John Maxwell Quotes on Leadership & Success in Life

This list of quotes by John Maxwell provide simple, yet inspirational words of wisdom from a true leadership expert. 

John C. Maxwell is a world-renowned leadership expert, speaker, and author who has sold more than 26 million books. His words have inspired people around the globe to reach their fullest potential. In today’s rapidly changing world, Maxwell’s messages are more relevant than ever before.

Maxwell is a master at communicating complex concepts in a way that is easy to understand and apply. He has a unique ability to take the abstract and make it concrete. His insights have helped millions of people achieve success in their personal and professional lives.


John Maxwell Quotes on Life


“The greatest day in your life and mine is when we take total responsibility for our attitudes. That’s the day we truly grow up.” John C. Maxwell


john maxwell quotes on failure

“Your attitude towards failure determines your altitude after failure.” John C. Maxwell


“The secret of your success is determined by your daily agenda.” John C. Maxwell


“A minute of thought is greater than an hour of talk.” John C. Maxwell


“There are two kinds of pride, both good and bad. ‘Good pride’ represents our dignity and self-respect. ‘Bad pride’ is the deadly sin of superiority that reeks of conceit and arrogance.” John C. Maxwell


“Keeping score is for games, not friendships.” John C. Maxwell


“When your dream is bigger than you are, you only have two choices: give up or get help.” John C. Maxwell


“The greatest mistake we make is living in constant fear that we will make one.” John C. Maxwell


“Most people want to avoid pain, and discipline is usually painful.” John C. Maxwell


“The experience of pain or loss can be a formidably motivating force.” John C. Maxwell


“Time management is an oxymoron. Time is beyond our control, and the clock keeps ticking regardless of how we lead our lives. Priority management is the answer to maximizing the time we have.” John C. Maxwell


“People who use time wisely spend it on activities that advance their overall purpose in life.” John C. Maxwell


“Time is more valuable than money, because time is irreplaceable.” John C. Maxwell


“Policies are many, Principles are few, Policies will change, Principles never do.” John C. Maxwell


“The difference between average people and achieving people is their perception of and response to failure.” John C. Maxwell


“The first time you say something, it’s heard. The second time, it’s recognized, and the third time it’s learned.” John C. Maxwell


John Maxwell Quotes on Teamwork


“To add value to others, one must first value others.” John C. Maxwell


“Teamwork makes the dream work, but a vision becomes a nightmare when the leader has a big dream and a bad team.” John C. Maxwell

john maxwell quotes on teamwork makes the dream work

“Educators take something simple and make it complicated. Communicators take something complicated and make it simple.” John C. Maxwell


“The best way a mentor can prepare another leader is to expose him or her to other great people.” John C. Maxwell


“Every person has a longing to be significant; to make a contribution; to be a part of something noble and purposeful.” John C. Maxwell


“People may hear your words, but they feel your attitude.” John C. Maxwell


“If you want to reach the top, don’t run over others. Likely, the only way you’ll reach the top is to be carried there by others.” John C. Maxwell


John Maxwell Quotes on Purpose


“Learn to say ‘no’ to the good so you can say ‘yes’ to the best.” John C. Maxwell


“Live to learn, and you will really learn to live.” John C. Maxwell


“Growth is the great separator between those who succeed and those who do not. When I see a person beginning to separate themselves from the pack, it’s almost always due to personal growth.” John C. Maxwell


“Look at our society. Everyone wants to be thin, but nobody wants to diet. Everyone wants to live long, but few will exercise. Everybody wants money, yet seldom will anyone budget or control their spending.” John C. Maxwell


“Pride deafens us to the advice or warnings of those around us.” John C. Maxwell


“Everyone has the potential to become an encourager. You don’t have to be rich. You don’t have to be a genius. You don’t have to have it all together. All you have to do is care about people and initiate.” John C. Maxwell

john c maxwell quotes

“A man must be big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them.” John C. Maxwell


“The dreams and passions stored within hearts are powerful keys which can unlock a wealth of potential.” John C. Maxwell


John Maxwell Quotes on Leadership


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

leadership quotes by john maxwell


“Leadership is influence.” John C. Maxwell


“As a leader, the first person I need to lead is me. The first person that I should try to change is me.” John C. Maxwell


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


“If you are a leader, you should never forget that everyone needs encouragement. And everyone who receives it – young or old, successful, or less-than-successful, unknown or famous – is changed by it.” John C. Maxwell


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


“How do leaders serve their people? They may pay good wages and treat employees with respect.” John C. Maxwell


“Most people don’t like change. They revolt against it unless they can clearly see the advantage it brings. For that reason, when good leaders prepare to take action or make changes, they take people through a process to get them ready for it.” John C. Maxwell


“The best leaders are readers of people. They have the intuitive ability to understand others by discerning how they feel and recognizing what they sense.” John C. Maxwell


john maxwell leadership quotes

“Good leaders must communicate vision clearly, creatively, and continually. However, the vision doesn’t come alive until the leader models it.” John C. Maxwell



Maxwell’s messages are timeless and universal. They speak to the human condition and our common desire to live fulfilling an meaningful lives. His words have the power to change lives, businesses, and organizations. For more inspirational words and leadership insights, check out:

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