62 of the Best Leadership Quotes to Boost Your Motivation

Nov 07, 2017

62 of the Best Leadership Quotes to Boost Your Motivation

Leadership is a difficult skill to master and it often requires inspiration from others. If you are looking for the motivation to be a better leader, but are struggling to find it, read the blog below and find 62 of the best leadership quotes around. 

“You do not lead by hitting people over the head — that’s assault, not leadership.”
— Dwight Eisenhower, 34th U.S. President

2. “First rule of leadership: everything is your fault.”
— Hopper, A Bug’s Life

3.“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, 26th U.S. President

4. “A leader is best when people barely know he exists, not so good when people obey and acclaim him, worse when they despise him. But of a good leader who talks little when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: We did it ourselves.”
— Lao-Tzu, Chinese Philosopher

5. “Delegating work works, provided the one delegating works, too.”
— Robert Half, Founder, Robert Half International

6. “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, Writer

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

8. Why join the navy if you can be a pirate?”
— Steve Jobs, CEO & Founder, Apple

9. “Catch a man a fish, and you can sell it to him. Teach a man to fish, and you ruin a wonderful business opportunity.”
— Karl Marx, Philosopher

10. “Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and it annoys the pig.”
— George Bernard Shaw, Playwright

11. “The successful man is the one who finds out what is the matter with his business before his competitors do.”
— Roy L. Smith, Author

12. “A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.”
— David Brinkley, American Newscaster

13. “Don’t stay in bed, unless you can make money in bed.”
— George Burns, Comedian

14. “If at first you don’t succeed; you are running about average.”
— MH Alderson, Author

15. “All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure.”
— Mark Twain, Writer

16. “The best way to appreciate your job is to imagine yourself without one.”
— Oscar Wilde, Poet

17. “You never become a howling success by just howling.”
— Bob Harrington, Musician

18. “I’m not the smartest fellow in the world, but I can sure pick smart colleagues.”
— Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd U.S. President

19. “I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.”
— Bill Gates, Co-Founder, Microsoft

20. “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”
Henry Ford, Founder, Ford Motor Company

21. “Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right!”
— Henry Ford, Founder, Ford Motor Company

22. “In the business world, the rearview mirror is always clearer than the windshield.”
— Warren Buffet, CEO, Berkshire Hathaway

23. “Every day I get up and look through the Forbes list of the richest people in America. If I’m not there, I go to work.”
— Robert Orben, Writer

24. “If everything seems under control, you’re not going fast enough.”
— Mario Andretti, Race Car Driver

25. “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, Author

26. “It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.” 
— Nelson Mandela, Former President of South Africa

27. “Too many companies believe people are interchangeable. Truly gifted people never are. They have unique talents. Such people cannot be forced into roles they are not suited for, nor should they be. Effective leaders allow great people to do the work they were born to do.”
—Warren G. Bennis, Scholar

28. “Hire character. Train skill.”
— Peter Schutz, President & CEO, Porsche

29. “Great leadership is about human experiences. It’s not a formula or a program, it is a human activity that comes from the heart and considers the hearts of others. It is an attitude, not a routine.”
— Lance Secretan, Author

30. “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, Economist

31. “My definition of ‘innovative’ is providing value to the customer”
— Mary Barra, CEO, General Motors

32. “My view is there’s no bad time to innovate.”
— Jeff Bezos, Founder, Amazon.com

33. “My dad encouraged us to fail. Growing up, he would ask us what we failed at that week. If we didn’t have something, he would be disappointed. It changed my mindset at an early age that failure is not the outcome, failure is not trying. Don’t be afraid to fail.”
— Sara Blakely, Founder, Spanx, Inc.

34. “Life is too short to spend your time avoiding failure.”
— Michael Bloomberg, Founder Bloomberg LP

35. “Success is fine, but success is fleeting. Significance is lasting.”
— Beth Brooke, Global Vice Chair, Ernst & Young

36. “Make every detail perfect, and limit the number of details to perfect.”
— Jack Dorsey, Co-Founder, Twitter

37. “Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.”
— Conrad Hilton, Founder, Hilton Hotels

38. “To do a common thing uncommonly well brings success.”
— Henry J. Heinz, Founder H.J. Heinz Company

39. “Success represents the 1% of your work which results from the 99% that is called failure.”
— Soichiro Honda, Founder, Honda

40. “There are 30,000 days in your life. When I was 24, I realized I’m almost 9,000 days down. There are no warm-ups, no practice rounds, no reset buttons. Your biggest risk isn’t failing, it’s getting too comfortable. Every day, we’re writing a few more words of a story. I wanted my story to be an adventure and that’s made all the difference.”
— Drew Houston, Founder, Dropbox

41. “Train yourself to let go of the things you fear to lose.”
— George Lucas, Founder, LucasFilm Ltd.

42. “I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow. When there’s that moment of ‘Wow, I’m not really sure I can do this,’ and you push through those moments, that’s when you have a breakthrough.”
— Marissa Mayer, President & CEO, Yahoo Inc

43. “Go as far as you can see; when you get there, you’ll be able to see farther.”
— J.P. Morgan, Founder, J.P. Morgan & Co

44. “The knowledge that you have emerged wiser and stronger from setbacks means that you are, ever after, secure in your ability to survive.”
— J.K. Rowling, Author

45. “The hardest thing about being a leader is demonstrating or showing vulnerability… When the leader demonstrates vulnerability and sensibility and brings people together, the team wins.”
— Howard Shultz, Chairman & CEO, Starbucks

46. “Before you become a leader, success is all about growing yourself. After you become a leader, success is about growing others.”
— Jack Welch, CEO, General Electric 

47. “Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.”
— Vince Lombardi, Head Coach, Green Bay Packers 

48. “I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage and tangled Christmas tree lights.”
— Maya Angelou, Poet

49. “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, 28th U.S. President

50. “Don’t follow the crowd, let the crowd follow you.”
— Margaret Thatcher, Former British Prime Minister

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

52. “The things we fear most in organizations—fluctuations, distubances, imbalances—are the primary sources of creativity.”
— Margaret Wheatley, Writer

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

54. “The led must not be compelled. They must be able to choose their own leader.”
— Albert Einstein, Physicist 

55. “To have long-term success as a coach or in any position of leadership, you have to be obsessed in some way.”
— Pat Riley, President, Miami Heat

56. “The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly.”
— Jim Rohn, Entrepreneur

57. “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, Chairman, Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management

58. “The role of leadership is to transform the complex situation into small pieces and prioritize them.”
—Carlos Ghosn, CEO, Renault

59. “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, Author

60. “Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.”
— Warren Bennis, Scholar

61. “A man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd.”
— Max Lucado, Author

62. “I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure, which is: Try to please everybody.”
— Herbert Swope, Journalist

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