155 True Leadership Quotes To Inspire You

Following is our list of true leadership quotations and slogans full of insightful wisdom and perspective about what is a true leader.

True leadership quote
Inspirational true leadership quote

The Most Famous True Leadership Quotes (Best in 2024)

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Leadership cannot really be taught. It can only be learned. — Harold S. Geneen

Leadership means firmness, not harshness or bullying; understanding, not weakness; justice, not irresponsible freedom; humaneness, not intolerance; generosity, not selfishness; pride, not egotism. — Omar N. Bradley

Leadership is not for the faint of heart — Bill Hybels

Leadership is the sum of those qualities of intellect, human understanding, and moral character that enables a person to inspire and control a group of people successfully. — John A. Lejeune

Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes. — Peter Drucker

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

True leadership quote

Leadership is a series of behaviors rather than a role for heroes. — Margaret J. Wheatley

True leadership quote

The leader sees leadership as responsibility rather than as rank and privilege. — Peter Drucker

We live in a society obsessed with public opinion. But leadership has never been about popularity. — Marco Rubio

To become a leader, you must first become a human being — Confucius

Short True Leadership Quotes

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  • The four Cs of making dreams come true: Curiosity, Courage, Consistency, Confidence. — Walt Disney
  • He who has never learned to obey cannot be a good commander. — Aristotle
  • Freedom, by definition, is people realizing that they are their own leaders. — Diane Nash
  • The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born. — Warren G. Bennis
  • In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. — Harry S. Truman
  • The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. — Colin Powell
  • A great leader's courage to fulfill his vision comes from passion, not position. — John C. Maxwell
  • True leadership has people who follow when they have the freedom not to. — James C. Collins
  • A good general not only sees the way to victory; he also knows when victory is impossible. — Polybius
  • Leadership is defined by results not attributes. — Peter Drucker

True Leadership Image Quotes

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True leadership quote A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decis
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.

Inspirational Quotes

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Religion is for people who fear hell, spirituality is for people who have been there. — David Bowie

One day you will ask me which is more important? My life or yours? I will say mine and you will walk away not knowing that you are my life. — Kahlil Gibran

True leadership quote

Life is short. Kiss slowly, laugh insanely, love truly and forgive quickly — Paulo Coelho

True leadership quote You will continue to suffer if you have an emotional reaction to everything that
You will continue to suffer if you have an emotional reaction to everything that is said to you. True power is sitting back and observing everything with logic. If words control your that means everyone can control you. Breathe and allow things to pass.

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved. — Helen Keller

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds — Paul the Apostle

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

True leadership quote Two things you will never have to chase: true friends and true love.
Two things you will never have to chase: true friends and true love.

If God is for us, who can be against us? — Paul the Apostle

The POSITIVE THINKER sees the INVISIBLE, feels the INTANGIBLE, and achieves the IMPOSSIBLE. — Winston Churchill

I had to make my own living and my own opportunity. But I made it! Don't sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them. — Madam C. J. Walker

Every day may not be good... but there's something good in every day — Alice Morse Earle

Truman Quotes

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President Roosevelt proved that a President could serve for life. Truman proved that anyone could be elected. Eisenhower proved that your country can be run without a President. — Nikita Khrushchev

That was the principle of reparations to which President Truman agreed at Potsdam. And the United States will not agree to the taking from Germany of greater reparations than was provided by the Potsdam Agreement. — James F. Byrnes

My lasting impression of Truman Capote is that he was a terribly gentle, terribly sensitive, and terribly sad man. — Alvin Ailey

True leadership quote Be a leader by example. Be confident and humble. Love the unloved.
Be a leader by example. Be confident and humble. Love the unloved.

I never graduated from Iowa, but I was only there for two terms - Truman's and Eisenhower's. — Alex Karras

I've reached a point in my life where my Truman Show boat has hit the painting. — Kanye West

Anyone who ever gave you confidence, you owe them a lot". ~Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany's, 1958, spoken by the character Holly Golightly — Truman Capote

True leadership quote Knowing others is intelligence, knowing yourself is true wisdom.
Knowing others is intelligence, knowing yourself is true wisdom.

Truman is now seen as a near-great president because he put in place the containment doctrine boosted by the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan and NATO, which historians now see as having been at the center of American success in the cold war. — Robert Dallek

I am going to build the kind of nation that President Roosevelt hoped for, President Truman worked for, and President Kennedy died for. — Lyndon B. Johnson

Every President I think I've ever known, except Truman, has thought they didn't quite get done what they wanted done. And toward the end of their Administrations, they were disappointed and wished they had done some things differently. — Billy Graham

We had been frightened of atomic weapons since 1945. In those days I became convinced - and remain convinced now - that, after Hitler, Truman was the greatest murderer in the world. — Martin Niemoller

True Leader Quotes

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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

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

The true leader is a different sort; he seeks effective activity which has a truly beneficient purpose. He inspires others to follow in his wake, and holding aloft the torch of wisdom, leads the way for society to realize its genuinely great aspirations. — Haile Selassie

True leadership quote Leadership is an action, not a position.
Leadership is an action, not a position.

Woe to the people that fails to honor its heroes! It will cease producing them, cease knowing them. Heroes spring from the essence of their people. A people without heroes is a people without leaders, for only a heroic leader is a true leader able to withstand the challenge of difficult times. — Rudolf Hess

A leader has to be one of two things: he either has to be a brilliant visionary himself, a truly creative strategist, in which case he can do what he likes and get away with it; or else he has to be a true empowerer who can bring out the best in others. — Henry Mintzberg

The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born-that there is a genetic factor to leadership. This myth asserts that people simply either have certain charismatic qualities or not. That's nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. Leaders are made rather than born. — Warren G. Bennis

True leadership quote Leadership is not about being in charge. Leadership is about taking care of thos
Leadership is not about being in charge. Leadership is about taking care of those in your charge.

Be strong, but not rude; Be kind, but not weak; Be bold, but not bully; Be humble, but not timid; Be prooud, but not arrogant. — Zig Ziglar

Leadership is standing with your people. People say you have to live to fight another day, but sometimes you have to show you are a true leader. — Leymah Gbowee

If in the darkness of ignorance, you don’t recognize a person’s true nature, look to see whom he has chosen for his leader. — Rumi

True leadership is found in giving yourself in service to others, not in coaxing or inducing others to serve you. — J. Oswald Sanders

Effective Leadership Quotes

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Effective leaders are made, not born. They learn from trial and error, and from experience. — Colin Powell

The greatness of a leader is measured by the achievements of the led. This is the ultimate test of his effectiveness. — Omar N. Bradley

Effective leaders help others to understand the necessity of change and to accept a common vision of the desired outcome. — John P. Kotter

True leadership quote Travel and tell no one, live a true love story and tell no one, live happily and
Travel and tell no one, live a true love story and tell no one, live happily and tell no one, people ruin beautiful things.

To manage a system effectively, you might focus on the interactions of the parts rather than their behavior taken separately. — Russell L. Ackoff

True leadership quote

A leader is best when people barely know that he exists. — Witter Bynner

The leaders who work most effectively, it seems to me, never say 'I'. They don't think 'I'. They think 'we'; they think 'team'. — Tom Peters

True leadership quote Leadership simply begins with the courage to be yourself. So everyone else can b
Leadership simply begins with the courage to be yourself. So everyone else can be, too.

He who has learned how to obey will know how to command. — Solon

I can't give you the sunset, but I can give you the night. — Erin McCarthy

History has shown that a country most effectively speaks with one voice. When nationally elected officials work together, build consensus, and provide leadership, the American people will follow. — Chuck Hagel

Build what you want to see in the world. — Jack Dorsey

Definition Of Leadership Quotes

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My own definition of leadership is this: The capacity and the will to rally men and women to a common purpose and the character which inspires confidence. — Bernard Law Montgomery

The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. — Max De Pree

You manage things, you lead people. We went overboard on management and forgot about leadership. It might help if we ran the MBAs out of Washington. — Grace Hopper

True leadership quote Kindness is not a business. True kindness expects nothing in return and should n
Kindness is not a business. True kindness expects nothing in return and should never act with conditions.

Leadership cannot really be taught. It can only be learned. — Harold Geneen

A good manager is best when people barely know that he exists. Not so good when people obey and acclaim him. Worse when they despise him. — Lao Tzu

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

True leadership quote True love has a habit of coming back.
True love has a habit of coming back.

To me, a leader is a visionary that energizes others. This definition of leadership has two key dimensions: a) creating the vision of the future, and b) inspiring others to make the vision a reality. — Vince Lombardi

Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success — Stephen Covey

The leader works in the open and the boss in covert. The leader leads, and the boss drives. — Theodore Roosevelt

Continuing to believe the same thing, even in the face of new evidence to the contrary, is the definition of insanity - except in politics where it's called leadership. — Scott Adams

Good Leadership Quotes

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True leadership quote

Ability may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there. — Stevie Wonder

A competent leader can get efficient service from poor troops, while on the contrary an incapable leader can demoralize the best of troops. — John J. Pershing

You are good. But it is not enough just to be good. You must be good for something. You must contribute good to the world. The world must be a better place for your presence. And the good that is in you must be spread to others. — Gordon B. Hinckley

Good generals select intelligent officers, thoughtful advisors, and brave subordinates. They oversee their troops like a fierce tiger with wings. — Zhuge Liang

He who neither drinks, nor smokes, nor dances, he who preaches & even occasionally practice piety, temperance and celibacy, is generally a saint, or a mahatma or more likely a humbug but he certainly won't make a leader or for that matter a good soldier — Sam Manekshaw

My philosophy of leadership is to surround myself with good people who have ability, judgment and knowledge, but above all, a passion for service. — Sonny Perdue

True leadership quote

Good leaders must first become good servants. — Robert K. Greenleaf

The secret to success is good leadership, and good leadership is all about making the lives of your team members or workers better. — Tony Dungy

The single biggest way to impact an organization is to focus on leadership development. There is almost no limit to the potential of an organization that recruits good people, raises them up as leaders and continually develops them. — John C. Maxwell

If there is such a thing as good leadership, it is to give a good example. I have to do so for all the Ikea employees. — Ingvar Kamprad

Leadership Defined Quotes

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Leadership is hard to define and good leadership even harder. But if you can get people to follow you to the ends of the earth, you are a great leader. — Indra Nooyi

My height doesn't define my skill set. To be a great quarterback, you have to have great leadership, great attention to detail and a relentless competitive nature - and I try to bring that on a daily basis. — Russell Wilson

Presenting leadership as a list of carefully defined qualities (like strategic, analytical, and performance-ori ented) no longer holds. Instead, true leadership stems from individuality that is honestly and sometimes imperfectly expressed.... Leaders should strive for authenticity over perfection. — Sheryl Sandberg

Great leaders are not defined by the absence of weakness, but rather by the presence of clear strengths. — John Peter Zenger

Leadership can be defined in one word - honesty. You must be honest with the players and honest with yourself. — Earl Weaver

Leadership can be thought of as a capacity to define oneself to others in a way that clarifies and expands a vision of the future. — Edwin H Friedman

Don't just let your career happen to you. You need to be strategic about how you define your leadership journey and where that takes you. — Denise Morrison

The function of a leader within any institution: to provide that regulation through his or her non-anxious, self-defined presence. — Edwin H Friedman

Action will delineate and define you. — Thomas Jefferson

I am defining leadership in terms of the role, not the position. — Edgar Schein

Political Leadership Quotes

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It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority. — Benjamin Franklin

We're not going to have the America that we want until we elect leaders who are going to tell the truth - not most days, but every day. — Ann Richards

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself-and possibly teh bogey man. — Pat Paulsen

True leadership quote

It is not power that corrupts but fear. — Aung San Suu Kyi

The only difference I ever found between the Democratic leadership and the Republican leadership is that one of them is skinning you from the ankle up and the other, from the ear down. — Huey Long

When we get a chance to take part in elections, I am ready to fight for leading positions, including in the presidential vote. — Alexei Navalny

I think we're due for younger presidents. I'm tired of them always being in their 70s. — MrBeast

True leadership quote

You can build a throne with bayonets, but it's difficult to sit on it. — Boris Yeltsin

If you want to rebel, rebel from inside the system.That's much more powerful than rebelling outside the system. — Marie Lu

The best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it. — Harry S. Truman

Demonstrate Leadership Quotes

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The roots of effective leadership lie in simple things, one of which is listening. Listening to someone demonstrates respect; it shows that you value their ideas and are willing to hear them. — John Baldoni

Leadership is demonstrated at the moment of need. You learn to be a leader by acting, by doing — Carlos Ghosn

Sinn Fein has demonstrated the ability to play a leadership role as part of a popular movement towards peace, equality and justice. — Gerry Adams

Ultimately our claim to know the one God only gains credence in the contemporary world as he demonstrates the divine presence through the way we live- through our lives as we connect our Christian belief with true Christian living. — Stanley J. Grenz

I like to take chances on people, and whenever possible, promote from within - it sends a great message to everyone in the company when someone demonstrates a passion for the job and leadership skills at every step along the way and is rewarded with a leadership role. — Richard Branson

Transmit your vision emotionally by gaining credibility, demonstrating passion, establishing relationships and communicating a felt need. Transmit it logically by confronting reality, formulating strategy, accepting responsibility, celebrating victory and learning from defeat. — John C. Maxwell

Leadership is a mindset that shifts from being a victim to creating results. Any one of us can demonstrate leadership in our work and within our lives. — Robin S. Sharma

The most powerful demonstration of leadership is not a clenched fist of brute force but an open hand of humble assistance. — Mike Huckabee

In working with UNICEF our corporate partners have demonstrated time and again that their financial resources, leadership and expertise can bring about real and lasting benefits for the world's children. — Carol Bellamy

Leadership must be demonstrated, not announced. — Fran Tarkenton

People Writing About True Leadership

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Read quotes by Peter Drucker

Peter Drucker
quotes on leadership, business and change

585 8857
Read quotes by Harold S. Geneen

Harold S. Geneen
quotes on leadership, education and religion

26 222
Read quotes by Omar N. Bradley

Omar N. Bradley
quotes on leadership, logistics

46 1747
Read quotes by Bill Hybels

Bill Hybels
quotes on leadership, marriage and faith

139 1756
Read quotes by Margaret J. Wheatley

Margaret J. Wheatley
quotes on education, life and love

109 1876
Read quotes by Marco Rubio

Marco Rubio

509 1913

More True Leadership Quotes

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Now this is the Law of the Jungle -- as old and as true as the sky; And the Wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the Wolf that shall break it must die. As the creeper that girdles the tree-trunk the Law runneth forward and back -- For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack. — Rudyard Kipling

True words aren't eloquent; eloquent words aren't true. Wise men don't need to prove their point; men who need to prove their point aren't wise. The Master has no possessions. The more he does for others, the happier he is. The more he gives to others, the wealthier he is. The Tao nourishes by not forcing. By not dominating, the Master leads. — Lao Tzu

The true leader serves. Serves people. Serves their best interests, and in doing so will not always be popular, may not always impress. But because true leaders are motivated by loving concern than a desire for personal glory, they are willing to pay the price. — Eugene Habecker

It's true that charisma can make a person stand out for a moment, but character sets a person apart for a lifetime. — John C. Maxwell

Humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less. Humility is thinking more of others. — Rick Warren

In the name of all competitors I promise that we will take part in these Olympic Games, respecting and abiding by all the rules which govern them, in the true spirit of sportsmanship, for the glory of sport and the honour of our teams. — Pierre de Coubertin

Enduring setbacks while maintaining the ability to show others the way to go forward is a true test of leadership. — Nitin Nohria

Everybody can be great...because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. — Martin Luther King, Jr.

It is not wise, or even possible, to divorce private behavior from public leadership.... By its very nature, true leadership carries with it the burden of being an example. — Gordon B. Hinckley

The true leader makes each team member twice the person they were before. — Leonard Sweet

True leadership is when you are willing to risk your power and voice so that all of ours can be heard. — Justin Timberlake

True #leadership isn't the bastion of a few who sit at the top ... We all need to step up, take the risk and put our interests second-not always-but when it counts. — Simon Sinek

True leaders understand that leadership is not about them but about those they serve. It is not about exalting themselves but about lifting others up. — Sheri L. Dew

Mankind's history has proved from one era to another that the true criterion of leadership is spiritual. Men are attracted by spirit. By power, men are forced. Love is engendered by spirit. By power anxieties are created. — Malcolm X

The journey of true success and lasting leaderships begins with the inward journey to the soul. — James Arthur Ray

True Grit is making a decision and standing by it, doing what must be done. No moral man can have peace of mind if he leaves undone what he knows he should have done. — John Wayne

True leadership strengthens the followers. It is a process of teaching, setting an example, and empowering others. If you seek to lead, your ability will ultimately be measured in the successes of those around you. — David Niven

Become the kind of leader that people would follow voluntarily; even if you had no title or position. — Brian Tracy

Leaders who want to show sensitivity should listen often and long and talk short and seldom. Many so-called leaders are too busy to listen. True leaders know that time spent listening is well invested. — J. Oswald Sanders

True leadership must be for the benefit of the followers, not the enrichment of the leaders. — Robert Townsend

True humility is intelligent self-respect which keeps us from thinking too highly or too meanly of ourselves. It makes us mindful of the nobility God meant us to have. Yet it makes us modest by reminding us how far we have come short of what we can be. — Ralph Washington Sockman

True leadership cannot be awarded, appointed, or assigned. It comes only from Influence. — John C. Maxwell

Leaders who fail to appreciate this fundamental precept of accountability must also fail to muster the profound commitment true leadership demands. — Peter Cosgrove

True leadership is servanthood. Put the interests of others at the center of your decisions. — Dave Ramsey

A true Leader asks advice, when he has time to think; but he never asks advice in a crisis. He acts. — Herbert Newton Casson

True greatness, true leadership, is achieved not by reducing men to one's service but in giving oneself in selfless service to them. — J. Oswald Sanders

True leadership is serving God and not looking for the glory that might come from it. You don't do it for the glory or personal benefit but for God's glory. You don't take credit for anything that is done, but praise God for everything that He has done through you. — Vonette Bright

In Conclusion

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