56 Most Inspirational Quotes on Leadership by Famous People

It is extremely easy to brand yourself a leader without understanding the responsibilities that come with leadership.

Every leader has a scope for improvement and learning new skills. A good leader is the one who is open to exploring avenues to inspire his/her team.

Fortunately, a number of famous people who epitomized superior leadership have shared their wisdom in the form of quotes. These quotes on leadership embody their experience and will help you lead the way for your team.

Leadership Quotes by Famous People

Here are 56 astute and inspirational quotes from the most renowned leaders of all time that will keep motivating you to become the front-runner you want to be.

1. “The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.” ~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

2. “To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.” ~ Anna Eleanor Roosevelt

3. “Being a leader doesn’t mean to be a professional in everything. It means seeing the professionalism of other people and using it in the correct way.” ~ Jack Lee from mycustomessay.com.

4. “Leadership is not about titles, positions, or flow charts. It is about one life influencing another.” ~ John Maxwell

5. “Victory has a hundred fathers and defeat is an orphan.” ~ John F. Kennedy

6. “A leader…is like a shepherd. He stays behind the flock, letting the most nimble go out ahead, whereupon the others follow, not realizing that all along they are being directed from behind.” ~ Nelson Mandela

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

8. “Leadership does not depend on being right.” ~ Ivan Illich

9. “Do you know that one of the great problems of our age is that we are governed by people who care more about feelings than they do about thoughts and ideas?” ~ Margaret Thatcher

10. “A leader is a dealer in hope.” ~ Napoleon Bonaparte

11. “A good leader is a person who takes a little more than his share of the blame and a little less than his share of the credit.” ~ John Maxwell

12. “Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.” ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower

13. “I start with the premise that the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.” ~ Ralph Nader

14. “A great person attracts great people and knows how to hold them together.” ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

15. “I have three precious things which I hold fast and prize. The first is gentleness; the second is frugality; the third is humility, which keeps me from putting myself before others. Be gentle and you can be bold; be frugal and you can be liberal; avoid putting yourself before others and you can become a leader among men.” ~ Lao Tzu

16. “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” ~ Peter Drucker

17. “There is a difference between being a leader and being a boss. Both are based on authority. A boss demands blind obedience; a leader earns his authority through understanding and trust.” ~ Klaus Balkenhol

18. “Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.” ~ Albert Schweitzer

19. “It is absolutely necessary… for me to have persons that can think for me, as well as execute orders.” ~ George Washington

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

21. “Being responsible sometimes means pissing people off.” ~ Colin Powell

22. “The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt

23. “I don’t see myself being special; I just see myself having more responsibilities than the next man. People look to me to do things for them, to have answers.” ~ Tupac Shakur

24. “I cannot trust a man to control others who cannot control himself.” ~ Robert E. Lee

25. “The day the soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help them or concluded that you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership.” ~ Colin Powell

26. “A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be.” ~ Eleanor Rosalynn Carter

27. “Remember, teamwork begins by building trust. And the only way to do that is to overcome our need for invulnerability.” ~ Patrick Lencioni

28. “Leadership is an action, not a position.” ~ Donald McGannon

29. “The challenge of leadership is to be strong but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not a bully; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly.” ~ Jim Rohn

30. “Earn your leadership every day.” ~ Michael Jordan

31. “Average leaders raise the bar on themselves; good leaders raise the bar for others; great leaders inspire others to raise their own bar.” ~ Orrin Woodward

32. “The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born-that there is a genetic factor to leadership. That’s nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. Leaders are made rather than born.” ~ Warren Bennis

33. “Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.” ~ Peter Drucker

34. “When you put together deep knowledge about a subject that intensely matters to you, charisma happens. You gain the courage to share your passion, and when you do that, folks follow.” ~ Jerry Porras

35. “A good leader leads the people from above them. A great leader leads the people from within them.” ~ M.D. Arnold

36. “The very essence of leadership is that you have to have vision. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet.” ~ Father Theodore M. Hesburgh

37. “A leader takes people where they would never go on their own.” ~ Hans Finzel

38. “Become the kind of leader that people would follow voluntarily, even if you had no title or position.” ~ Brian Tracy

39. “My job is not to be easy on people. My job is to take these great people we have and to push them and make them even better.” ~ Steve Jobs

40. “A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his intent.” ~ Douglas MacArthur

41. “To have long-term success as a coach or in any position of leadership, you have to be obsessed in some way.” ~ Pat Riley

42. “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” ~ Jack Welch

43. “A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.” ~ Lao Tzu

44. “The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant.” ~ Max DePree

45. “Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to high sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.” ~ Peter Drucker

46. “The nation will find it very hard to look up to the leaders who are keeping their ears to the ground.” ~ Sir Winston Churchill

47. “To command is to serve, nothing more and nothing less.” ~ Andre Malraux

48. “He who has never learned to obey cannot be a good commander.” ~ Aristotle

49. “When I give a minister an order, I leave it to him to find the means to carry it out.” ~ Napoleon Bonaparte

50. “Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish.” ~ Sam Walton

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

52. “As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.” ~ Bill Gates

53. “Effective leadership is putting first things first. Effective management is discipline, carrying it out.” ~ Stephen Covey

54. “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” ~ John Quincy Adams

55. “It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.” ~ Nelson Mandela

56. “We’re here for a reason. I believe a bit of the reason is to throw little torches out to lead people through the dark.” ~ Whoopi Goldberg


Leaders are trailblazers who create a path for others to follow. Great leaders inspire people to conquer greater heights.

The above-mentioned leadership quotes from eminent personalities will inspire you to become a brilliant leader. Read more thank you for your leadership notes ideas. Hope it can inspire you more.