilize all available talent. They must find ways to inspire, involve, and empower employees. They must create a work environment that encourages commitment, innovation, and cooperation. Instead of evaluating, leaders now coach. Instead of doing, they delegate. Instead of telling, they facilitate. No one is expected to boss anyone. Everyone is expected to participate.
Dr. Suzanne Willis Zoglio

We are here to add what we can to, not get what we can from life.
Sir William Osler

Leaders who can stay optimistic and upbeat, even under intense pressure, radiate the positive feelings that create resonance. By staying in control of their feelings and impulses, they craft an environment of trust, comforts and fairness. And that self-management has a trickle down effect from the leader.
Daniel Goleman (Primal Leadership)

Servanthood is the chief modifier of the power implicit in all leadership – a quality of innerness, an attribute of soul that checks the corruptibility of power … Real power is always an exchange of leadership to use power to call out the God-given power of others.
Bennett J. Sims

Power is the basic energy needed to initiate and sustain action or, to put it another way, the capacity to translate intention into reality and sustain it. Leadership is the wise use of this power: Transformative leadership.
Warren G. Bennis

Consensus is the negation of leadership.
Margaret Thatcher

The true leader makes each team member twice the person they were before.
Leonard Sweet

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 them or concluded that you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership.
Colin Powell

Blessed is the leader who seeks the best for those he serves.

Leadership has become a heavy industry. Concern and interest about leadership development is no longer an American phenomenon. It is truly global. Though I will probably be in less demand, I wanted to move on.
Warren Bennis

Earn your success based on service to others, not at the expense of others.
H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

They may forget what you said, they may forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.
Carl W. Buecher

You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor.
James Allen

In handling men, there are three feelings that a man must not possess ? fear, dislike and contempt. If he is afraid of men he cannot handle them. Neither can he influence them in his favor if he dislikes or scorns them. He must neither cringe nor sneer. He must have both self-respect and respect for others.
Herbert N. Casson

Those who stand for nothing fall for anything.
Alexander Hamilton

If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery

The adventure of life is to learn. The purpose of life is to grow. The nature of life is to change. The challenge of life is to overcome. The essence of life is to care. The opportunity of life is to serve. The secret of life is to dare. The spice of life is to befriend. The beauty of life is to give.”
William Arthur Ward

Use power to help people. For we are given power not to advance our own purposes nor to make a great show in the world, not a name. There is but one just use of power and it is to serve people.
George Bush

Charisma becomes the undoing of leaders. It makes them inflexible, convinced of their own infallibility, unable to change.
Peter F. Drucker

Keep cool and you will command everyone.

In times of change, learners inherit the Earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.
Eric Hoffer

The cynic says, “One man can’t do anything”. I say, “Only one man can do anything.”
John W Gardner

He makes a great mistake… who supposes that authority is firmer or better established when it is founded by force than that which is welded by affection.

Its not what you are that counts, but what people think you are.
Joseph Kennedy

But the ability to articulate what you are doing, to be clear about it, and to stick to it is, I think, the essence of political leadership.
Chris Patten

For success, attitude is equally as important as ability.
Harry F. Banks

Leadership demands that we make tough choices.
Alan Autry

The leader must know, must know that he knows, and must be able to make it abundantly clear to those around him that he knows.
Clarence Randall

A leader has two important characteristics; first he is going somewhere; second he is able to persuade others to go with him.
Maximilian Francois Robespierre

People underestimate their capacity for change. There is never a right time to do a difficult thing. A leader’s job is to help people have vision of their potential.
Roger Porter

When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.
Benjamin Franklin

You have no power at all if you do not exercise constant power.
Major Owens

The same hammer that shatters the glass forges the steel.
Russian Proverb

The best teacher is the one who suggests rather than dogmatizes, and inspires his listener with the wish to teach himself.
Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Leadership is the art of the future.
Leonard Sweet

Leaders must encourage their organizations to dance to forms of music yet to be heard.
Warren G. Bennis

You can only lead others where you yourself are willing to go.
Lachlan McLean

To put the world in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must cultivate our personal life; and to cultivate our personal life, we must first set our hearts right.

Outstanding people have one thing in common: an absolute sense of mission.
Zig Ziglar

Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work.
Peter Drucker

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