It can be lonely at the top. Being a leader isn't easy, and it isn't for the faint of heart. That’s why I’ve decided to list 50 of my favorite leadership quotes to motivate the leader in you.
Whether you’re leading a Fortune 500 company or just starting a career in your chosen industry, I want to help you become a better leader through these inspirational words.
Without any further adieu, let’s jump to it!
To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart. - Eleanor Roosevelt
A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way. - John C. Maxwell
The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires. - William Arthur Ward
I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination. - Jimmy Dean
Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence. - Vince Lombardi
It's hard to lead a cavalry charge if you think you look funny on a horse. - Adlai E. Stevenson II
Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent of how I react to it. - Charles Swindoll
Keep your fears to yourself, but share your courage with others. - Robert Louis Stevenson
Don’t find fault, find a remedy. - Henry Ford
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
Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value. - Albert Einstein
Only one man in a thousand is a leader of men -- the other 999 follow women. - Groucho Marx
I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. - Maya Angelou
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
Power isn't control at all--power is strength, and giving that strength to others. A leader isn't someone who forces others to make him stronger; a leader is someone willing to give his strength to others that they may have the strength to stand on their own. - Beth Revis
A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new. - Albert Einstein
Don't tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results. - George Patton
Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck. - Dalai Lama
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
Eighty percent of success is showing up. - Woody Allen
Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it. - Dwight D. Eisenhower
You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore. - Christopher Columbus
Victory has a hundred fathers and defeat is an orphan. - John F. Kennedy
Either you run the day, or the day runs you. - Jim Rohn
Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things. - Peter F. Drucker
There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing. - Aristotle
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
Certain things catch your eye, but pursue only those that capture the heart. - Ancient Indian Proverb
If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat! Just get on. - Sheryl Sandberg
Leaders must be close enough to relate to others, but far enough ahead to motivate them. - John C. Maxwell
Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful. - Joshua J. Marine
The mark of a great man is one who knows when to set aside the important things in order to accomplish the vital ones. - Brandon Sanderson
Limitations live only in our minds. But if we use our imaginations, our possibilities become limitless. -Jamie Paolinetti
Leadership is not about titles, positions, or flow charts. It is about one life influencing another. - John C. Maxwell
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
The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person who is doing it. - Chinese Proverb
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
Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning. - Gloria Steinem
Being responsible sometimes means pissing people off. - Colin Powell
You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try. - Beverly Sills
Do you know that one of the great problems of our age is that we are governed by people who care more about feelings than they do about thoughts and ideas? - Margaret Thatcher
You don’t get harmony when everybody sings the same note. - Doug Floyd
A leader is a dealer in hope. - Napoleon
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
In teamwork, silence isn’t golden. It’s deadly. - Mark Sanborn
That was a long list of leadership quotes, but I hope it inspired and motivated you to become a better leader. Your organization needs you to become one so shape up and step up!
Check out the recommended resources below if you need more help.
Awesome Leadership Tips on How to Become a More Effective Leader
The Necessary Leadership Qualities to Make You an Awesome Leader
Leadership Quotes: The Most Inspiring Leadership Quotes Of All Time
So what do you think about these leadership quotes? Did they motivate and inspire you to become a better leader?
Drop a comment below. We'd love to hear from you.
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Tim Fitzpatrick is the President of Rialto Marketing. At Rialto Marketing, we help small businesses & entrepreneurs eliminate the confusion of marketing. As a marketing partner, we help clients put in place and manage a simple marketing plan so they can grow. Marketing your business shouldn't be a challenge. All you need is a plan.