Since the second wave of COVID-19 in the UK, many of us are starting to feel discouraged and disappointed. The prospect that our lives will continue to be far from normal doesn’t offer much inspiration for going above and beyond in our personal and work lives. You likely feel the same way. And if that’s the case, it’s likely that your employees do too. If you’ve come here looking for ways to inspire and motivate your staff, or even yourself, to put their best foot forward and be an example to the rest, you’re already showing excellent leadership characteristics. Leaders lead by example – and that’s exactly why famous leadership quotes are a great way to plant the seeds of determination and strength in the face of adversity.
Famous leadership quotes have withstood the test of time and our lowest dips in history, continuing to inspire others to strive for success and encourage others no matter what obstacles they face. At Real Business, they have become mantras that have helped our teams discern good leaders from great leaders – and how we can develop ourselves as the latter. They have also shown us that leadership is not a title, but a state of being. A boss is not a leader, although you can be both. A true leader is someone who envisions something better and inspires others to come together to breathe life into this vision as a team of equals, rather than as a means to an end.
But, before we delve into these legendary leadership quotes, how could a simple string of words invoke such qualities within another human being? It’s simple psychology.
Why Leadership Quotes Work
Leadership quotes hold such an influential impact for several reasons. Their inherent motivational and inspirational messages are similar to coaching from a mentor, encouraging us to try harder, go further, and be stronger. It builds your self-efficacy and confidence from within.
However, the real power of these quotes often comes from the people who created them. Words of wisdom from recognised and successful leaders in business, politics, the arts, and the sciences hold a special kind of influence. The hardships they faced to get where they are today, the monumental changes they have brought about, and the success they have enjoyed all culminate to cause others to look up to them and trust their insights.
Now that you know the ‘why’ let’s take a look at the ‘what’. We at Real Business have compiled what we consider to be the ten most impactful famous leadership quotes.
10 Famous Leadership Quotes To Inspire Your Employees
1 “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
— John Quincy Adams
2 “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”
— Steve Jobs, Apple co-founder
3 “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
4 “The true mark of a leader is the willingness to stick with a bold course of action — an unconventional business strategy, a unique product-development roadmap, a controversial marketing campaign — even as the rest of the world wonders why you’re not marching in step with the status quo.”
— Bill Taylor
5 “My own definition of leadership is this: The capacity and the will to rally men and women to a common purpose and the character which inspires confidence.”
— Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery
6 “To me, leadership is not about necessarily being the loudest in the room, but instead being the bridge, or the thing that is missing in the discussion and trying to build a consensus from there.”
— Jacinda Ardern
7 “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.”
— John F. Kennedy
8 “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
9 “Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.”
— Winston Churchill
10 “The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The leader adjusts the sails.”
— John Maxwell