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

Famous Leadership Quotes: Part 3

Motivational Quotes for Leaders

by Whitney Hopler, Communications Coordinator

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Developing strong leadership skills can empower you to enjoy well-being in every part of your life. Famous leaders throughout history have had a lot to say about leadership and its value to bring positive change both professionally and personally. Here are more inspiring leadership quotes to ponder:

Education is the mother of leadership.”  - Wendell Willkie

“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” - William Arthur Ward

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

“Become the kind of leader that people would follow voluntarily; even if you had no title or position.” - Brian Tracy

“The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born – that there is a genetic factor to leadership. That’s nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. Leaders are made rather than born.” - Warren Bennis

“In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.” - Thomas Jefferson

“Play to your strengths.” – JK Rowling

“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

“Let him who would be moved to convince others, be first moved to convince himself.” - Thomas Carlyle

“To command is to serve, nothing more and nothing less.” - Andre Malraux

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

“You don’t lead by pointing and telling people some place to go. You lead by going to that place and making a case.” - Ken Kesey

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

“The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not a bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly.” - Jim Rohn

“The real leader has no need to lead, he is content to point the way.” - Henry Miller

“The task of leadership is not to put greatness into people, but to elicit it, for the greatness is there already.” - John Buchan

“You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.” - Zig Ziglar

“It’s not about you. It’s about them.” - Clint Eastwood

“Effort and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.” - John F. Kennedy

“Leadership does not depend on being right.” - Ivan Illich

“There has never been a statue erected to honor a critic.” - Zig Ziglar

“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

“A man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd.” - Max Lucado

“Leaders create a legacy daily.” - Steve Gutzler

“Leaders must be close enough to relate to others, but far enough ahead to motivate them.” - John C. Maxwell

“Successful leaders see the opportunities in every difficulty rather than the difficulty in every opportunity.” - Reed Markham

“To make a decision, all you need is authority. To make a good decision, you also need knowledge, experience, and insight.” - Denise Moreland

“A leader does not deserve the name unless he is willing occasionally to stand alone.” - Henry A. Kissinger

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

“People buy into the leader before they buy into the vision.” - John Maxwell

“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

“Don’t find fault, find a remedy.” - Henry Ford

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