150 True Leadership Quotes To Be A Numero Uno

Whether you want to lead a company or country, you must have true leadership quality to reach your goal.

Being a respected, astute, and true leader requires intelligence, compassion, knowledge, honesty, and emotional intelligence.

You can enhance your leadership quality by reading books and inspirational quotes from successful leaders and personalities.

In this article, I’ll share numerous true leadership quotes that will encourage your mental resilience, empathy, vision and inspire you to become a great leader.

Let’s explore all these quotes. I believe some of them will help you develop your leadership skills.

True Leadership Quotes to Unleash The Leader Within You

1. “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.” — John Maxwell

True Leadership Quotes

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

3. “Leadership is not about titles, positions, or flow charts. It is about one life influencing another.” – John C. Maxwell

4. “There are three essentials to leadership: humility, clarity and courage.” — Fuchan Yuan

5. “The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership.” – Harvey S. Firestone

Quotes about true leadership

6. “True leadership lies in guiding others to success-in ensuring that everyone is performing at their best, doing the work they are pledged to do and doing it well.”  Bill Owens

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

8. “I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles, but today it means getting along with people.” – Mahatma Gandhi

9. “The supreme quality of leadership is integrity.” — Dwight Eisenhower

10. “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right thing.” – Peter F. Drucker

Quotes on true leadership

11. “To have long-term success as a coach or in any position of leadership, you have to be obsessed in some way.” — Pat Riley

12. “Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results, not attributes.” – Peter F. Drucker

13. “As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.” — Bill Gates

14. “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

15. “Leadership cannot just go along to get along. Leadership must meet the moral challenge of the day.” — Jesse Jackson

Powerful Leadership Quotes

16. “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 De Pree

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

18. “Leaders think and talk about the solutions. Followers think and talk about the problems.” — Brian Tracy

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

20. “Leadership is solving problems. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them.” — Colin Powell

Problem Solving Leadership Quotes

21. “One of the tests of leadership is the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency.” — Arnold Glasow

22. “A true leader is someone who empowers you to be better, not fearful of being replaced.” – Myles Munroe

23. “The most powerful leadership tool you have is your own personal example.” – John Wooden

24. “Leadership is the art of giving people a platform for spreading ideas that work.” –Seth Godin

25. “Leadership is the key to 99% of all successful efforts.” — Erskine Bowles

Successful Leadership Quotes

26. “The speed of the leader is the speed of the gang.” — Mary Kay Ash

27. “Leadership is the ability to get extraordinary achievement from ordinary people.” – Brian Tracy

28. “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 rather than a desire for personal glory, they are willing to pay the price.” – Eugene Habecker

29. “Leadership is not about titles, positions, or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another.” – John C. Maxwell

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

True Leader Quotes

31. “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 F. Drucker

32. “True leadership is not defined by a title, but by the actions, decisions, and influence you have on those around you.” – Unknown

33. “The role of leadership is to transform the complex situation into small pieces and prioritize them.” – Carlos Ghosn

34. “Ninety percent of leadership is the ability to communicate something people want.” – Dianne Feinstein

35. “The task of leadership is not to put greatness into humanity, but to elicit it, for the greatness is already there.” – John Buchan

Essence of Leadership Quotes

36. “Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower

37. “True leaders don’t just delegate tasks; they delegate authority, trust, and responsibility.” – Bob Burg

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

39. “Earn your leadership every day.” – Michael Jordan

40. “Management is about arranging and telling. Leadership is about nurturing and enhancing.” — Tom Peters

Inspiring true leadership quote

41. “Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success. Leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall.” — Stephen Covey

42. Leadership is about being of service to others, not being served by others. Be a mentor, not a boss — Anonymous

43. “The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.” — Kenneth Blanchard

44. “Leadership is not about being right; it’s about being effective.” – Bill Owens

45. “I am reminded how hollow the label of leadership sometimes is and how heroic followership can be.” — Warren Bennis

Leadership and Heroic Followership Quotes

46. “Leadership is not about being in control. It is about creating a vision that will elicit the best from your team.” – Richard Branson

47. “The test of leadership is not to put greatness into humanity, but to elicit it, for the greatness is already there.” — James Buchanan

48. “Leadership is practiced not so much in words as in attitude and in actions.” — Harold S. Geneen

49. “A good objective of leadership is to help those who are doing poorly to do well and to help those who are doing well to do even better.” – Jim Rohn

50. “Leadership should be focused on extending the ladder of opportunity for everyone” – Justin Trudeau

Quotes for True Leadership

The Best Quotes to Help You Become a True Leader

51. “Leadership is getting someone to do what they don’t want to do but to achieve what they want to achieve.” – Tom Landry

52. “Entrepreneurial leadership requires the ability to move quickly when opportunity presents itself.” – Brian Tracy

53. “Integrity is the most valuable and respected quality of leadership. Always keep your word.” – Brian Tracy

54. “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

55. “Respect is the key determinant of high-performance leadership. How much people respect you determines how well they perform.” – Brian Tracy

High Performance Leadership Quotes

56. “The true test of leadership is how well you function in a crisis.” – Brian Tracy

57. “The key responsibility of leadership is to think about the future. No one else can do it for you.” – Brian Tracy

58. “Effective leadership is putting first things first. Effective management is discipline, carrying it out.” – Stephen Covey

59. “The three ‘C’s’ of leadership are consideration, caring, and courtesy. Be polite to everyone.” – Brian Tracy

60. “Leadership is about empathy. It is about having the ability to relate to and connect with people for the purpose of inspiring and empowering their lives.” – Oprah Winfrey

Empathy in Leadership Quotes

61. “For the success of any mission, it is necessary to have creative leadership. Creative leadership is vital for government, non-governmental organizations as well as industries.” – A. P. J. Abdul Kalam

62. “Leadership is an opportunity to serve. It is not a trumpet call to self-importance.” – J. Donald Walters

63. “Leadership is the ability to guide others without force into a direction or decision that leaves them still feeling empowered and accomplished.” – Lisa Cash Hanson

64. “You need a commitment that is long-term and a commitment to leadership because that’s the only way you build excellence.” – Azim Premji

65. “Leadership is having a compelling vision, a comprehensive plan, relentless implementation, and talented people working together.” – Alan Mulall

Pillars of Leadership Quotes

66.  “I think one of the keys to leadership is recognizing that everybody has gifts and talents. A good leader will learn how to harness those gifts toward the same goal.” – Ben Carson

67. “The first job of leadership is to love people. Leadership without love is manipulation.” – Rick Warren

68. “Leadership is not just about giving energy… it’s unleashing other people’s energy.” – Paul Polman

69. “The role of leadership is to transform complex situations into small pieces and prioritize them.” – Carlos Ghosn

70. “Leadership is an ever-evolving position.” – Mike Krzyzewski

True Leadership Evolving Quotes

71. “Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.” – Sheryl Sanberg

72. “The secret of leadership is simple: Do what you believe in. Paint a picture of the future. Go there. People will follow.” – Seth Godin

73. “Leadership is a series of behaviors rather than a role for heroes.” – Margaret Wheatley

74. 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

75. “Control is not leadership; management is not leadership; leadership is leadership” — Dee Hock

Inspiring Leadership Quotes

76. “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.” — General Montgomery

76. “More leaders have been made by accident, circumstance, sheer grit, or will than have been made by all the leadership courses put together.” — Warren Bennis

77. “Men make history and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better.” — Harry S. Truman

78. “Leadership should be more participative than directive, more enabling than performing.” — Mary D. Poole

79. “The very essence of leadership is that you have to have a vision. It’s got to be a vision you articulate clearly and forcefully on every occasion. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet.” — Reverend Theodore Hesburgh

80. “The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly” — Jim Rohn

Motivational Leadership Quotes

81. “Leadership requires belief in the mission and unyielding perseverance to achieve victory.” — Jocko Willink

82. “It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.” — Nelson Mandela

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

84. “Leadership is the key to 99 percent of all successful efforts.” — Erskine Bowles

85. “True leadership lies in guiding others to success. In ensuring that everyone is performing at their best, doing the work they are pledged to do and doing it well.” — Bill Owens

Essence of True Leadership Quotes

86. “True leadership stems from individuality that is honestly and sometimes imperfectly expressed. Leaders should strive for authenticity over perfection.” — Sheryl Sandberg

87. “To have long-term success as a coach or in any position of leadership, you have to be obsessed in some way.” — Pat Riley

88. “Leadership is a matter of having people look at you and gain confidence, seeing how you react. If you’re in control, they’re in control.” — Tom Landry

89. “Leadership consists of nothing but taking responsibility for everything that goes wrong and giving your subordinates credit for everything that goes well.” — Dwight D. Eisenhower

90. “Leadership involves finding a parade and getting in front of it.” — John Naisbitt

Quotes to Inspire You to be a True Leader

91. “Leadership is not about being in charge. It is about taking care of those in your charge.” – Simon Sinek

92. “Leadership is not about being the best. It is about making everyone else better.” – Anonymous

93. “Leadership is not about being in the spotlight. It is about making others shine.” – Anonymous

94. “The best leaders are those most interested in surrounding themselves with assistants and associates smarter than they are.” – John C. Maxwell

95. “Leadership is not about being perfect. It is about serving others and being open to growth and learning.” – Anonymous

Motivational Quotes for Unleashing True Leadership

96. “Leadership is not about the next election; it’s about the next generation.” – Simon Sinek

97. “Leadership is not about being in control. It is about creating a vision that inspires others to follow.” – Anonymous

98. “The best leaders are those most responsive to the needs and aspirations of the people they serve.” – Anonymous

99. “Great leaders are willing to sacrifice their own personal interests for the good of the team.” – John C. Maxwell

100. “Leadership is not about being popular. It’s about being effective.” – Anonymous

Effective True Leadership Quotes

Motivational Quotes to Inspire You Lead and Achieve

101. “Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers.” — General Colin Powell

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

103. “The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The leader adjusts the sails.” — John C. Maxwell

104. “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” — Steve Jobs

105. “The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind him in other men the conviction and the will to carry on.” — Walter Lippman

Legacy of True Leadership

106. “Leaders aren’t born; they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work.” — Vince Lombardi

107. “Real leadership is leaders recognizing that they serve the people that they lead.” -Pete Hoekstra

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

109. “A leader is not an administrator who loves to run others, but someone who carries water for his people so that they can get on with their jobs.” – Robert Townsend

110. “Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate, and doubt to offer a solution everybody can understand.” – Colin Powell

Simplifying Leadership Quotes

111. “Average leaders raise the bar on themselves; good leaders raise the bar for others; great leaders inspire others to raise their own bar.” – Orrin Woodward

112. “Leaders aren’t born; they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work. And that’s the price we’ll have to pay to achieve that goal or any goal.” – Vince Lombardi

113. “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” – Jack Welch

114. “Great companies in the way they work start with great leaders.” — Steve Ballmer

115. “People ask the difference between a leader and a boss. The leader leads, and the boss drives.” — Theodore Roosevelt

True Leaders Quotes

116. “The nation will find it very hard to look up to the leaders who are keeping their ears to the ground.” — Sir Winston Churchill

117. “People buy into the leader before they buy into the vision.” — John C. Maxwell

118. “A great leader’s courage to fulfill his vision comes from passion, not position.” — John C. Maxwell

119. “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

120. “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” — John C. Maxwell 

True Meaning of Leaders Quotes

121. “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.” — Douglas MacArthur

122. “Great leaders do not desire to lead but to serve.” — Myles Munroe

123. “A boss has the title, the leader has the people.” — Simon Sinek

124. “If you want to be a leader who attracts quality people, the key is to become a person of quality yourself.” — Jim Rohn

125. “Leaders walk a fine line between self-confidence and humility.” – Stanley McChrystal

Balancing Leaders Quotes

126. “No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit for doing it.” — Andrew Carnegie

127. “The task of the leader is to get their people from where they are to where they have not been.” — Henry Kissinger

128. “The hardest thing about being a leader is demonstrating or showing vulnerability.  When the leader demonstrates vulnerability and sensibility and brings people together, the team wins.” — Howard Schultz

129. “A good leader inspires people to have confidence in the leader. A great leader inspires people to have confidence in themselves.” — Eleanor Roosevelt

130. “A leader should be visionary and have more foresight than an employee.” – Jack Ma

Vision of Leaders Quotes

131. “A real leader uses every issue, no matter how serious and sensitive, to ensure that at the end of the debate, we should emerge stronger and more united than ever before.” – Nelson Mandela

132. “Great leaders can see the greatness in others when they can’t see it themselves and lead them to their highest potential they don’t even know.” – Roy T. Bennett

133. “If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, then you are an excellent leader.” – Dolly Parton

134. “Leaders are made; they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price that all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.” – Vince Lombardi

135. “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

Greatest Leaders Quotes

136. “A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

137. Being a good listener is absolutely critical to being a good leader; you have to listen to the people who are on the front line.” – Richard Branson

138. “Great leaders do not fear challenges because challenges do not break leaders but sharpen them.” – Gift Gugu Mona

139. “Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish.” – Sam Walton

140. “Time is neutral and does not change things. With courage and initiative, leaders change things.” – Jesse Jackson

Time Changing Leaders Quotes

141. “The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been.” – Henry Kissinger

142. “Leaders don’t create followers; they create more leaders.” – Tom Peters

143. “Pity the leader caught between unloving critics and uncritical lovers.” – John Gardner

144. “A leader is a person you will follow to a place you would not go by yourself.” – Joel Barker

145. “The leader has to be practical and a realist yet must talk the language of the visionary and the idealist.” – Eric Hoffer

Leader's Practicality Quotes

146. “Becoming a leader is synonymous with becoming yourself. It is precisely that simple and it is also that difficult.” – Warren Bennis

147. “The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves.” – Ray Kroc

148. “You cannot be a leader and ask other people to follow you unless you know how to follow, too.” – Sam Rayburn

149. “A good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame, a little less than his share of the credit.” – Arnold H. Glasow

150. “Leaders establish trust with candor, transparency, and credit.” – Jack Welch

Transparency of Leaders Quotes

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