Leadership quotes are words of wisdom and inspiration that motivates and encourages. They usually describe how the leaders should lead his followers. Famous people like Steve Jobs, Ronal Reagan, Lao Tzu, John Maxwell and many more have shared their own quotes about leadership. They describe how the leaders should act, think and motivate their followers. The ideal and the characters of the great leaders are also describe on most leadership quotes.

With a huge number of quotes about leadership, I’ve categorized them according to the topic and the author. Scroll down to read my collection of quotes on leadership. Our quote section also include other sayings and quotations of famous people like Bob Marley and Marilyn Monroe. Read some of the best William Shakespeare quotes as well.

Famous Leadership Quotes

Quotes about leadership, good leadership quotes

A leader is best when people barely know he exists,
when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.
— Lao Tzu


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


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 Drucker


To command is to serve,
Nothing more and nothing less.
— Andre Malraux

Become the kind of leader that people would follow voluntarily;
Even if you had no title or position.
— Brian Tracy


Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked;
leadership is defined by results not attributes.
— Peter Drucker


A great person attracts great people
And knows how to hold them together.
— Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe


Don’t find fault, find a remedy.
— Henry Ford


Management is doing things right;
Leadership is doing the right things.
— Peter Drucker


Effective leadership is putting first things first. Effective management is discipline, carrying it out.
— Stephen Covey


A man always has two reasons for doing anything:
A good reason and the real reason.
— J. P. Morgan


Leadership cannot really be taught. It can only be learned.
— Harold S. Geneen


The very essence of leadership is that you have to have a vision.
It’s got to be a vision you articulate clearly and forcefully on every occasion.
You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet.
— Reverend Theodore Hesburgh


Leaders instill in their people a hope for success and a belief in themselves.
Positive leaders empower people to accomplish their goals.”
— Unknown


Great Leadership Quotes

Best leadership quotes, great quotes on leadership


The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.
— Kenneth Blanchard


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


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


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


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


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


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


It is absurd that a man should rule others,
who cannot rule himself.
— Latin Proverb


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


A leader has the vision and conviction that a dream can be achieved.
He inspires the power and energy to get it done.
— Ralph Nader


To lead the people, walk behind them.
— Lao-Tzu


Leadership is the special quality which enables people to stand up
and pull the rest of us over the horizon.
— James Fisher


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


Inspirational Leadership quotes

Motivational leadership quotes, educational leadership quotes


If your actions inspire others to dream more,
Learn more, do more and become more,
You are a leader.
— John Quincy Adams


He led his regiment from behind –
He found it less exciting.
But when away his regiment ran,
His place was at the fore, O.
— W.S. Gilbert


A leader who doesn’t hesitate before he sends his nation into battle is not fit to be a leader.
— Golda Meir


A man is only a leader when a follower stands beside him.
— Mark Brouwer


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


Leldership is the key to 99 percent of all successful efforts.
— Erskine Bowles


Leadership is unlocking people’s potential to become better.
— Bill Bradley
Management is about arranging and telling.
Leadership is about nurturing and enhancing.
—Tom Peters


Not the cry, but the flight of a wild duck, leads the flock to fly and follow.
— Chinese Proverb


True leadership lies in guiding others to success.
In ensuring that everyone is performing at their best,
doing the work they are pledged to do and doing it well.
— Bill Owens


We live in a society obsessed with public opinion.
But leadership has never been about popularity.
— Marco Rubio


Leadership Quotes by Women


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


I praise loudly, I blame softly.
— Catherine the Great


We need women leaders.
But we need them to have a vision for something.
— Charlotte Bunch


Knowing that we can make a difference in this world is a great motivator.
How can we know this and not be involved?
— Susan Jeffers


Getting ahead in a difficult position requires avid faith in yourself.
That is why some people with mediocre talent,
but with great inner drive,
go much further than people with vastly superior talent.
— Sophia Loren


Don’t let anything stop you.
There will be times when you’ll be disappointed, but you can’t stop.
Make yourself the very best that you can make of what you are.
The very best.
— Sadie T. Alexander


The leadership instinct you are born with is the backbone.
You develop the funny bone and the wishbone that go with it.
— Elaine Agather


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


Leaders are more powerful role models when they learn than when they teach!
— Rosabeth Moss Kantor


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


Humans are ambitious and rational and proud.
And we don’t fall in line with people who don’t respect us
and who we don’t believe have our best interests at heart.
We are willing to follow leaders,
but only to the extent that we believe they call on our best, not our worst.
— Rachel Maddow


Leadership Quotes by Famous People

Steve Jobs Leadership Quotes

Be a yardstick of quality.
Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.
— Steve Jobs


Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.
— Steve Jobs


My job is not to be easy on people.
My jobs is to take these great people we have
and to push them and make them even better.
— Steve Jobs


My job is to make the whole executive team good enough to be successors,
so that’s what I try to do.
— Steve Jobs


Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.
— Steve Jobs


Quality is more important than quantity.
One home run is much better than two doubles.
— Steve Jobs


Colin Powell leadership quotes

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


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


Organization doesn’t really accomplish anything.
Plans don’t accomplish anything, either.
Theories of management don’t much matter.
Endeavors succeed or fail because of the people involved.
Only by attracting the best people will you accomplish great deeds.
— General Colin Powell


There are no secrets to success: don’t waste time looking for them,
success is the result of perfection, hard work,
learning from failure, loyalty to those for whom you work and persistence.
— General Colin Powell


Abraham Lincoln Leadership Quotes


As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master.
This expresses my idea of democracy.
— Abraham Lincoln


Discourage litigation.
Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can.
As a peacemaker the lawyer has superior opportunity of being a good man.
There will still be business enough.
— Abraham Lincoln


Better to remain silent and be thought a fool
Than to speak out and remove all doubt.
— Abraham Lincoln


You can fool all the people some of the time,
And some of the people all the time,
But you cannot fool all the people all the time.
— Abraham Lincoln


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


Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow.
The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.
— Abraham Lincoln


I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true.
I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have.
I must stand with anybody that stands right,
And stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong.
— Abraham Lincoln


I am a firm believer in the people.
If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis.
The great point is to bring them the real facts.
— Abraham Lincoln


Sun Tzu leadership quotes

Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness.
Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness.
Thereby you can be the director of the opponent’s fate.
— Sun Tzu


The opportunity to secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands,
but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself.
— Sun Tzu


If they fear you, they will respect you.
If they love you, they might respect you.
But if they don’t fear you, they’ll never love you or respect you
and they don’t have to!
— Sun Tzu


Ronald Reagan Quotes on Leadership


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


There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go
If he doesn’t mind who gets the credit.
― Ronald Reagan


A leader, once convinced a particular course of action is the right one,
must have the determination to stick with it
and be undaunted when the going gets rough.
― Ronald Reagan


Surround yourself with the best people you can find,
Delegate authority, and don’t interfere as long
As the policy you’ve decided upon is being carried out.”
— Ronald Reagan


Leadership quotes by John Maxwell


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


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


Leadership is influence.
— John C. Maxwell


People buy into the leader before they buy into the vision.
— John Maxwell


A great leader’s courage to fulfill his vision comes from passion, not position.
—John Maxwell


Leaders must be close enough to relate to others,
But far enough ahead to motivate them.
— John C. Maxwell


A good leader is a person who takes a little more than his share of the blame
and a little less than his share of the credit.
—J ohn Maxwell


Vince Lombardi quotes on Leadership


Leadership is based on a spiritual quality;
the power to inspire,
the power to inspire others to follow.
— Vince Lombardi


A Leader must believe in teamwork through participation.
He can never close the gap between himself and the group.
He must walk, as it were, a tightrope between the consent
He must win and the control he must exert.
— Vince Lombardi


A Leader must be honest with himself and know that as a leader he is just like everybody else.
He must identify himself with the group, must back up the group,
even at the risk of displeasing superiors.
He must believe that the group wants from him a sense of approval.
If this feeling prevails, production, discipline, morale will be high,
and in return, you can demand the cooperation to promote the goals of the company.
— Vince Lombardi


Leadership rests not only upon ability, not only upon capacity;
having the capacity to lead is not enough.
The leader must be willing to use it.
His leadership is then based on truth and character.
There must be truth in the purpose and willpower in the character.”
— Vince Lombardi


The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to
their commitment to excellence, regardless of their
chosen field of endeavor.”
— Vince Lombardi


Leaders are made, they are not born.
They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us
must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.
— Vince Lombardi


The difference between a successful person and others is
not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge,
but rather a lack of will.
— Vince Lombardi


When all is said and done, a leader must exercise an effective influence
and the degree he accomplishes this depends upon the personality of the man.
The incandescence of which he is capable;
the flame which burns within him;
the magnetism which draws the hearts of men towards him.
— Vince Lombardi


Gandhi Leadership Quotes

I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles;
But today it means getting along with people.
— Mahatma Gandhi


It is not the man that makes the vision;
It’s the vision that makes the man.
— Mahatma Gandhi


Your ability is secondary;
It’s your heart that matters the most
— Mahatma Gandhi


The history of the world is full of men who rose to leadership,
by sheer force of self-confidence, bravery and tenacity.
— Mahatma Gandhi


If you have no character to lose, people will have no faith in you
— Mahatma Gandhi

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