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Leadership in the Workplace

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Leadership Quotes

Quotable Quotes

  • Managers think about today. Leaders think about tomorrow. ~ Dan McCreary
  • Leaders manage change. Managers control process. ~ Anon
  • "As we, the leaders, deal with tomorrow, our task is not to try to make perfect plans. Our task is to create organizations that are sufficiently flexible and versatile that they can take our imperfect plans and make them work in execution. That is the essential character of the learning organization." ~ Gordon R. Sullivan & Michael V. Harper
  • "A new leader has to be able to change an organization that is dreamless, soulless and visionless ... someone's got to make a wake up call." ~ Warren Bennis
  • Managers are people who do things right, while leaders are people who do the right thing. ~ Warren Bennis
  • Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things. ~ Peter F. Drucker
  • The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves. ~ Ray Kroc, Founder of McDonald's
  • Leadership in today's world requires far more than a large stock of gunboats and a hard fist at the conference table. ~ Hubert H. Humphrey
  • Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it. ~ Dwight Eisenhower
  • He who thinketh he leadeth and hath no one following him is only taking a walk. ~ Anonymous
  • Leadership is a quality of those who earn the respect of others through the wisdom of the combination of their words and their actions. – Walter Grant IV, past President — University of Redlands Whitehead Leadership Society.
  • Superior leaders get things done with very little motion. They impart instruction not through many words, but through a few deeds. They keep informed about everything but interfere hardly at all. They are catalysts, and though things would not get done as well if they were not there, when they succeed they take no credit. And, because they take no credit, credit never leaves them. ~ Lao Tzu
  • The most important quality in a leader is that of being acknowledged as such. ~ Andre Maurois
  • 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, U.S. economist “The Age of Uncertainty”
  • The leader has to be practical and a realist, yet must talk the language of the visionary and the idealist. ~ Eric Hoffer
  • To put up with. . . distortions and to stick to one's guns come what may — this is the. . . gift of leadership. (Abridged) ~ Mohandas Gandhi
  • Most of the ladies and gentlemen who mourn the passing of the nation's leaders wouldn't know a leader if they saw one. If they had the bad luck to come across a leader, they would find out that he might demand something from them, and this impertinence would put an abrupt and indignant end to their wish for his return. ~ Lewis H. Lapham
  • Leadership consists not in degrees of technique but in traits of character; it requires moral rather than athletic or intellectual effort, and it imposes on both leader and follower alike the burdens of self-restraint. ~ Lewis H. Lapham
  • People ask the difference between a leader and a boss. . . . The leader works in the open, and the boss is covert. The leader leads, and the boss drives. ~ Theodore Roosevelt
  • 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
  • There is no such thing as a perfect leader either in the past or present, in China or elsewhere. If there is one, he is only pretending, like a pig inserting scallions into its nose in an effort to look like an elephant. ~ Liu Shao-ch'i
  • The real leader has no need to lead — he is content to point the way. ~ Henry Miller
  • The quality of leadership, more than any other single factor, determines the success or failure of an organization. ~ Fred Fiedler & Martin Chemers Improving Leadership Effectiveness
  • The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. ~ Max DePree
  • A friend of mine characterizes leaders simply like this: "Leaders don't inflict pain. They bear pain." ~ Max DePree
  • Ah well! I am their leader, I really ought to follow them! ~ Alexandre Auguste Ledru-Rollin
  • When the effective leader is finished with his work, the people say it happened naturally. ~ Lao Tse
  • start with the premise that the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers ~ Ralph Nader
  • Leadership is understanding people and involving them to help you do a job. That takes all of the good characteristics, like integrity, dedication of purpose, selflessness, knowledge, skill, implacability, as well as determination not to accept failure. ~ Admiral Arleigh A. Burke
  • Lead and inspire people. Don't try to manage and manipulate people. Inventories can be managed but people must be led. ~ Ross Perot


  • A competent leader can get efficient service from poor troops, while on the contrary an incapable leader can demoralize the best of troops. ~ General of the Armies John J. Pershing
  • The very essence of leadership is its purpose. And the purpose of leadership is to accomplish a task. That is what leadership does — and what it does is more important than what it is or how it works. ~ Colonel Dandridge M.
  • The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind him in other men the conviction and will to carry on. ~ Walter J. Lippmann
  • Leadership should be born out of the understanding of the needs of those who would be affected by it. ~ Marian Anderson
  • Leadership has a harder job to do than just choose sides. It must bring sides together. ~ Jesse Jackson
  • 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
  • The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. ~ Max DePree, in The Art of Leadership
  • The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been. ~ Henry Kissinger
  • The art of leading, in operations large or small, is the art of dealing with humanity, of working diligently on behalf of men, of being sympathetic with them, but equally, of insisting that they make a square facing toward their own problems. ~ S. L. A. Marshall Men Against Fire
  • And when we think we lead, we are most led. ~ Lord Byron
  • To attain success in our group…leadership is a must but friendship and new experiences will always be the key~ Angelico Marion Dee Atienza




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