Some people are born leaders. Some of them are also pretty good at quotes…
Great leadership is essential to the success of any organisation – but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. So how do you stay motivated when you’re managing a team, running your own business, or assuming a leadership role? Well, expert advice is always a good place to start.
We’ve already covered some inspirational quotes all jobseekers should read, but here are 16 leadership quotes you can learn from (and our advice on what makes a good leader):
What makes a good leader?
Whilst hard work and dedication are vital attributes for any leader to succeed, they need to exhibit a wide range of other qualities. Alongside courage, integrity, and confidence, the best leaders also know how to:
Be decisive. They’re able to make smart decisions without hesitation, and demonstrate consistency in everything they do. A fickle leader will only indicate a lack of commitment.
Be passionate. Leaders thrive off a passion for what they do, and their enthusiasm and energy is often what it takes to get others to follow. They have a clear idea of their goals, and are relentless when it comes to achieving them.
Earn the respect of their team. Great leaders understand that the people are the key to their success. They build connections with those who follow them through empathy, care, and respect, and are rewarded with the same in return.
Be humble. Whilst the best leaders are strong and confident, this should always be combined with the ability to recognise the value of others, not to mention admit when they’re wrong. They’re grateful for their position, and take criticism as an opportunity to grow.
- ‘In most cases being a good boss means hiring talented people and then getting out of their way.’ – Tina Fey (actress, comedian, writer, and producer)
- ‘Earn your leadership every day.’ – Michael Jordan (former basketball player and businessman)
- ‘I didn’t get there by wishing for it or hoping for it, but by working for it.’ – Estée Lauder (co-founder of Estee Lauder)
- ‘The nation will find it very hard to look up to the leaders who are keeping their ears to the ground.’ —Sir Winston Churchill (former UK Prime Minister)
- ‘If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform one million realities.’ – Maya Angelou (poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist)
- ‘Leadership is not about titles, positions, or flow charts. It is about one life influencing another.’ – John C. Maxwell (author, speaker, and pastor)
- ‘True leadership stems from individuality that is honestly and sometimes imperfectly expressed… Leaders should strive for authenticity over perfection.’ – Sheryl Sandberg (COO of Facebook)
- ‘You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.’ – Walt Disney (entrepreneur, animator, voice actor and film producer)
- ‘I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow. When there’s that moment of ‘Wow, I’m not really sure I can do this,’ and you push through those moments, that’s when you have a breakthrough.’ Marissa Mayer (CEO of Yahoo)
- ‘It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.’ – Bill Gates (co-founder of Microsoft)
- ‘Just because you are CEO, don’t think you have landed. You must continually increase your learning, the way you think, and the way you approach the organization.’ – Indra Nooyi (CEO of PepsiCo)
- ‘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 Reagan (former US President)
- ‘I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the water to create many ripples.’ —Mother Teresa (nun and missionary)
- ‘Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.’ – Steve Jobs (co-founder and former CEO of Apple)
- ‘Fearlessness is like a muscle. I know from my own life that the more I exercise it the more natural it becomes to not let my fears run me.’ – Arianna Huffington (author, syndicated columnist, and businesswoman)
- ‘If you want to build something great, you should focus on what the change is that you want to make in the world.’ – Mark Zuckerberg (Co-founder of Facebook)
Still searching for your perfect position? View all available jobs now
Find a job
Sign up for more Career Advice