25 Leadership Quotes to Live and Lead By


I’ve been a student of leadership for more than 30 years. I’ve written four books on leadership. It’s my passion and it runs deep.

This week I’d like to share some of my favorite leadership quotes with you. Narrowing it down to just 25 was a challenge because there are so many good ones. In no particular order here they are- enjoy.

“The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant.” —Max DePree                                                                               Serving others is the cardinal point of leadership.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.” —Margaret Mead                                              Leaders can accomplish a lot more with a team than they can by themselves.

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

True leaders understand that it’s not about titles.

“A man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd.” —Max Lucado

As a leader you have to be willing to stand alone.

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

Your actions should always inspire and bring out the best in others.

“Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy.” —Norman Schwarzkopf

Character is the most important quality in leadership.

“The greatest leaders mobilize others by coalescing people around a shared vision.” —Ken Blanchard

When leaders put forth a compelling vision people will follow.

“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” -Peter Drucker

Management is easy; leadership is hard. Be a leader.

“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” -John F. Kennedy

Leaders never stop learning, growing, and developing.

“Good leadership consists of showing average people how to do the work of superior people.” -John D. Rockefeller

Leaders inspire others to do great things.

“Leadership is unlocking people’s potential to become better.” -Bill Bradley

Leaders inspire others to be better people.

“Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” -Warren Bennis

A leader will help others connect the dots and see where they are going.

“Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.” – John Wooden

The mark of a good leader is humility and in recognizing where all gifts come from.

“The leader is the one who climbs the tallest tree, surveys the entire situation, and yells, “Wrong jungle!”” – Stephen R. Covey

Leaders are not afraid to admit their mistakes. Keep charging!

“I learned that if you aren’t willing to put yourself in “this is crazy” situations, you’ll never experience “this is awesome” moments.” – Mark Batterson

Leaders are willing to take risks to achieve their goals and dreams.

“The race to be a leader is crowded, but the field is wide open for those willing to be servants.” – Rick Warren

Servant leadership is the essence of true leadership.

“Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go, they merely determine where you start.” – Nido Qubein

Never underestimate your God-given talents and abilities.

“You’re the same today as you’ll be in five years except for two things: the people you meet and the books you read.” – Charlie “Tremendous” Jones

Broaden your circle and never stop growing.

“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.” – Nelson Mandela

It’s not always about what you know – it’s how you apply it and how you treat people.

“Surround yourself with the best people you can find, delegate authority, and don’t interfere as long as the policy you’ve decided upon is being carried out.” – Ronald Reagan

A smart leader will empower his or her people and get out of the way.

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” – C.S. Lewis

What goal and dream are you pursuing?

“Don’t let the voice of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice.” – Steve Jobs

There is a lot of chatter out there. Be true to yourself and trust your instincts.

“Effective leaders know that you first have to touch people’s hearts before you ask them for a hand” – John Maxwell

Always connect with the heart first.

“Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.” – Zig Ziglar

Your attitude will make you or break you. Choose it wisely.

“As a leader sometimes you will have to defy the critics and ignore the experts and just do what’s in your heart.” –Doug Dickerson (Just for good measure)

What’s in your heart?


© 2016 Doug Dickerson


About dougdickerson

I am Certified Leadership Trainer, author, columnist, and speaker. Husband to Alicia, father to Katelyn and Kara, and "Pop" to terrific grandson Tyson. I am an avid photographer, love the outdoors, and like to travel. I'm passionate about sharing my leadership insights and helping people reach their full potential.
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