Leadership Quotes to Challenge, Inspire and Motivate You

Leadership quotes are like little nuggets of wisdom relevant for a multitude of situations.

I love them!

I love the moments of brilliance captured from great minds, inspiring me to think and analyze my approach to or thoughts on a specific situation.  If you are like me, I am certain you will enjoy this list of 25 quotes on leadership.  I did not assume me qualified to rank them in order of importance and I trust this random list will challenge, inspire and motivate you the same it did me.

Leadership Quotes

  • “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 
  • “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”- John Quincy Adams
  • “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
  • “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” - Jack Welch
  • “The true mark of a leader is the willingness to stick with a bold course of action — an unconventional business strategy, a unique product-development road map, a controversial marketing campaign — even as the rest of the world wonders why you’re not marching in step with the status quo. In other words, real leaders are happy to zig while others zag. They understand that in an era of hyper-competition and non-stop disruption, the only way to stand out from the crowd is to stand for something special.”- Bill Taylor; “Do You Pass the Leadership Test?”
  • “The very essence of leadership is that you have to have vision. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet.” - Theodore M. Hesburgh
  • “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” – Proverbs 29:18
  • “The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The leader adjusts the sails.” - John Maxwell
  • When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.” Ernest Hemingway
  • “The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them.” – Ralph Nichols
  • “Authenticity is the alignment of head, mouth, heart, and feet – thinking, saying, feeling, and doing the same thing – consistently. This builds trust, and followers love leaders they can trust.” - Lance Secretan
  • The only way to do great work is to love the work you do.” Steve Jobs
  • “A true leader always keeps an element of surprise up his sleeve, which others cannot grasp but which keeps his public excited and breathless.” Charles de Gaulle
  • “A leader is a dealer in hope.” – Napoleon Bonaparte
  • “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
  • “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead
  • To command is to serve, nothing more and nothing less.” – Andre Malraux
  • “I start with the premise that the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.” – Ralph Nader
  • “The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Written by Joseph Hawking

I have a passion for people & leadership development and since I discovered my mom’s old typewriter as a boy, I have written in some form or another.
I started blogging in 2017 and in August 2018, I started The Leadership Connexion with the aim to make the connection between Business, Leadership and Life. My professional experience span across various business disciplines, including Training, Project Management, Human Resource Management and Finance. I have a MBA degree, am co-founder a Industrial Water Treatment Company and lecture International Business at Monash SA University.
I am part of the Leadership for The International Mentoring Network (IMN), South African Chapter, where I am a regular Idea Studio Facilitator and Annual IMN Conference Speaker. I believe that the highest form of living is using what you are blessed with to add value to other people’s lives.

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About Joseph Hawking

I have a passion for people & leadership development and since I discovered my mom’s old typewriter as a boy, I have written in some form or another.
I started blogging in 2017 and in August 2018, I started The Leadership Connexion with the aim to make the connection between Business, Leadership and Life. My professional experience span across various business disciplines, including Training, Project Management, Human Resource Management and Finance. I have a MBA degree, am co-founder a Industrial Water Treatment Company and lecture International Business at Monash SA University.
I am part of the Leadership for The International Mentoring Network (IMN), South African Chapter, where I am a regular Idea Studio Facilitator and Annual IMN Conference Speaker. I believe that the highest form of living is using what you are blessed with to add value to other people’s lives.