16 leadership quotes to inspire you to greatness
It is dangerously easy to find a direction mark and stick to it, without considering how you can improve and extend your skills. But even the best leaders can learn a thing or two about how to inspire their team. Fortunately, some of our best and brightest leaders throughout history have left some great sound bites behind to help lead the way.
Whether you’re leading a large team on a tough project or just trying to move up the career ladder, these quotes can help shed some light on how best to deploy your leadership strategy.
Here are some of the best quotes on how to be a better leader, sorted by the main leadership attributes they describe. This great tip from some of our most inspiring leaders may well make you rethink your current leadership strategy, renew your passion to lead, or show the way forward to better inspire your troops:
Good leaders are trailblazers and chart a path for others to follow. Great leaders, however, inspire their people to reach higher, dream bigger, and achieve more. Perhaps the most important leadership skill you can develop is the ability to inspire your team. If you inspire them to reach for the stars, they might just bring the moon back to you.
1. “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader. – John Quincy Adams
2. “Leadership is the ability to translate vision into reality. – Warren Bennis
Teach and learn
Smart leaders know what they don’t know. Learning is a constant process throughout your working life, and it doesn’t stop when you’ve become a team leader. Make sure you never stop looking for professional development opportunities and passing on the wisdom you’ve learned to your employees.
3. “Leadership and learning are essential to each other.” – John Fitzgerald Kennedy
4. “A teacher affects eternity; he can never say where his influence ends. -Henry Adams
To be a good leader, sometimes you have to take the uncharted path. Being bold in the face of uncertainty will help give your team courage and motivate them to keep pushing when the going gets tough.
5. “I can’t give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure, which is, try to please everyone.” – Herbert Swope
6. “You don’t lead by telling people where to go. You lead by going to that place and making your case. – Ken Kesey
7. “A man who wants to conduct the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd.” – Max Lucado
If learning is an important part of leadership, it follows that humility is also an essential attribute. After all, you can’t learn new things if you can’t admit that you are a work in progress. Be open to recognizing your own flaws, so that you can grow both as a leader and as a human being.
8. “No man will make a great leader if he wants to do it all for himself or take all the credit for doing it.” – Andrew Carnegie
9. “Exceptional leaders go out of their way to build the self-esteem of their staff. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish. – Sam Walton
Listen to your people
Your people are your greatest resource; listen to their feedback and encourage their dreams. You never know where your next big idea will come from, so give everyone the opportunity to contribute and innovate up and down the corporate ladder.
10. “To lead people, walk behind them. “- Lao Tzu
11. “The best leader is the one who has the common sense to choose good men to do what he wants, and the restraint not to interfere with them while they are doing it.” – Theodore Roosevelt
Find a balance
Being a good leader is a balancing act. Your leadership strategy should never be based on just one type of management. At first, you might feel like you’re walking a tightrope, but soon balancing multiple leadership attributes will become second nature and allow you to lead in multiple dimensions.
12. “The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not intimidating; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not shy; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without madness. “- Jim Rohn
13. “Leadership is a powerful combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without strategy, be without strategy. “- Norman Schwarzkopf
Meet the challenges
To be a great leader, there isn’t too much of a challenge. Once you adopt this attitude, your people will follow suit and every problem will present an opening for greater achievements.
14. “Find no fault, find a remedy.” – Henry Ford
15. “… – Publilius Syrus
16. “Successful leaders see the opportunities in every difficulty rather than the difficulty in every opportunity.” – Reed Markham
What’s your favorite leadership quote? Share in the comments!
Image courtesy of LEOL30; Flickr
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