Last Updated on August 16, 2023
Motivational quotes by great leaders- I’ve always been fascinated by the power of words. A simple phrase or sentence can change our entire perspective on life, inspire us to take action, or help us see things in a new light.
That’s why I love motivational quotes so much – they have the ability to transform our mindset and push us towards greatness.
But not all quotes are created equal.
Some are forgettable and generic, while others are truly timeless and impactful. In my quest for inspiration, I’ve turned to some of the greatest leaders in history for guidance.
From Mahatma Gandhi to Martin Luther King Jr., these icons have left us with a wealth of wisdom that can motivate us to reach our full potential.
In this article, I want to share some of my favorite motivational quotes from these legendary figures.
Each quote has a unique message that can help us navigate our personal and professional lives with greater purpose and clarity.
Whether you’re looking to boost your confidence, overcome obstacles, or just get through a tough day, these quotes have the power to inspire and uplift.
One of my all-time favorite quotes comes from the great Maya Angelou: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
This quote speaks to the importance of treating others with kindness and compassion, and reminds us that our actions have a lasting impact on those around us.
Whether we’re interacting with colleagues, friends, or strangers, we have the power to make a difference in their lives.
Another quote that resonates with me comes from the pioneering computer scientist Grace Hopper: “The most dangerous phrase in the language is ‘we’ve always done it this way.'”
This quote reminds us of the importance of questioning the status quo and pushing boundaries.
Innovation and progress don’t come from sticking to the same old routines – they come from challenging ourselves and exploring new possibilities.
These are just a few examples of the powerful quotes that have inspired me on my journey.
I hope that they will inspire you as well, and that you’ll find something here that resonates with you and helps you achieve your goals.
Whether you’re facing a difficult challenge or simply looking for a little motivation to get through the day, these words of wisdom can be a source of strength and inspiration.
Quotes By Great Leaders To Inspire You
1. “He who would accomplish little must sacrifice little; he who would achieve much must sacrifice much; he who would attain highly must sacrifice greatly.” – James Allen
2. “Don’t tell people how to do things; tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.” – George S. Patton Jr.
3. “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” – Charles Darwin
4. “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” – John F. Kennedy
5. “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
6. “A good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame, a little less than his share of the credit.” – Arnold Glasow
7. “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” – Jack Welch
8. “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that count.” – Winston Churchill
9. “A great person attracts great people and knows how to hold them together.” – Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
10. “In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.” – Thomas Jefferson
11. “Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower
12. “The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The leader adjusts the sails.” – John Maxwell
13. “Mastery is great, but even that is not enough. You have to be able to change course without a bead of sweat, or remorse.” – Tom Peters
14. “Champions keep playing until they get it right.” – Billie Jean King
15. “To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
16. “The very essence of leadership is that you have to have vision. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet.” – Theodore M. Hesburgh
17. “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” – Steve Jobs, Apple co-founder
18. “Keep your fears to yourself, but share your courage with others.” – Robert Louis Stevenson
19. “Good leaders build products. Great leaders build cultures. Good leaders deliver results. Great leaders develop people. Good leaders have vision. Great leaders have values. Good leaders are role models at work. Great leaders are role models in life.” – Adam Grant
20. “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
21. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margeret Mead
22. “Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes.” – Peter Drucker
23. “Leaders grasp nettles.” – David Ogilvy
24. “If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.” – Bruce Lee
25. “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
26. “The single biggest way to impact an organization is to focus on leadership development. There is almost no limit to the potential of an organization that recruits good people, raises them up as leaders and continually develops them.” – John Maxwell
27. “Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm.” – Publilius Syrus
28. “Leaders instill in their people a hope for success and a belief in themselves. Positive leaders empower people to accomplish their goals.” – Unknown
29. “The greatest leaders mobilize others by coalescing people around a shared vision.” – Ken Blanchard
30. “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”- Eleanor Roosevelt
31. “The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it.” – Theodore Roosevelt
32. “The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born-that there is a genetic factor to leadership. This myth asserts that people simply either have certain charismatic qualities or not. That’s nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. Leaders are made rather than born.” – Warren Bennis
33. “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.” – Nelson Mandela
34. “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
35. “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery
36. “Victory has a hundred fathers and defeat is an orphan.” – John F. Kennedy
37. “Leadership is the art of giving people a platform for spreading ideas that work.” – Seth Godin
38. “A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
39. “I start with the premise that the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.” – Ralph Nader
40. “Wise leaders generally have wise counselors because it takes a wise person themselves to distinguish them.” – Diogenes of Sinope
41. “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
42. “Silent gratitude isn’t very much to anyone.” – Gertrude Stein
43. “Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.” – Albert Schweitzer
44. “Action springs not from thought, but from a readiness for responsibility.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
45. “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams
46. “Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” – Helen Keller
47. “He who knows when he can fight and when he cannot, will be victorious.” – Sun Tzu
48. “You don’t get any medal for trying something, you get medals for results.” – Bill Parcells
“A leader is someone who holds her- or himself accountable for finding the potential in people and processes.” – Brené Brown
49. “Leaders think and talk about the solutions. Followers think and talk about the problems.” – Brian Tracy
50. “As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.” – Bill Gates
51. “People who are truly strong lift others up. People who are truly powerful bring others together.” –Michelle Obama
52. “The supreme quality of leadership is integrity.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower
53. “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
54. “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams
55. “People respond well to those that are sure of what they want.” – Anna Wintour
56. “Don’t follow the crowd, let the crowd follow you.” – Margaret Thatcher
57. “The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The leader adjusts the sails.” – John C. Maxwell
58. “A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
Inspirational Leadership Quotes For Women
59. “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.”- Helen Keller
60. “The most effective way to do it is to do it!” – Amelia Earhart
61. “Leadership is not a person or a position. It is a complex moral relationship between people, based on trust, obligation, commitment, emotion, and a shared vision of the good.” – Piyushi Dhir
62. “I think realizing that you’re not alone, that you are standing with millions of your sisters around the world is vital.” – Malala Yousafzai
63. “Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg
64. “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the water to create many ripples.” – Mother Teresa
65. “We may encounter many defeats, but we may not be defeated.”- Maya Angelou
66. “If you are committed to creating value and if you aren’t afraid of hard times; obstacles become utterly unimportant. A nuisance perhaps; but with no real power. The world respects creation; people will get out of your way.”- Candice Carpenter Olson
67. “The quality of your decisions determines the quality of your life.” – Tanya Taylor
68. “We need to accept that we won’t always make the right decisions, that we’ll screw up royally sometimes – understanding that failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success.” – Arianna Huffington
69. “Power isn’t control at all – power is strength, and giving that strength to others. A leader isn’t someone who forces others to make him stronger; a leader is someone willing to give their strength to others that they may have the strength to stand on their own.” – Beth Revis
70. If you want to lift the performance of the organization, you have to lift yourself…my message to my team was always meet my bar, and that bar would constantly be moved up.” – Indra Nooyi
71. “I don’t believe in failure and I don’t believe in competition. The only time you can fail is when you stop, and the only person you should consider competition is who you were yesterday.” – Jess Goldsmith
72. “If you don’t have an evolving growth strategy, then you and your team are just driving around the block. You may be doing well, but you’re not going anywhere.” – Shannon Byrne Susko
73. “I tell my daughters to have their voice in this world, and it became clear I needed to role-model that.” – Melinda Gates
74. “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 Pardon
75. “Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.” – Sheryl Sandberg
76. “The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me?”- Ayn Rand
77. “One of the criticisms I’ve faced over the years is that I’m not aggressive enough or assertive enough or maybe somehow, because I’m empathetic, it means I’m weak. I totally rebel against that. I refuse to believe that you cannot be both compassionate and strong.”- Jacinda Ardern
78. “Always be a first-rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else.” – Judy Garland
79. “Buckle up, and know that it’s going to be a tremendous amount of work, but embrace it.” – Tory Burch Jori Patton, Marketing Manager and Designer
80. “On my own I will just create, and if it works, it works, and if it doesn’t, I’ll create something else. I don’t have any limitations on what I think I could do or be.” – Oprah Winfrey
Great Military Leader Quotes
81. “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” – Harry S Truman, 33rd President of the United States, and former Colonel in the U.S. Army
82. “Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly.” – John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States, and former Navy Lieutenant
83. “The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.” – Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States, and former U.S. Army Colonel
84. “There’s likely a place in paradise for people who tried hard, but what really matters is succeeding. If that requires you to change, that’s your mission.” – General Stanley McChrystal, U.S. Army Retired
85. “There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” – Colin Powell, former U.S. General, Secretary of State, and National Security Advisor
86. “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th President of the United States, and former General of the Army
87. “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, 40th President of the United States, and former Captain in the Army Reserves
88. “A man does what he must – in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures – and that is the basis of all human morality.” – Winston Churchill, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
89. “To get the best out of your men, they must feel that you are their real leader and must know that they can depend upon you.” – General of the Armies John J. Pershing, U.S. Army
90. “When things go wrong in your command, start wading for the reason in increasing larger concentric circles around your own desk.” – General Bruce C. Clarke
91. “A general is just as good or just as bad as the troops under his command make him.” – General of the Army, Douglas MacArthur
92. “Any soldier worth his salt should be antiwar. And still there are things worth fighting for.” – General Norman Schwarzkopf, U.S. Army
93. “Age wrinkles the body. Quitting wrinkles the soul.” – General of the Army, Douglas MacArthur
94. “Soldiers generally win battles; generals get credit for them.” – Napoleon Bonaparte, French military and political leader
95. “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” – Winston Churchill, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
96. “What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight — it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th President of the United States, and former General of the Army
97. “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. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his intent.” – General of the Army, Douglas MacArthur
98. “Mountaintops inspire leaders, but valleys mature them.” – Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of England during World War II, and former commander in the British Army
99. “The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war.” – General Norman Schwarzkopf, U.S. Army
100. “It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation. War is hell.” – Major General William T. Sherman, U.S. Army
Inspirational Quotes By Famous Leaders
99. “Complaining about a problem without proposing a solution is called whining.” – Theodore Roosevelt
100. “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.” – Winston Churchill
101. “We should not let our fears hold us back from pursuing our hopes.” – John F. Kennedy
102. “Get action; do things; be sane; don’t fritter away your time; create; act; take a place wherever you are and be somebody; get action.” – Theodore Roosevelt
103. “Nothing in life that’s worth anything is easy.” – Barack Obama
104. “I never lose. I either win or learn.” – Nelson Mandela
105. “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela
106. “You must become the change you see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi
107. “Nothing in this world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty.” – Theodore Roosevelt
108. “In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.” – Theodore Roosevelt
109. “A winner is a dreamer who never gives up.” – Nelson Mandela
110. “It is no use saying ‘we are doing our best.’ You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary.” – Winston Churchill
111. “There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” – Nelson Mandela
112. “Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.” – John F. Kennedy
113. “If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn’t sit for a month.” – Theodore Roosevelt
114. “Solitary trees, if they grow at all, grow strong.” – Winston Churchill
115. “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” – Nelson Mandela
116. “It is a mistake to try to look too far ahead. The chain of destiny can only be grasped one link at a time.” – Winston Churchill
117. “May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.” – Nelson Mandela
118. “Believe you can and you are halfway there.” – Theodore Roosevelt
119. “If not us, who? If not now, when?” – John F. Kennedy
120. “The cynics may be the loudest voices, but I promise you, they will accomplish the least.” – Barack Obama
121. “After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.” – Nelson Mandela
122. “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” – Winston Churchill
123. “Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly.” – John F. Kennedy
124. “You have enemies? Good. It means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.” – Winston Churchill
125. “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we have been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” – Barack Obama
126. “Character is how you treat those that can do nothing for you.” – Nelson Mandela
127. “When the eagles are silent, the parrots begin to jabber.” – Winston Churchill
How Can Motivational Quotes From Great Leaders Help You?
Reading motivational quotes from great leaders can be incredibly beneficial in a number of ways.
Here are just a few reasons why:
- Inspiration: Motivational quotes can be incredibly inspiring, especially when they come from people we admire and respect. They can help us see things in a new light, inspire us to take action, and remind us of what’s truly important in life.
- Perspective: Many of the most powerful quotes from great leaders are ones that help us gain a new perspective on life. They can challenge our assumptions, broaden our thinking, and help us see things in a different way.
- Encouragement: Life can be tough at times, and it’s easy to feel discouraged or overwhelmed. Reading motivational quotes from great leaders can give us the encouragement we need to keep going, even when things get difficult.
- Empowerment: Many of the most powerful quotes from great leaders are ones that empower us to take control of our own lives. They remind us that we have the power to create our own destiny, and that we can achieve great things if we set our minds to it.
- Focus: Motivational quotes can help us stay focused on our goals and aspirations. They can remind us of what we’re working towards, and give us the determination we need to keep pushing forward.
Implementing motivational quotes from great leaders into daily life is a great way to stay inspired and motivated on a regular basis.
Here are a few ways to do it:
- Write Them Down: One of the best ways to implement motivational quotes into your daily life is to write them down. You can keep a notebook of your favorite quotes and read them whenever you need a little inspiration.
- Display Them: Another way to incorporate motivational quotes into your daily life is to display them in your home or workspace. You can put them on a bulletin board, create a vision board, or frame them and hang them on the wall.
- Use Them As Affirmations: You can use motivational quotes as affirmations to repeat to yourself throughout the day. This can help you stay focused and motivated, and remind you of your goals and aspirations.
- Share Them With Others: Sharing motivational quotes with others is a great way to spread positivity and inspire those around you. You can send them to friends and family, post them on social media, or even incorporate them into presentations at work or school.
- Meditate On Them: Another way to implement motivational quotes into your daily life is to use them as a focus for meditation or reflection. You can choose a quote that resonates with you, and spend a few minutes each day meditating on its meaning and how it applies to your life.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Motivational Quotes From Great Leaders Really Work?
Yes, motivational quotes from great leaders can be incredibly effective at inspiring and motivating people.
These quotes often come from individuals who have achieved great things in their lives and can offer valuable insights and perspectives.
Reading or reflecting on these quotes can help you gain a new perspective, find inspiration, and stay motivated.
Are There Any Specific Types Of Motivational Quotes That Are More Effective Than Others?
The effectiveness of motivational quotes can depend on the individual and their personal preferences.
However, quotes that are concise, clear, and easy to understand tend to be more effective.
Quotes that offer specific advice, such as how to overcome obstacles or stay focused on goals, can also be particularly helpful.
Can Motivational Quotes From Great Leaders Be Used In The Workplace?
A: Yes, motivational quotes from great leaders can be a valuable tool in the workplace.
They can help boost employee morale, inspire creativity and innovation, and provide guidance on how to achieve goals.
Displaying motivational quotes in the workplace or sharing them during meetings can be an effective way to motivate and inspire employees.
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