Ten Famous Leadership Quotes

Famous Leadership Quotes Famous Leadership Quotes to Ponder


Just because a famous leader said something doesn’t make the sentiment a famous leadership quote.  The expression must resonate profound truth universally, no matter your ideals, your station, or your beliefs about leadership.

The following ten famous leadership quotes speak profound principles of leadership which reflect key ideas. To the quotes…

A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way. ~John C. Maxwell

John C. Maxwell is a recognized pastor who has authored best-selling books including 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership and The 5 Levels of Leadership. There’s a lot to be said for a catchy rhyme, and Mr. Maxwell makes use of this powerful device to remind us of the importance of knowledge, integrity, and leadership.

Management is doing things right. Leadership is doing the right things. ~Peter F. Drucker

Peter F. Drucker was an educator, consultant and author who specialized in business management, writing many books on the subject and establishing core principles of modern organizations. In this quote, he distinguishes that while management is a function of execution, leadership is a function of integrity.

The price of greatness is responsibility. ~Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill will perhaps always be best loved and remembered for leading Britain during the second World War.  During this time he demonstrated great strategy and courage, and here he reminds us that one of the key pillars of leadership is accountability.

A leader is a dealer in hope. ~Napoleon Bonaparte

This famous French emperor and military leader has more than a fair share of military campaigns and wars to his name. Having led a nation and countless armies, in this short quip he reveals that an optimistic vision is a key currency of leadership.

What you do has a far greater impact than what you say. ~Steven Covey

From the author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People we are reminded of the importance of “walk the walk.”  No surprise given Covey’s emphasis of optimizing the approach for effectiveness – integrity of action is the litmus test.

Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality. ~Warren G. Bennis

Mr. Bennis was considered one of the founding pioneers of Leadership as an academic and organization discipline. Forbes called him the “dean of leadership gurus.” In this famous leadership quote, Bennis seems to point to the magical quality of bringing hope and ideas into something real.

It is not fair to ask of others what you are not willing to do yourself. ~Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt served as the United States’ First Lady for twelve years during Franklin D. Roosevelt’s three presidential terms. She was an outspoken activist and longtime champion of civil rights. Well-remembered for her accomplishments, this quote brings home the notion of integrity and authenticity as a key leadership trait.

The ultimate measure of man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr. will be remembered for generations to come. In this observation, he zeroes in on the idea that the true test of leadership is challenge and difficulty. We need people who are not simply fair-weather leaders, but who show their mettle when the going gets tough.

With great power comes great responsibility. ~Voltaire

Often attributed to Uncle Ben in Stan Lee’s Spiderman, this quote has 18th Century French origins. Voltaire was widely known to criticize the abuse of power by the privileged.

Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower. ~Steve Jobs

Fondly remembered as a mastermind innovator, Steve Jobs founded, led, and grew Apple with his unique leadership style and vision.  Here he unequivocally identifies innovation as an indispensable leadership trait.

We hope you have enjoyed this collection of famous leadership quotes — may they inspire you  to greatness …


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