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Quotes on LEADERSHIP





"The older I get the less I listen to what people say and the more I look at what they do."
— Andrew Carnegie


"Leadership is not so much about technique and methods as it is about opening the heart. Leadership is about inspiration—of oneself and of others. Great leadership is about human experiences, not processes. Leadership is 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, Industry Week, October 12, 1998


"More than anything else today, followers believe they are part of a system, a process that lacks heart. If there is one thing a leader can do to connect with followers at a human, or better still a spiritual level, it is to become engaged with them fully, to share experiences and emotions, and to set aside the processes of leadership we have learned by rote."
— Lance Secretan, Industry Week, October 12, 1998


"There is no power on earth that can neutralize the influence of a high, simple, and useful life."
— Booker T. Washington


"He is greatest whose strength carries up the most hearts by the attraction of his own."
— Henry Ward Beecher


"Max DePree popularized the idea that leadership is an art. So much of what a leader does cannot be objectively measured. To reduce leadership to a set of algorithms is to remove it from its context; to ignore the complexities, the contradictions, and the possibilities. Artists must deal with uncertainty, contradictions and diversity almost by definition. Leaders need to have this capacity."
— Michael McKinney


"Leadership is getting people to work for you when they are not obligated."
— Fred Smith


"Into the hands of every individual is given a marvelous power for good or evil - the silent, unconscious, unseen influence of his life. This is simply the constant radiation of what man really is, not what he pretends to be."
— William George Jordan


"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
— Margaret Mead


"My own definition of leadership is this: The capacity and the will to rally men and women to a common purpose and the character which inspires confidence."
— General Montgomery


"High sentiments always win in the end, The leaders who offer blood, toil, tears and sweat always get more out of their followers than those who offer safety and a good time. When it comes to the pinch, human beings are heroic."
— George Orwell


"It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching."
— St. Francis of Assisi


"Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be."
— Ralph Waldo Emerson


"In the course of history, there comes a time when humanity is called to shift to a new level of consciousness, to reach a higher moral ground. A time when we have to shed our fear and give hope to each other. That time is now."
— Wangari Maathai


"I think leadership comes from integrity - that you do whatever you ask others to do. I think there are non-obvious ways to lead. Just by providing a good example as a parent, a friend, a neighbor makes it possible for other people to see better ways to do things. Leadership does not need to be a dramatic, fist in the air and trumpets blaring, activity."
— Scott Berkun


"Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others."
— Jack Welch


"I think that the best training a top manager can be engaged in is management by example. I want to make sure there is no discrepancy between what we say and what we do. If you preach accountability and then promote somebody with bad results, it doesn't work. I personally believe the best training is management by example. Don't believe what I say. Believe what I do."
— Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Renault-Nissan


"Leadership is a posture and a choice, not a role that must be bestowed on you. Step up and be a leader when no one is watching or expecting you to do so."
— John Izzo and Marshall Goldsmith, Stepping Up


"When the conduct of men is designed to be influenced, persuasion, kind, unassuming persuasion, should ever be adopted. It is an old and a true maxim, that a "drop of honey catches more flies than a gallon of gall."
— Abraham Lincoln
February 22, 1842 in Temperance Address


"I strongly believe that the responsibility of leadership is to shape the debate—to practice and project the right attributes—whether in a business enterprise, in our society, and even in our religions."
— Farooq Kathwari, CEO Ethan Allen


"If you don't understand that you work for your mislabeled 'subordinates,' then you know nothing of leadership. You know only tyranny."
— Dee Hock


"The led must not be compelled; they must be able to choose their own leader."
— Albert Einstein


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


"Lead and inspire people. Don't try to manage and manipulate people. Inventories can be managed but people must be lead."
— Ross Perot


"Those who try to lead the people can only do so by following the mob."
— Oscar Wilde


"The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers."
— Ralph Nader


"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 best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good people to do what he wants done, and self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it."
— Theodore Roosevelt


"A leader is a dealer in hope."
— Napoleon Bonaparte


"To be able to lead others, a man must be willing to go forward alone."
— Harry Truman


"Example is not the main thing in influencing others; it is the only thing."
— Albert Schweitzer


"People ask the difference between a leader and a boss. The leader works in the open, and the boss in covert."
— Theodore Roosevelt


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


"The leader has to be practical and a realist, yet must talk the language of the visionary and the idealist."
— Eric Hoffer


"Leadership is practiced not so much in words as in attitude and in actions.”
— Harold S. Geneen


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


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


“Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity."
— General George Patton


"Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy."
— Norman Schwarzkopf


"The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership."
— Harvey S. Firestone


"One of the tests of leadership is the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency."
— Arnold Glasow


"Leaders conceive and articulate goals that lift people out of their petty preoccupations and unite them in pursuit of objectives worthy of their best efforts."
— John Gardner


"The ability to summon positive emotions during periods of intense stress lies at the heart of effective leadership."
— Jim Loehr


"People will emulate leaders’ behaviors, believing they have silent permission to parrot actions demonstrated at the top of the power hierarchy."
— Phil Buckley


"Leader in its most important sense means being the agent of your own life, influencing the things you care about most in the world to make it a richer life. "
— Stewart Friedman, Total Leadership


"But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs."
— George Eliot, Middlemarch


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