Leadership is not about title. It’s a way of thinking, feeling and acting. Great leaders walk the talk, NOT talk the talk. When people follow their leader not because they have to, but because they want to then they truly have skin in the game. May this list of powerful leadership quotes inspire, motivate and push you to strive for greatness.
#1 “If your actions inspire others to learn more, dream more, do more and become more then you are a leader!” – John Quincy Adams
#2 “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” – Jack Welch
Jack Welch was the youngest CEO of GE at 41 years of age. During his 2 decades at GE, he presided over a 4,000% increase in the share price.
What’s fascinating is that despite all the challenges the business faced when he joined, within his first 100 days of office one of the things he did was to set up a Leadership Academy. Now with so many things which could have grabbed his attention why did he make this one of his top goals? Because Jack Welch recognised that to get GE to where he wanted to take it he needed a bench strength of Leadership capability. The increased share price was not his primary focus – that was the by-product. His focus was on developing Leadership capability and how many Leaders who served under his tenure would go on to run Fortune 500 businesses or businesses on the main stock markets of the world. Jack Welch was a living embodiment of his quote.
#3 “The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been.” – Henry Kissinger
#4 “Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate, and doubt to offer a solution everybody can understand.” – Gen. Colin Powell, former U.S. Secretary of State
#5 “The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not a bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humour but without folly.” – Jim Rohn
Jim Rohn was one of the most influential motivational speakers, influencing many people all over the world. He mentored the powerful motivational speaker Tony Robbins. I love John’s quote and his explanation as to what it means…
‘Learn to be strong but not rude. It is an extra step you must take to become a powerful, capable leader with a wide range of reach. Some people mistake rudeness for strength. It’s not even a good substitute.
Learn to be kind but not weak. We must not mistake kindness for weakness. Kindness isn’t weak. Kindness is a certain type of strength. We must be kind enough to tell somebody the truth. We must be kind enough and considerate enough to lay it on the line. We must be kind enough to tell it like it is and not deal with delusion.
Learn to be bold but not a bully. It takes boldness to win the day. To build your influence, you’ve got to walk in front of your group. You’ve got to be willing to take the first arrow, tackle the first problem, and discover the first sign of trouble.
You’ve got to learn to be humble, but not timid. You can’t get to the high life by being timid. Some people mistake timidity for humility. Humility is almost a God-like word. A sense of awe. A sense of wonder. An awareness of the human soul and spirit. An understanding that there is something unique about human drama versus the rest of life. Humility is a grasp of the distance between us and the stars, yet having the feeling that we’re part of the stars. Therefore, humility is a virtue; but timidity is a disease. Timidity is an affliction. It can be cured, but it is a problem.
Be proud but not arrogant. It takes pride to win the day. It takes pride to build your ambition. It takes pride in the community. It takes pride in the cause, in accomplishment. But the key to becoming a good leader is being proud without being arrogant. In fact, I believe the worst kind of arrogance is arrogance from ignorance. It’s when you don’t know what you don’t know. Now that kind of arrogance is intolerable. If someone is smart and arrogant, we can tolerate that. But if someone is ignorant and arrogant, that’s just too much to take.
Develop humor without folly. That’s important for a leader. In leadership, we learn that it’s okay to be witty, but not silly. It’s okay to be fun, but not foolish’.
#6 “You don’t have to hold a position in order to be a leader.” – Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company
#7 “Leadership is practised not so much in words as in attitude and in actions.” – Harold S Geneen
#8 “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” – Peter F. Drucker, author, and educator
It’s about doing the RIGHT thing rather than doing things right. It’s not a popularity contest.
Being a leader isn’t about being liked. It’s about doing what is right.
So many leaders are afraid of conflict, they have a deep-seated need to be popular and cherished. They hate ruffling feathers and making waves. They are insecure and not comfortable in their own skin. But great leaders are different.
They fearlessly make tough calls. They speak the truth. They run their own race, making the right decisions and worrying little about public opinion. They care about being fair, doing what’s right and getting results based on those right decisions. They are courage in action!
#9 “Of all the things I’ve done, the most vital is coordinating those who work with me and aiming their efforts at a certain goal.” – Walt Disney, founder of Disney
#10 ‘The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.” -Ralph Nader
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