75 Powerful and Inspirational Leadership Quotes

75 Powerful and Inspirational Leadership Quotes


How do you lead your team and others around you?

How to become a great leader?

What are the leadership qualities?

Here’s a famous quote by Andre Malraux,

To command is to serve, nothing more and nothing less.

Leadership is all about becoming the better version of ourselves and having the ability to lead or guide other individuals or teams to become better too.

In this post, you’ll find powerful leadership quotes from business leaders, entrepreneurs, philosophers, military leaders, and famous political and historical figures.

Let these words inspire and motivate you to become a great leader and then you lead and inspire your team to reach for the stars.

So, let’s get started.


#1. Leadership starts with having a vision for a change you want to make in the world. Leaders show by example, and perhaps more importantly, empower others to be leaders of their own visions.

— Jennifer Hyman

#2. Leadership is service to others. There is power in helping people get excited about what they do, and inspiring and motivating them to unleash their full potential.

— Denise Morrison

#3. Leadership means setting your moral compass in the direction you know is right, even if it’s difficult or unpopular, and encouraging others to follow.

— Carol Sawdey

#4. A good objective of leadership is to help those who are doing poorly to do well and help those who are doing well to do even better.

— Jim Rohn

#5. The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The leader adjusts the sails.

— John Maxwell

#6. If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.

— John Quincy Adams

#7. Leaders instill in their people a hope for success and a belief in themselves. Positive leaders empower people to accomplish their goals.

— Unknown

#8. You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand.

— Woodrow Wilson

#9. To add value to others, one must first value others.

— John Maxwell

#10. A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader but becomes one by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his intent.

— Douglas MacArthur

#11. One of the tests of leadership is the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency.

— Arnold Glasow

#12. True leadership lies in guiding others to success – in ensuring that everyone is performing at their best, doing the work they are pledged to do, and doing it well.

— Bill Owens

#13. Becoming a leader is synonymous with becoming yourself. It is precisely that simple and it is also that difficult.

— Warren Bennis

#14. Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right thing.

— Peter F. Drucker

#15. The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership.

— Harvey S. Firestone

#16. Leadership is not about titles, positions, or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another.

— John C. Maxwell

#17. 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 limits.

— Peter F. Drucker

#18. Leaders aren’t born, they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work. And that’s the price we’ll have to pay to achieve that goal or any goal.

— Vince Lombardi

#19. Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.

— John F. Kennedy

#20. The role of leadership is to transform complex situations into small pieces and prioritize them.

— Carlos Ghosn

#21. Average leaders raise the bars on themselves; good leaders raise the bar for others; great leaders inspire others to raise their own bar.

— Orrin Woodward

#22. All of the great leaders have had one characteristic in common: it was the willingness to confront unequivocally the major anxiety of their people in their time. This, and not much else, is the essence of leadership.

— John Kenneth Galbraith

#23. Leadership is not a magnetic personality that can just as well be a glib tongue. It is not ‘making friends and influencing people’, that is flattery. Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to higher sights, raising of person’s performance to a higher standard, the building a personality beyond its normal limitations.

— Peter F. Drucker

#24. Great leaders are not defined by the absence of weakness, but rather by the presence of clear strengths.

— John Zenger

#25. Leadership is unlocking people’s potential to become better.

— Bill Bradley

#26. As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.

— Bill Gates

#27. Those who let things happen usually lose to those who make things happen.

— Dave Weinbaum

#28. Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.

— Abraham Lincoln

#29. A leader is one who sees more than others see, who sees farther than others see, and who sees before others see.

— Leroy Eimes

#30. 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

#31. If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, then, you are an excellent leader.

— Dolly Parton

#32. People ask the difference between a leader and a boss. The leader leads, and the boss drives.

— Theodore Roosevelt

#33. Ultimately, leadership is not about glorious crowning acts. It’s about keeping your team focused on a goal and motivated to do their best to achieve it, especially when the stakes are high and the consequences really matter. It is about laying the groundwork for others’ success, and then standing back and letting them shine.

— Chris Hadfield

#34. Leadership is a privilege to better the lives of others. It is not an opportunity to satisfy personal greed.

— Mwai Kibaki

#35. It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.

— Nelson Mandela

#36. Leadership is solving problems. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help or conclude you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership.

— General Colin Powell

#37. Leadership is hard to define, and good leadership even harder. But if you can get people to follow you to the ends of the earth, you are a great leader.

— Indra Nooyi

#38. Leadership is not a person or a position. It is a complex moral relationship between people based on trust, obligation, commitment, emotion, and a shared vision of the good.

— Joanne B. Ciulla

#39. Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.

— Jack Welch

#40. Throughout the centuries there were men who took the first steps, down new roads, armed with nothing but their own vision.

— Ayn Rand

#41. No doubt emotional intelligence is rarer than book smarts, but my experience says it is actually more important in the making of a leader. You just can’t ignore it.

— Jack Welch

#42. Ultimately, a leader is not judged so much by how he or she leads, but by how well he or she serves.

— Kevin Cashman

#43. 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

#44. Servant – Leadership is all about making the goals clear and then rolling your sleeves up and doing whatever it takes to help people win. In that situation, they don’t work for you, you work for them.

— Ken Blanchard

#45. The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office.

— General Dwight D. Eisenhower

#46. A competent leader can get efficient services from poor troops, while on the contrary, an incapable leader can demoralize the best of troops.

— Geeral John J. Pershing

#47. The secret of leadership is simple: Do what you believe in. Paint a picture of the future. Go there. People will follow.

— Seth Godin

#48. A leader is like a shepherd. He stays behind the flock, letting the most nimble go out ahead, whereupon the others follow, not realizing that all along they are being directed from behind.

— Nelson Mandela

#49. I have been impressed by the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.

— Leonardo Da Vinci

#50. High sentiments always win 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

#51. My philosophy has always been, if you can put staff first, your customers second, and shareholders third, in the end, the shareholders do well, the customers do better, and you are happy.

— Richard Branson

#52. The two most powerful warriors are patience and time… so remember: great achievements take time, there is no overnight success.

— Leo Tolstoy

#53. 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

#54. The best leader is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants to be done, and the self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it.

— Theodore Roosevelt

#55. Successful leaders see the opportunities in every difficulty rather than the difficulty in every opportunity.

— Reed Markham

#56. The most dangerous 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

#57. Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy.

— Norman Schwarzkopf

#58. Leadership cannot just go along to get along. Leadership must meet the moral challenge of the day.

— Jesse Jackson

#59. Management is about arranging and telling. Leadership is about nurturing and enhancing.

— Tom Peters

#60. A cowardly leader is the most dangerous of men.

— Stephen King

#61. A boss says, Go! A leader says, Let’s go!

— E.M.Kelly

#62. I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles, but today it means getting along with people.

— Mahatma Gandhi

#63. The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves.

— Ray Kroc

#64. Good leadership consists of showing average people how to do the work of superior people.

— John D. Rockefeller

#65. A leader’s job is to look into the future and see the organization, not as it is, but as it should be.

— Jack Welch

#66. A good leader is a person who takes a little more than his share of the blame and a little less than his share of the credit.

— John Maxwell

#67. Big jobs usually go to the men who prove their ability to outgrow small ones.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

#68. 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

#69. No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself or to get all the credit for doing it.

— Andrew Carnegie

#70. True leadership stems from individuality that is honest and sometimes imperfectly expressed… Leaders should strive for authenticity over perfection.

— Sheryl Sandberg

#71. Leadership is the ability to guide others without force into a direction that leaves them still feeling empowered and accomplished.

— Lisa Cash Hanson

#72. You’ve got enemies? Good, that means you stood for something in your life.

— Eminem

#73. The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in the moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

— Martin Luther King, Jr.

#74. My only 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

#75. The leader has to be practical and a realist yet must talk the language of the visionary and the idealist.

— Eric Hoffer




Hope you enjoyed these amazing leadership quotes.

Let these powerful words help you become a better, strong, and more compassionate leader.

As a great leader, you set direction, build an inspiring vision, and guide your team and your people to the right destination in a smooth and efficient way.

What are your favorite leadership quotes? Would you like to add any other quotes to the list? Feel free to share in the comments section below.






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