Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Quotes about Leadership

Here's the next section of quotes from my book 1000 Great Quotations for Business, Management & Training.

An updated version of the book is newly available as part of my Almost Free Kindle titles both in the UK and in the USA.

A leader is a dealer in hope.

Napoleon Bonaparte, French soldier, statesman, revolutionary (1769-1821)

Leadership is the transference of vision.

Hal Reed, US business executive (b. 1957)

The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.

Kenneth Blanchard, US management author, presenter (b. 1939)

Management is about now, leadership about the future; one implements goals, the other sets them; one relies on control, the other inspires trust; one deals in rational processes, the other in emotional horizons.

Amin Rajan, British economist, researcher, author (b. 1942)

The job of the leader is to speak to the possibility.

Benjamin Zander, British conductor, management presenter (b. 1939)

Benjamin Zander

Good leaders must first become good servants.

Robert Greenleaf, US management consultant, educationist (1904-1990)

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.

Rosalynn Carter, US First Lady (b. 1927)

Managers are often so busy cutting through the undergrowth they don’t even realise they are in the wrong jungle. A leader is a person who climbs the tallest tree, surveys the entire situation, and yells, ‘Wrong jungle!’

Stephen Covey, US management author, presenter (b. 1932)

People buy into the leader before they buy into the vision.

John C Maxwell, US clergyman, author (b. 1947)

I start with the premise that the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.

Ralph Nader, US lawyer, Presidential candidate (b. 1934)

I used to think that running an organisation was equivalent to conducting a symphony orchestra. But I don’t think that’s quite it; it’s more like jazz. There is more improvisation.

Warren Bennis, US academic, management author (b. 1925)

Let me state a basic old form of leadership. This anachronism is the person who in effect says to his organisation, ‘I order all of you insignificant little people to come to work excited, energetic, and creative and to accomplish impossible tasks so that I may become rich and famous and live a luxurious life travelling around the world and building a home on the Riviera and playing golf with other important people like myself. By the way, I want you to park in the outer lot and slog through the snow past the empty parking space with my name on it, and I also want you to pay for your coffee while I get mine free, served on fine china.’

Robert Townsend, US author, businessman (1920-1998)

You manage things; you lead people.

Grace Murray Hooper, US naval officer, Admiral (1906-1992)

A leader has a vision and conviction that a dream can be achieved. He inspires the power and energy to get it done.

Ralph Lauren, US fashion designer (b. 1939)

The leader who knows when to listen, when to act, and when to withdraw can work effectively with nearly everyone.

John Heider, US management author (b. 1936)

No man is great enough or wise enough for any of us to surrender our destiny to. The only way in which anyone can lead us is to restore to us the belief in our own guidance.

Henry Miller, US author (1891-1980)

Mention the word leadership and the vast majority of folks think of Gandhi or Churchill or Iacocca. In doing so, they raise the concept to a level where it seems relevant to a handful of people at most. Thinking that way, the younger manager doesn’t try to develop her own leadership potential. Leadership with a small ‘l’ is of incredible importance in today’s world. Needless to say, it would greatly help if we could get more people to think of leadership in the ‘small l’ sense, and not just the larger than life ‘capital L’ sense.

John Kotter, US author (b. 1947)

One of the advantages of being a captain is being able to ask for advice without necessarily having to take it.

Captain James T Kirk, character in ‘Star Trek’, created by Gene Roddenberry (1921-1991)

A leader is best

When people barely know that he exists,

Not so good when people obey and acclaim him,

Worse when they despise him.

‘Fail to honour people,

They fail to honour you’;

But of a good leader, who talks little,

When his work is done, his aim fulfilled,

They will also say, ‘We did this ourselves.’

Lao Tzu, Chinese founder of Taoism, author (6th Century BC)

We can’t all be heroes because somebody has to sit on the kerb and clap as they go by.

Will Rogers, US actor, humorist (1879-1935)

The graveyards are full of indispensable men.

Charles de Gaulle, French President, general (1890-1970)

A politician thinks of the next election - a statesman of the next generation.

James Freeman Clarke, US minister, theologian, author (1810-1888)

Life is like a dogsled team. If you ain’t the lead dog, the scenery never changes.

Lewis Grizzard, US columnist, humorist (1946-1994)

Be willing to make decisions. That’s the most important quality in a good leader.

George S Patton, US general (1885-1945)

Eagles don’t flock – you have to find them one at a time.

Henry Ross Perot, US executive, Presidential candidate (b. 1930)

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 C Maxwell, US clergyman, author (b. 1947)

Make a careful list of all things done to you that you abhorred. Don’t do them to others, ever. Make another list of things done to you that you loved. Do them to others, always.

Dee Hock, US financial business executive (b. 1929)

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