25 Leadership Quotes Even The “Dumbest” Leaders Can Learn From

By | August 8, 2015

Not everyone is meant for a leadership position. With this uncertain economy we may be put in one, whether we like it or not. And when that happens, we have to act and learn fast. And if and when we don’t, we could find ourselves unemployed in a heartbeat. Here are 25 leadership quotes even the “dumbest” leader can learn from.

1. “The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.” –Ken Blanchard

2. “No person can be a great leader unless he takes genuine joy in the successes of those under him.” –W. H. Auden

3. “Good leaders make people feel that they’re at the very heart of things, not at the periphery. Everyone feels that he or she makes a difference to the success of the organization. When that happens people feel centered and that gives their work meaning.” –Warren Bennis

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

5. “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

6. “Perhaps the most central characteristic of authentic leadership is the relinquishing of the impulse to dominate others.” –David Cooper

7. “The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality.” — Max DePree

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

9. “A boss creates fear, a leader confidence. A boss fixes blame, a leader corrects mistakes. A boss knows all, a leader asks questions. A boss makes work drudgery, a leader makes it interesting. A boss is interested in himself or herself, a leader is interested in the group.” –Russell H. Ewing

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

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

12. “All of the great leaders have had one characteristic in common: it was the willingness to confront unequivocally the major anxiety of their people in their time. This, and not much else, is the essence of leadership. ” — John Kenneth Galbraith

13. “The very essence of leadership is that you have to have vision. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet.” –Theodore Hesburgh

14. “The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind him in other men the conviction and the will to carry on… The genius of a good leader is to leave behind him a situation which common sense, without the grace of genius, can deal with successfully.” –Walter Lippmann

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

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

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

18. “The leader must know, most know that he knows, and must be able to make it abundantly clear to those about him that he knows.” –Clarence B. Randall

19. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.” —Margaret Mead

20. “A true leader is hated by most, and respected by all. A follower is liked by all, and respected by none.” –Scott Smigler

21.”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

22. “You know what makes leadership? It is the ability to get men to do what they don’t want to do and like it.” –Harry S. Truman

23. “Nothing so conclusively proves a man’s ability to lead others as what he does from day to day to lead himself.” –Thomas J. Watson

24. “Efficiency is doing the thing right. Effectiveness is doing the right thing.” –Peter Drucker

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

I put “dumbest” in quotations because no one is ever dumb. A leader may just be unnatural. But as they gain the experience, skills and confidence, I am sure they will flourish in the job.

Take me as an example. I first wanted to work at Tim Hortons as a supervisor until retirement. Then I went into Administrative work and thought that’s the ideal work for me. It wasn’t until I went into teaching that I found my true passion and realized that I was under selling myself.

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