A man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd.
In this and like communities public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment nothing can fail; without it nothing can succeed; consequently he who moulds public sentiment goes deeper than he who enacts statutes and decisions. He makes statutes and decisions possible or impossible to be executed.
—Abraham Lincoln (1809–65) American Head of State
A leader who doesn’t hesitate before he sends his nation into battle is not fit to be a leader.
—Golda Meir (1898–1978) Israeli Head of State
The minute a person whose word means a great deal to others dare to take the open-hearted and courageous way, many others follow.
—Marian Anderson (1897–1993) American Singer
I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people.
—Indira Gandhi (1917–84) Indian Head of State
Our chief want in life is somebody who will make us do what we can.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–82) American Philosopher
Men shrink less from offending one who inspires love than one who inspires fear.
—Niccolo Machiavelli (1469–1527) Florentine Political Philosopher
I have three precious things which I hold fast and prize. The first is gentleness; the second is frugality; the third is humility, which keeps me from putting myself before others. Be gentle and you can be bold; be frugal and you can be liberal; avoid putting yourself before others and you can become a leader among men.
—Laozi (b.604BCE–d:Unknown) Chinese Philosopher
The successful man doesn’t use others, other people use the successful man, for above all the success is of service.
It often happens that I wake at night and begin to think about a serious problem and decide I must tell the Pope about it. Then I wake up completely and remember that I am the Pope.
—Pope John XXIII (1881–1963) Italian Catholic Religious Leader, Pope
It is a great pity when the one who should be the head figure is a mere figure head.
—Charles Spurgeon (1834–92) British Baptist Preacher, Theologian, Hymn writer
Tell a person they are brave and you help them become so.
—Thomas Carlyle (1795–1881) Scottish Historian, Essayist
That perfect bliss and sole felicity, the sweet fruition of an earthly crown.
—Christopher Marlowe (1564–93) English Playwright, Poet, Translator
A leader is best when people barely know he exists, not so good when people obey and acclaim him, worse when they despise him. But of a good leader who talks little when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: “we did it ourselves.”
—Laozi (b.604BCE–d:Unknown) Chinese Philosopher
The best executive is one who has sense enough to pick good people to do what he wants them to do, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.
—Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919) American Head of State, Political leader, Historian, Explorer
I don’t think that a leader can control to any great extent his destiny. Very seldom can he step in and change the situation if the forces of history are running in another direction.
—Richard Nixon (1913–94) American Head of State, Lawyer
No man has ever risen to the real stature of spiritual manhood until he has found that it is finer to serve somebody else than it is to serve himself.
—Woodrow Wilson (1856–1924) American Head of State
Leadership is getting players to believe in you. If you tell a teammate you’re ready to play as tough as you’re able to, you’d better go out there and do it. Players will see right through a phony. And they can tell when you’re not giving it all you’ve got. Leadership is diving for a loose ball, getting the crowd involved, getting other players involved. It’s being able to take it as well as dish it out. That’s the only way you’re going to get respect from the players.
—Larry Bird (b.1956) American Sportsperson
Right or wrong, the customer is always right.
—Marshall Field (1834–1906) American Entrepreneur, Businessperson, Philanthropist
I am a leader by default, only because nature does not allow a vacuum.
—Desmond Tutu (b.1931) South African Clergyman
Those who can command themselves command others.
—William Hazlitt (1778–1830) English Essayist
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 (1918–92) American Entrepreneur, Businessperson
Search others for their virtues, thy self for thy vices.
—Benjamin Franklin (1706–90) American Political Leader, Inventor, Diplomat
In the great mass of our people there are plenty individuals of intelligence from among whom leadership can be recruited.
—Herbert Hoover (1874–1964) American Head of State, Engineer, Businessperson, Humanitarian
The higher men climb,
the longer their working day.
There are no office hours for leaders.
—James Gibbons (1834–1921) American Catholic Religious Leader, Clergyman
Telling people I can’t lose weight may make me eat more—to prove myself right. Perhaps if I told people, “‘I’m gonna lose 20.”
—Marty Nemko (b.1950) American Career Coach, Author
Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy.
—H. Norman Schwarzkopf (b.1934) American Military Leader
A good leader is a person who takes a little more than his share of the
blame and a little less than his share of the credit.
—John C. Maxwell (b.1947) American Christian Professional Speaker, Author, Clergyman
The character and qualifications of the leader are reflected in the men he selects, develops and gathers around him. Show me the leader and I will know his men. Show me the men and I will know their leader. Therefore, to have loyal, efficient employees-be a loyal and efficient employer.
—Arthur W. Newcomb
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 (1924–2000) American Sportsperson
A leader has the vision and conviction that a dream can be achieved. He inspires the power and energy to get it done.
—Ralph Lauren (b.1939) American Businessman
Leadership is not magnetic personality–that can just as well be a glib tongue. It is not making friends and influencing people—that is flattery. Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to higher sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.
—Peter Drucker (1909–2005) Austrian-born Management Consultant
The world of the 1990s and beyond will not belong to ‘managers’ or those who can make the numbers dance. The world will belong to passionate, driven leaders — people who not only have enormous amounts of energy but who can energize those whom they lead.
—Jack Welch (b.1935) American Businessperson
Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort. The joy and moral stimulation of work no longer must be forgotten in the mad chase of evanescent profits. These dark days will be worth all they cost us if they teach us that our true destiny is not to be ministered unto but to minister to ourselves and to our fellow men.
—Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945) American Head of State, Lawyer