Quotes about LEADERSHIP
"To lead people, walk beside them ... As for the best leaders, the people do not notice their existence. The next best, the people honor and praise. The next, the people fear; and the next, the people hate ... When the best leader's work is done the people say, 'We did it ourselves!'"
"If the blind lead the blind, both shall fall in the ditch."
— Jesus Christ
"Dictators ride to and fro upon tigers which they dare not dismount. And the tigers are getting hungry."
— Winston Churchill
"Control is not leadership; management is not leadership; leadership is leadership. If you seek to lead, invest at least 50% of your time in leading yourself—your own purpose, ethics, principles, motivation, conduct. Invest at least 20% leading those with authority over you and 15% leading your peers."
— Dee Hock
Founder and CEO Emeritus, Visa
"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
"If a rhinoceros were to enter this restaurant now, there is no denying he would have great power here. But I should be the first to rise and assure him that he had no authority whatever."
— G.K. Chesterton to Alexander Woollcott
"The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been."
— Henry Kissinger
"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
"The task of leadership is not to put greatness into humanity, but to elicit it, for the greatness is already there."
— John Buchan
"Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it."
— Dwight D. Eisenhower
"You do not lead by hitting people over the head — that's assault, not leadership."
— Dwight D. Eisenhower
"The best is he who calls men to the best. And those who heed the call are also blessed. But worthless who call not, heed not, but rest."
8th Century BC Greek poet
"Never give an order that can't be obeyed."
— General Douglas MacArthur
"Leadership must be based on goodwill. Goodwill does not mean posturing and, least of all, pandering to the mob. It means obvious and wholehearted commitment to helping followers. We are tired of leaders we fear, tired of leaders we love, and of tired of leaders who let us take liberties with them. What we need for leaders are men of the heart who are so helpful that they, in effect, do away with the need of their jobs. But leaders like that are never out of a job, never out of followers. Strange as it sounds, great leaders gain authority by giving it away."
— Admiral James B. Stockdale
"Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate, and doubt to offer a solution everybody can understand."
— General Colin Powell
"Without leadership, command is a hollow experience, a vacuum often filled with mistrust and arrogance.."
— Eric Shinseki
"I am reminded how hollow the label of leadership sometimes is and how heroic followership can be."
— Warren Bennis
"Men make history and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better."
— Harry Truman
"Leadership is intentional influence."
— Michael McKinney
"The leader is one who mobilizes others toward a goal shared by leaders and followers. ... Leaders, followers and goals make up the three equally necessary supports for leadership."
— Gary Wills
Certain Trumpets: The Call of Leaders
“"Education makes a people easy to lead, but difficult to drive; easy to govern, but impossible to enslave."
— Henry Peter Brougham, The Present State of Law, 1828
"A leader is one who influences a specific group of people to move in a God-given direction."
— J. Robert Clinton
"All Leadership is influence."
— John C. Maxwell
"Now there are five matters to which a general must pay strict heed. The first of these is administration; the second, preparedness; the third, determination; the fourth, prudence; and the fifth, economy."
— Wu Ch'i (430-381 BC)
"You cannot be a leader, and ask other people to follow you, unless you know how to follow, too."
— Sam Rayburn
"Your position never gives you the right to command. It only imposes on you the duty of so living your life that others may receive your orders without being humiliated."
— Dag Hammarskjöld
"The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind him in other men, the conviction and the will to carry on."
— Walter Lippmann
"The function of a leader within any institution: to provide that regulation through his or her non-anxious, self-defined presence."
— Edwin H. Friedman, A Failure of Nerve
"People ask the difference between a leader and a boss. The leader leads, and the boss drives."
— Theodore Roosevelt
"A community is like a ship; everyone ought to be prepared to take the helm."
— Henrik Johan Ibsen, An Enemy of the People, Billing, Act I
"Humans will probably always need the help of especially gifted moral leaders in order to extend the bonds of caring and trust beyond the easy range of the family and the face-to-face community. Such bonds have become essential to the future of humanity."
—Paul R. Lawrence, Driven To Lead
"Leadership cannot really be taught. It can only be learned."
— Harold Geneen
"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 DePree
"Four rules of leadership in a free legislative body:
First, no matter how hard-fought the issue, never get personal. Don't say or do anything that may come back to haunt you on another issue, another day....
Second, do your homework. You can't lead without knowing what you're talking about....
Third, the American legislative process is one of give and take. Use your power as a leader to persuade, not intimidate....
Fourth, be considerate of the needs of your colleagues, even if they're at the bottom of the totem pole...."
— George Bush
Former President of the United States
"Speak Softly and carry a big stick; you will go far."
— Theodore Roosevelt
"Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall."
— Stephen R. Covey
"Authority should be seen as a part of leadership, not as a way around it."
— Michael McKinney
"He who has great power should use it lightly."
"How do you know you have won? When the energy is coming the other way and when your people are visibly growing individually and as a group."
— Sir John Harvey-Jones
"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."
"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
"You don't lead by pointing and telling people some place to go. You lead by going to that place and making a case."
— Ken Kesey
"As a leader, you're probably not doing a good job unless your employees can do a good impression of you when you're not around."
— Patrick Lencioni
"Leadership is difficult but it is not complex."
— Michael McKinney
"Look over your shoulder now and then to be sure someone's following you."
— Henry Gilmer
"Leadership is not magnetic personality, that can just as well be a glib tongue. It is not "making friends and influencing people", that is flattery. Leadership is lifting a person's vision to higher sights, the raising of a person's performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations."
— Peter F. Drucker
"Leadership is the ability to establish standards and manage a creative climate where people are self-motivated toward the mastery of long term constructive goals, in a participatory environment of mutual respect, compatible with personal values."
— Mike Vance
“Outstanding leaders go out of the way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish.”
— Sam Walton
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