20 Leadership Quotes to Inspire You and Your Team

20 Leadership Quotes to Inspire You and Your Team

Leadership can happen in any job at any level. The only requirement to lead is to inspire and work alongside the team, not outside of the team. Leadership is guidance and empowerment, sharing your vision, and teaching others the same.

I used to work at Dillard’s clothing store. On my first day, my boss walked me around showing me the ropes and picked up a piece of crumpled paper off the floor. He commented, “if you see trash, just pick it up and throw it away.” This wasn’t the first time I had been taught to lead by doing but this moment has always stuck in my mind as a leadership moment.

When I was a store manager at Express, we had to clean the restroom. Usually, the staff did this begrudgingly. As soon as I gave them a choice of “do this other thing” or clean the restroom and I would do the other, they realized I was on the team, not just the boss. I also learned how to clean restrooms really well! Leading by example shows you aren’t afraid to still work in the trenches.

Here are some quotes everyone in a leadership position of any kind should keep on hand.

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

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

3. “A leader should be slow to punish and swift to reward.” —Ovid

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

5. “I start with the premise that the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.” —Ralph Nader

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

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

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

9. “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 De Pree

10. “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

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

12. “He who has never learned to obey cannot be a good commander.” —Aristotle

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

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

15. “Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm.” —Publilius Syrus

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

17. “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

18. “A great person attracts great people and knows how to hold them together.” —Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

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

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


Hi! I’m Carolyn.

I help small business owners manifest their destiny through functional business coaching and social media management. My passion is helping people discover their greatness. If you are seeking a better life full of happiness and joy and an abundance of success, let’s talk. Your best life is waiting.

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