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Quotes to Inspire the Leader in You

Being a leader can be lonely. No matter how large your team is, sometimes it’s just you. Sometimes you need to look inside yourself for the inspiration and motivation to conquer the challenges. Or you can find personal inspiration from someone how has been there and done that, WELL.

So for those times where you need all the motivation you can get, here’s a quick list of some of the most valuable quotes on leadership.

Ronald Reagan

“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.”

John C. Maxwell

“Leaders must be close enough to relate to others, but far enough ahead to motivate them.”

Brandon Sanderson

“The mark of a great man is one who knows when to set aside the important things in order to accomplish the vital ones.”

Colin Powell

“Being responsible sometimes means pissing people off.”

Rosalynn Carter

“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.”

group of business people using tablet computer

Ralph Moody

“Always remember, Son, the best boss is the one who bosses the least. Whether it’s cattle, or horses, or men; the least government is the best government.”

Tina Fey

“Don’t waste your energy trying to educate or change opinions; go over, under, through, and opinions will change organically when you’re the boss. Or they won’t. Who cares? Do your thing, and don’t care if they like it.”

John F. Kennedy

“Victory has a hundred fathers and defeat is an orphan.”

Michael Jordan

“Earn your leadership every day.”

Steve Jobs

“My job is not to be easy on people. My job is to take these great people we have and to push them and make them even better.”

Business leader writing on whiteboard

Ralph Nader

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

Winston Churchill

“When eagles are silent, parrots begin to chatter.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

J.P. Morgan

“A man always has two reasons for doing anything: a good reason and the real reason.”

Chris Brady

“No guts, no story.”


Tom Rath

“If you spend your life trying to be good at everything, you will never be great at anything.”

M.D. Arnold

“A good leader leads the people from above them. A great leader leads the people from within them.”

George Washington

“It is absolutely necessary…for me to have persons that can think for me, as well as execute orders.”

Whoopi Goldberg

“We’re here for a reason. I believe a bit of the reason is to throw little torches out to lead people through the dark.”

Margaret Thatcher

“Consensus: The process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values, and policies in search of something in which no one believes, but to which no one objects; the process of avoiding the very issues that have to be solved, merely because you cannot get agreement on the way ahead. What great cause would have been fought and won under the banner: ‘I stand for consensus?'”

Question time at presentation

Colin Powell

“The day the soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help them or concluded that you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership.”

Tupac Shakur

“I don’t see myself being special; I just see myself having more responsibilities than the next man. People look to me to do things for them, to have answers.”


“A leader is a dealer in hope.”

Nelson Mandela

“A leader…is like a shepherd. He stays behind the flock, letting the most nimble go out ahead, whereupon the others follow, not realizing that all along they are being directed from behind.”

Steve Jobs

“You have to be burning with an idea, or a problem, or a wrong that you want to right. If you’re not passionate enough from the start, you’ll never stick it out.”

Team leader giving a presentation

Albert Schweitzer

“Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.”

Peter F. Drucker

“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”

Feeling more motivated? Print out one of these quotes or write on the mirror, whatever it takes to remembering what it takes to becoming the best leader you can be, for you and your team!

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About the Author:

Sophia Tinsley is XTech Staffing’s Marketing Specialist and writes career-advice related articles and content for the website. She also manages XTech’s social media platforms. Sophia recently graduated from Texas State University where she earned her BBA with a major in Marketing. She is the crazy cat lady of the office and the embodiment of Michael Scott – she always has wacky ideas. Sophia also writes for her personal fashion blog and creates movie trailers as hobbies. She thinks she’s unique, but likes all things “basic” (i.e. Starbucks). And if you’re a Game of Thrones fan, then you and Sophia will get along swimmingly.
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