In real life, the most practical advice for leaders is not to treat pawns like pawns, nor princes like princes, but all persons like persons.

— James MacGregor Burns

The most unexpected James MacGregor Burns quotes that will activate your desire to change

The ultimate test of practical leadership is the realization of intended, real change that meets people's enduring needs.


Divorced from ethics, leadership is reduced to management and politics to mere technique.


To elevate the goals of humankind, to achieve high moral purpose, to realize major intended change, leaders must thrust themselves into the most intractable processes and structures of history and ultimately master them.


Let us face reality. The framers (of the Constitution) have simply been too shrewd for us. They have outwitted us. They designed separate institutions that cannot be unified by mechanical linkages frail bridges(or) tinkering. If we are to turn the founders upside down we must directly confront the Constitutional structure they erected.


A revolution is an act of violence whereby one class shatters the authority of another.


Those who remember only that the Roosevelts served hot dogs to the royals will be fascinated by this well-researched account of an historic and ennobling relationship - a great story!


Woodrow Wilson called for leaders who, by boldly interpreting the nation's conscience, could lift a people out of their everyday selves. That people can be lifted into their better selves is the secret of transforming leadership.


Such leadership occurs when one or more persons engage with others in such a way that leaders and followers raise one another to higher levels of motivation and morality.


"Teachers"... treat students neither coercively nor instrumentally but as joint seekers of truth and of mutual actualization. They help students define moral values not by imposing their own moralities on them but by positing situations that pose hard moral choices and then encouraging conflict and debate. They seek to help students rise to higher stages of moral reasoning and hence to higher levels of principled judgment.


The practice of leadership is not the same as the exercise of power.


Leaders are not pale reflectors of major social conflicts;

they play up some, play down others, ignore still others.


Leadership, in short, is power governed by principle, directed toward raising people to their highest levels of personal motive and social morality.


About James MacGregor Burns

Quotes 14 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Author
Birthday October 16

Leadership is one of the most observed and least understood phenomena on earth.