60 Leadership Quotes to Motivate Teams and Inspire Success

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 29 September 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

If you currently hold a leadership position within the organisation or have aspirations for a management career, it's beneficial to know different methods to motivate your team and employees. Leadership quotes are an excellent tool that can improve employee productivity and foster collaboration in the workplace. It may help to learn some leadership quotes to inspire you and others to better your work performances and persevere through challenges. In this article, we list 60 powerful leadership quotes that you can use to help motivate others to succeed.

60 leadership quotes for professionals

Here are 60 leadership quotes to get inspired and motivate others to succeed:

  1. 'Success is not how high you have climbed, but how you make a positive difference to the world.' – Roy T. Bennett

  2. '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

  3. '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

  4. 'Don't follow the crowd, let the crowd follow you.' – Margaret Thatcher

  5. 'Leadership is not about titles, positions or flowcharts. It's about one life influencing another.' – John Maxwell

  6. 'Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.' – Peter Drucker

  7. 'A leader is like a shepherd. He stays behind the flock, letting the most nimble go out ahead, whereupon the others follow, not realising that all along they are being directed from behind.' – Nelson Mandela

  8. 'He who cannot be a good follower cannot be a good leader.' – Aristotle

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

  10. 'The world's greatest achievers have been those who have always stayed focused on their goals and have been consistent in their efforts.' – Dr Roopleen

  11. 'The key to successful leadership is influence, not authority.' – Ken Blanchard

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

  13. 'Remember teamwork begins by building trust. And the only way to do that is to overcome our need for invulnerability.' – Patrick Lencioni

  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. 'A star wants to see himself rise to the top. A leader wants to see those around him rise to the top.' – Simon Sinek

  16. 'Leaders always choose the harder right rather than the easier wrong.' – Orrin Woodward

  17. 'The art of leadership is saying no, not yes. It's very easy to say yes.' – Tony Blair

  18. 'A leader should demonstrate his thoughts and opinions through his actions, not through his words.' – Jack Weatherford

  19. 'Communication is how entrepreneurs tell their story, which, in turn, should inspire employees to work smart and encourage customers to action.' – Curtis L. Jenkins

  20. 'Great leaders have three things; inner light, inner vision and inner strength.' – Amit Ray

  21. 'True leaders understand that leadership isn't about them but about those they serve. It's not about exalting themselves but about lifting others up.' – Sheri L. Dew

  22. 'At times we relax in our comfort zone, and it takes leadership to recognise this and adjust our mindset.' – Mark Villareal

  23. 'The task of the leader is to get his people from where they're to where they have not been.' – Henry Kissinger

  24. 'Each day you're leading by example. Whether you realise it or not or whether it's positive or negative, you're influencing those around you.' – Rob Liano

  25. 'Belief has the power to change your inner state and your outer world.' – John Paul Warren

  26. 'Never undermine the power of passion. You have a very high chance of achieving anything you are passionate about.' – Israelmore Ayivor

  27. 'A great leader is motivated not by power but by compassion. Therefore he can do nothing but make himself a servant to those whom he rules. Such a leader is unequivocally respected and loved for loving.' – Richelle E. Goodrich

  28. 'It's the capacity to develop and improve their skills that distinguishes leaders from followers.' – Warren Bennis

  29. 'Leadership is never an avenue to be self-serving but a platform to render great service to people.' – Ifeanyi Enoch Onuoha

  30. 'Real leaders are people who help us overcome the limitations of our own individual laziness and selfishness and weakness and fear and get us to do better, harder things than we can get ourselves to do on our own.' – David Foster Wallace

  31. 'When you accept a leadership role, you take on extra responsibility for your actions towards others.' – Kelley Armstrong

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

  33. 'When you're faced with a choice, choose to inspire, choose to empower, choose to stand for those who have lost the will to stand for themselves.' – Orly Wahba

  34. 'Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision and relentlessly drive it to completion.' – Jack Welch

  35. 'If the leader is filled with high ambition and if he pursues his aims with audacity and strength of will, he will reach them in spite of all obstacles.' – Carl Von Clausewitz

  36. 'True greatness, true leadership, is achieved not by reducing men to one's service but in giving oneself in selfless service to them.' – J.Oswald Sanders

  37. 'People want guidance, not rhetoric. They need to know what the plan of action is, and how it will be implemented. They want to be given responsibility to help solve the problem and authority to act on it.' – Howard Schultz

  38. 'If you seek honour and respect, you will not find it, for a leader is powerless to elevate himself. It's only when you serve others without regard for self, will honour, respect and lasting success be found.' – Stevenson Willis

  39. 'Leaders are passionate about the purpose, while managers need to be passionate about the results!' – Amit Chatterjee

  40. 'Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy.' – Norman Schwarzkopf

  41. 'Successful leaders see the opportunities in every difficulty rather than the difficulty in every opportunity.' – Reed Markham

  42. 'You can't inspire and lead people without earning their attention. You achieve that in a counter-intuitive way – by paying close attention to what interests them.' – Phil Dourado

  43. 'The ability to stay calm and focused in the midst of change is what distinguishes great leaders from those just collecting a paycheck.' – Todd Stocker

  44. 'As a leader, your principal job is to create an operating environment where others can do great things.' – Richard Teerlink

  45. 'The greatness of a leader is measured by the achievements of the led. This is the ultimate test of his effectiveness.' – Gen. Omar Bradley

  46. 'You cannot be effective if those who work for you're not. So building their effectiveness ought to be a priority.' – Richard N. Haass

  47. 'Make sure you're not just waiting for someone else to fix things, or hoping that things will improve. Figure out what's going on and make a plan to improve things.' – Kenneth W. Thomas

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

  49. 'Whether you think you can or think you can't–you're right.' – Henry Ford

  50. 'Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don't quit.' – Conrad Hilton

  51. 'The men who have done big things are those who were not afraid to attempt big things, who were not afraid to risk failure in order to gain success.' – B.C. Forbes

  52. 'You have to enable and empower people to make decisions independent of you. As I've learnt, each person on a team is an extension of your leadership; if they feel empowered by you they will magnify your power to lead. Trust is a great force multiplier.' – Tom Ridge

  53. 'A genuine leader isn't a searcher for consensus, but a moulder of consensus.' – Martin Luther King

  54. 'Management is about arranging and telling. Leadership is about nurturing and enhancing.' – Tom Peters

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

  56. 'Leadership is unlocking people's potential to become better.' – Bill Bradley

  57. 'Of all the things I've done, the most vital is coordinating those who work with me and aiming their efforts at a certain goal.' – Walt Disney

  58. '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

  59. 'The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.' – William Arthur Ward

  60. 'Leaders think and talk about the solutions. Followers think and talk about the problems.' – Brian Tracy

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