Mason Institute for Leadership Excellence
Center for the Advancement of Well-Being | The College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Famous Leadership Quotes: Part 1

Motivational Quotes for Leaders

by Whitney Hopler, Communications Coordinator

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Leadership is a vital skill that wise people develop throughout their lives. Many famous people have spoken eloquently about how to become a strong leader. Here are some famous leadership quotes to motivate you on your own journey of learning how to lead well:

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

“A leader is a dealer in hope.” - Napoleon Bonaparte

“To lead by example is to offer your life as a living diary for others to read. Never make your life pages blank; make some marks there. Many people are reading you.” - Israelmore Ayivor

“You manage things; you lead people.” - Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper

“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

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

“Earn your leadership every day.” - Michael Jordan

“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” - Harold R. McAlindon

“Leadership: The art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.” - Dwight D. Eisenhower

“I must follow the people. Am I not their leader?” - Benjamin Disraeli

“When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.” - Ernest Hemingway

“Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” - Warren Bennis

“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 am endlessly fascinated that playing football is considered a training ground for leadership, but raising children isn't.” - Dee Dee Myers

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” - John Maxwell

“If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth reading, or do things worth the writing.” - Benjamin Franklin

“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

“If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform one million realities.” - Maya Angelou

“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

“What chance gathers she easily scatters. A great person attracts great people and knows how to hold them together.” - Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

“While a good leader sustains momentum, a great leader increases it.” - John C. Maxwell  

“Go to the people. Learn from them. Live with them. Start with what they know. Build with what they have. The best of leaders when the job is done, when the task is accomplished, the people will say we have done it ourselves.” - Lao Tzu

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

“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

 

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