21 Inspiring Leadership Quotes That Will Get You Through Tough Spots

leadership quotes

Anyone can sit in a corner office, bark out orders, delegate tasks, herd a flock through the pasture, but effective leadership is about much more than that. From Sheryl Sandberg to Steve Jobs, effective leaders have a propensity to inspire audiences and empower their employees. Effective leaders are visionaries who inspire innovation and empower their subordinates to attain their top performance potential. Effective leaders leave a deep impact not only on the team members they manage, but also the organization as a whole. In addition to providing guidance, inspiration, and direction, effective leaders exude ambition, commitment, confidence, passion and courage. Most often, they do this through fostering of collaboration, the creation of a shared vision to unify a team, and the identification of each individual’s unique strengths and potentials.

Effective leadership is the key to a functioning society. When we talk about effective leadership in the context of businesses and organizations, a company will be hard pressed to evolve and grow with the times without effective leadership. A company without effective leaders will be like a ship sailing without a captain navigating the crew through the choppy seas. Employees who work under such effective leaders are generally found to be more in tune with the organization, more productive and happier – all this creates a ripple effect that ultimately impacts your bottom line. In fact, research shows that executives of well-led businesses even see their stock price go 12 times higher than those with ineffective leadership.

However, a recent study by the Center for Creative Leadership reveals that about 38 of new leaders fail within their first 18 months. You as a leader can bend the curve and avoid falling into this staggering statistic by incorporating good leadership strategies. If you notice that your team members have become stagnant in their work , appear to be disengaged, are afraid of failure, or if your team members don’t step up to criticize your ideas, you need to scrutinize your leadership tactics and reform your strategies.

Without a doubt, leadership is lonely. You may be leading a big team, but sometimes it is just you–which means that sometimes you need to look inside yourself to reclaim that spark of motivation and inspiration. Better yet, if you can find personal inspiration from someone who has been where you are now and done it well.  Thankfully, some of our brightest and most inspirational leaders throughout history have left behind their invaluable advice to help lead the way.

Whenever I feel at a loss for answer, I seek answers in my favorite leadership quotes from some of the greatest leaders in the world. If Thomas Edison knew what he was saying when he said, “Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration,” then these leadership quotes are the one percent.

Leadership isn’t something you are born with, it is something you learn over time. Sometimes, when things seem to be going south, you just need that little bit of inspiration to get over those pitfalls as a manager. Whether you’re leading a huge team on a challenging project or just trying to climb the career ladder,  these leadership quotes will inspire you, enable you to do the right thing, and provide a different angle that you had not previously considered, so that your followers can get behind you. These nuggets of advice from some of the world’s renown inspirational leaders might make you think twice about your current leadership strategy, tweak your current approach towards leadership, renew your passion to lead, or point the way for how to better inspire your troops:

Here are Top 21 Leadership Quotes

  1. “You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand.”
    Woodrow Wilson
  2. “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”Harold R. McAlindon
    Leadership Quote by Harold R. McAlindon
  3. “Leadership is unlocking people’s potential to become better.”
    Bill Bradley
  4. “Each group and each youngster is different. As a leader or coach, you get to know what they need.”
    Mike Krzyzewski
  5. “It took me quite a long time to develop a voice, and now that I have it, I am not going to be silent.”
    Madeleine Albright
  6. “A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.”
    Martin Luther King Jr.,
  7. “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
    Leadership Quote by Andrew Carnegie
  8. “The best way to leapfrog in your career is to get advice from someone who’s done what you’re trying to accomplish. It helps clear all the doubt.”Heather Anne Carson
  9. “Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate and doubt to offer a solution everybody can understand.”
    Colin Powell
  10. “Leadership: the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.”
    Dwight D. Eisenhower
  11. “Leaders think and talk about the solutions. Followers think and talk about the problems.”
    Brian Tracy
  12. “There is no investment you can make which will pay you so well as the effort to scatter sunshine and good cheer through your establishment.”
    Orison Swett Marden
    Leadership Quote by Orison Swett Marden
  13. “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”
    Peter Drucker
  14. “I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people.”
    Mahatma Gandhi
  15. “Servant-leadership is all about making the goals clear and then rolling your sleeves up and doing whatever it takes to help people win. In that situation, they don’t work for you, you work for them.”
    Ken Blanchard
  16. “Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.”
    Vince Lombardi
    Leadership Quote by Vince Lombardi
  17. “To be a leader, you have to make people want to follow you, and nobody wants to follow someone who doesn’t know where he is going.”
    Joe Namath
  18. “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.”
    Maya Angelou
  19. “Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes.”
    Peter Drucker
  20. “The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant.”
    Max De Pree
  21. “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
    Leadership Quotes

Over To you

These amazing leadership quotes will teach you to become a leader in your workplace by harnessing the core pillars of effective leadership: Action, teamwork, communication, courage, project management, strategic planning, integrity and vision.  Building on these, you’ll be able to shift your mindset into a leadership mindset, garner a comprehensive understanding of the traits that are ubiquitously found in an effective leader, and get a better understanding of how each core pillar of leadership plays a vital part in influencing others and leading a company to success. Why being content with being a manager when you can lead!