15 Outstanding Leadership Quotes

15 Best Quotes on Leadership

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Outstanding 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

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

“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

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

“Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish.”  —Sam Walton

“As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.”  —Bill Gates

“Leaders think and talk about the solutions. Followers think and talk about the problems.”  —Brian Tracy

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

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

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”  —John Quincy Adams

“Leaders aren’t born, they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work. And that’s the price we’ll have to pay to achieve that goal, or any goal.”  —Vince Lombardi

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

“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

“The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership.” —Harvey Firestone


Question: Which quote connects with you most? Why?


  • http://zechariahnewman.com/ Zechariah Newman

    I love Blanchard’s quote. So true…if you want to know how you are leading stop in and see what those you are leading do when you are not around. Influence effects that not authority. Great post Kent.

    • http://www.liveitforward.com/ Kent Julian

      Great post because it’s great material. Just a collector and sharer of it :)

  • http://kimanziconstable.com/ kimanzi constable

    Great quotes Kent!

  • http://www.lincolnparks.com/ Lincoln Parks

    Keep them coming Kent. I particularly like the Sam Walton quote about going out of your way for your personnel.

  • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

    LOVE these quotes, quotes are so powerful because they can bring inspiration and encouragement.

  • http://www.clarkgaither.com A. Clark Gaither, MD

    Definitely the quote by John Quincy Adams – “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” What greater gifts could you possibly give to another human being?

  • http://www.liveitforward.com/ Kent Julian

    Thanks to everyone for commenting on these quotes. It’s easy to write a good post when the material is so good :)

  • http://www.yourbestmoment.com Elyssa

    My fave is the Brian Tracy quote – Leaders are solutions-oriented. They don’t stay in the problem! So many people get stuck focusing on what is wrong, rather than moving on to what the next right thing to do is. What a great compilation! Thanks for sharing!

    • http://www.liveitforward.com/ Kent Julian

      Absolutely. Remember from speak it forward: “Run at problems, not away from them.”

      • http://www.yourbestmoment.com Elyssa

        Yes! Love it.

  • http://www.paulsohn.org/ Paul Sohn

    Awesome quotes Kent! My favorite is “The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant” by DePree.

    • http://www.liveitforward.com/ Kent Julian

      Love that one too!

  • Jevonnah Ellison

    Vince nailed it. “Leaders aren’t born, they are made.” Even if a person is blessed to have a fantastic upbringing and parents who were leaders, they still have to “sharpen the saw”. Every. single. day. Thanks for your timely posts.

    • http://www.liveitforward.com/ Kent Julian

      Yup…sharpen the saw!

  • http://kimanziconstable.com/ kimanzi constable

    I’m a huge Peter Drucker fan, love his stuff.