A few months ago, one line in a book jumped out at me. The author said that when he asks leaders what they most want to do, the comment he hears most often is that they want to inspire.
Leadership is about inspiring other people to believe and to take action on that belief.
However, sometimes it is nice to be inspired-- to feel the enthusiasm and energy that comes from a place of passion.
For that reason, I compiled a list of some of my favorite leadership quotes. These inspire me as they give purpose, meaning and thought to the calling of leadership.
If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform one million realities. ~ Maya Angelou
A good leader leads the people from above them. A great leader leads the people from within them. ~ M. D. Arnold
Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton was the one who asked why. ~ Bernard Baruch
Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality. ~ Warren Bennis
There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it. ~ Edith Wharton
The test of leadership is not to put greatness into humanity, but to elicit it, for the greatness is already there. ~ James Buchanan
No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit for doing it. ~ Andrew Carnegie
Enlightened leadership is spiritual if we understand spirituality not as some kind of religious dogma or ideology but as the domain of awareness where we experience values like truth, goodness, beauty, love and compassion, and also intuition, creativity, insight and focused attention. ~ Deepak Chopra
Strong convictions precede great actions. ~ James Freeman Clarke
Those who manage change in modern organizations need to learn to dance, to become healers capable of releasing collective energy to heal the wounds of change. ~ Terrence Deal
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
The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office. ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower
It is essential to employ, trust, and reward those whose perspective, ability, and judgment are radically different from yours. It is also rare, for it requires uncommon humility, tolerance, and wisdom. ~ Dee Hock
Getting in touch with your true self must be your first priority. ~ Tom Hopkins
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
A man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd. ~ Max Lucado
People buy into the leader before they buy into the vision. ~ John C. Maxwell
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. ~ Margaret Mead
Go as far as you can see; when you get there, you'll be able to see farther. ~ J. P. Morgan
You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing you think you cannot do. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
Leadership is not about men in suits. It is a way of life for those who know who they are and are willing to be their best to create the life they want to live. ~ Kathleen Schafer
Leadership is not about the next election, it's about the next generation. ~ Simon Sinek
Become the kind of leader that people would follow voluntarily, even if you had no title or position. ~ Brian Tracy
The mediocre teacher [leader] tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires. ~ William Arthur Ward
You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand. ~ Woodrow Wilson
And, one of my favorite leadership quotes:
Do not wait on a leader...look in the mirror, it’s you! ~ Katherine Miracle
What leadership quote inspires you? Why?