There have been many great leaders in the world, and we can learn much from their wisdom and advice on what makes not just a good leader, but a great one. Here are some amazingly wise Leadership Quotes from some truly great leaders throughout history.
John Quincy Adams once said, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” Inspiring others to follow your lead is the first step in being an effective leader. A great leader will understand the importance of working with those they are leading by setting the example of following the ‘dream’ towards achieving the ultimate goal of the company or even a country. Leadership should inspire others to continually desire to learn and grow as individuals as well as teammates.
This ability to inspire follows nicely with what Warren Bennis, who is considered by many as the pioneer in the contemporary leadership studies field, who said this about leadership. “Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” A great leader can take his or her vision and transform it into a reality in such a way that others have a clear picture of the ultimate goal.
Inspiring others also means encouraging those who you lead into believing in themselves, because when you believe in yourself there is no limit to what you can accomplish not only in your own life, but the lives of others. In fact Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart, led his company into becoming one of the largest retailers but approaching leadership in this way. He said, “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.”
Former President John F Kennedy said, “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” To be a true leader one must also be willing to learn new things, not approaching leadership as meaning you have ‘arrived’ and know it all.
Andrew Carnegie the Scottish-American industrialist who lead the expansion of the steel industry in America very wisely said, “No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself, or to get all the credit for doing it.” A truly good leader is also a humble leader, one who is well aware of the fact a leader who is not willing to acknowledge the contributions of those he leads or understands he cannot do it all by himself will soon find he has no one following him or her.
Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States once said, “The best leader is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and the self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it.” This quote about leadership inspire us that if you have picked the right people to do the job then the need to micromanage every detail should be kept at a minimum. This also shows those who are being led their leader has confidence in those given the task.
Reed Markham who received the award for “Innovative Excellence in Teaching, Learning and Technology”, explains in his quote that to be a successful leader you have to push through every challenge by remembering that, “Successful leaders see the opportunities in every difficulty rather than the difficulty in every opportunity.” Translation being do not look at challenges as challenges but view them as opportunities to use your creativity and commitment using the power of being positive to bring about success.
“The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people do the greatest things.” Like America’s 26th President Roosevelt, former President Ronald Reagan also believed being a great leader meant inspiring others to partner in making great things happen.
“As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.” This quote by billionaire and co-Founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates gives confirmation to the truth behind what these other great leaders have expressed. A great leader will empower, encourage and build up others and not think only about their personal quest for acknowledgment or taking all the credit for themselves.
“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.” This leadership quote by Jim Rohn, American entrepreneur and motivational speaker and author of has very eloquently put everything that is required to be a great leader all within this one great quote.
The common thread within the wisdom of these great leadership quotes is this: To be a leader means to take into consideration the individual talents and qualities of those you are leading, to treat them as if they’re not just ‘following’ you but are a part of the dream, the vision and ultimately the success of whatever the task or goal might be.
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