65 Inspiring Short Leadership Quotes

This inspiring collection of short quotes is all about leadership

Whether you lead a huge organization, a community group, a small team, yourself, a nation or a household, it’s always interesting to consider the qualities that make a great leader and why.

What Makes a Good Leader?

Good leaders are people who believe in their own potential and they can inspire others to do the same. They create an environment where everyone feels valued—and personal morale is high.

Of course, depending on ‘what’ you are leading, there will be different qualities and experience, however certain qualities such as honesty, integrity, knowledge, focus and confidence are generally considered to be characteristics of successful leaders.

Here are some short but inspiring quotes about leadership that will encourage you to be a better leader (or get inspired if you’re already leading):

Short Leadership Quotes


When the best leader’s work is done the people say, ‘We did it ourselves.’ Lao Tzu


A good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame, a little less than his share of the credit. Arnold H. Glasow


Leadership is practiced not so much in words as in attitude and in actions. Harold S. Geneen


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


Example is leadership. Albert Schweitzer


I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people. Mahatma Gandhi


People ask the difference between a leader and a boss. The leader leads, and the boss drives. Theodore Roosevelt


I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. Alexander the Great


Lead from the back and let others believe they are in front. Nelson Mandela


The greatest gift of leadership is a boss who wants you to be successful. Jon Taffer


Strong convictions precede great actions. James Freeman Clarke


If you command wisely, you’ll be obeyed cheerfully. Thomas Fuller


To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart. Eleanor Roosevelt


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


Leadership is working with goals and vision; management is working with objectives. Russel Honore


The sharp employ the sharp. Douglas William Jerrold


Go as far as you can see; when you get there, you’ll be able to see farther. J. P. Morgan


Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things. Peter Drucker


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


The art of leadership is saying no, not saying yes. It is very easy to say yes. Tony Blair


Today a reader, tomorrow a leader. Margaret Fuller


Clarity affords focus. Thomas Leonard


The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves. Ray Kroc


I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the water to create many ripples. Mother Teresa


The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership. Harvey S. Firestone


If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right. Henry Ford


Management is about arranging and telling. Leadership is about nurturing and enhancing. Tom Peters


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


When placed in command, take charge. Norman Schwarzkopf


Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower. Steve Jobs


Leadership does not depend on being right. Ivan Illich


Good management is the art of making problems so interesting and their solutions so constructive that everyone wants to get to work and deal with them. Paul Hawken


Doing is a quantum leap from imagining. Barbara Sher


The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been. Henry Kissinger


High expectations are the key to everything. Sam Walton


Leadership is not about the next election, it’s about the next generation. Simon Sinek


Leadership is not a popularity contest; it’s about leaving your ego at the door. The name of the game is to lead without a title. Robin S. Sharma


Don’t find fault, find a remedy. Henry Ford


A man always has two reasons for doing anything: a good reason and the real reason. J. P. Morgan


If a window of opportunity appears, don’t pull down the shade. Tom Peters


In fair weather prepare for foul. Thomas Fuller


The cost of leadership is self-interest. Simon Sinek


A leadership culture is one where everyone thinks like an owner, a CEO or a managing director. It’s one where everyone is entrepreneurial and proactive. Robin S. Sharma


A leader is a dealer in hope. Napoleon Bonaparte


Leadership is a choice, not a position. Stephen Covey


A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus. Martin Luther King, Jr.


Different times need different types of leadership. Park Geun-hye


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


Leadership is hard. It’s a skill. It’s a technique. Jocko Willink


Leadership is about being a servant first. Allen West


You don’t lead by hitting people over the head – that’s assault, not leadership. Dwight D. Eisenhower


The real leader has no need to lead – he is content to point the way. Henry Miller


When you can’t make them see the light, make them feel the heat. Ronald Reagan


Everything rises and falls on leadership. John C. Maxwell


Well, I think that – I think leadership’s always been about two main things: imagination and courage. Paul Keating


The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers. Ralph Nader


There is no finish line to leadership. Julia Hartz


People who enjoy meetings should not be in charge of anything. Thomas Sowell


Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far. Theodore Roosevelt


Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected. Steve Jobs


Effective leadership is putting first things first. Effective management is discipline, carrying it out. Stephen Covey


Problems are only opportunities in work clothes. Henry J. Kaiser


Leadership is influence. John C. Maxwell


Think little goals and expect little achievements. Think big goals and win big success. David Joseph Schwartz


Where there is no vision, there is no hope. George Washington Carver


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