Leadership walk

Leadership Retreat and Reflection

Today is something a bit different. Instead of my usual message, I am providing you with a collection of leadership quotes and quips sent to me by readers.

Please ponder these thoughts. Some are from great leaders you may know about and admire. Others are from unusual sources; places I didn’t expect to get these nuggets of gold.

Enjoy! Oh and at the end, if I’ve left out one of your favorites, leave a comment or share it on social media. Let me know what you think.

Here we go….

Perhaps those who are best suited to power are those who have never sought it. Those who … have leadership thrust upon them, and take up the mantle because they must, and find to their own surprise that they wear it well.

J. K. ROWLING, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Leaders touch a heart before they ask for a hand.

JOHN C. MAXWELL, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership

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 F. DRUCKER, attributed, The Fundamentals of Leadership

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

SAM WALTON, attributed, The 101 Greatest Business Principles of All Time

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, attributed Friday Night Light: Inspiration for the Game of Life

Great leaders genuinely care for and love the people they lead more than they love leading itself. Leadership without love degenerates into self-serving manipulation.

RICK WARREN, Ladies’ Home Journal

Leadership is not a starring role. True leadership describes the unified action of leaders and followers (stakeholders) working together to jointly achieve mutual goals. It is collaborative.

GILBERT W. FAIRHOLM, Leadership and the Culture of Trust

Leadership is defined not by the position you hold but by the people who follow you.

CHARLENE LI, Open Leadership

People try so hard to believe in leaders now, pitifully hard. But we no sooner get a popular reformer or politician or soldier or writer or philosopher — a Roosevelt, a Tolstoi, a Wood, a Shaw, a Nietzsche, than the cross-currents of criticism wash him away. My Lord, no man can stand prominence these days. It’s the surest path to obscurity. People get sick of hearing the same name over and over.

F. SCOTT FITZGERALD, This Side of Paradise

The best leaders turn their followers into leaders, realizing that the journey ahead requires many guides.


Effective leaders are made, not born. They learn from trial and error, and from experience.

COLIN POWELL, “10 Leadership Tenets from Colin Powell”, Stanford Graduate School of Business

While managers focus on the task to be completed, the process to complete it, and supervising a set of people to get there, the leaders role is more ambiguous. They must envision, set new directions, and inspire and value their team. To be a leader, it is absolutely essential to listen to people and understand their needs.

JACOB MORGAN, “What Does Leadership Look Like In The Future Of Work?”, Forbes, March 28, 2016

The first act of leadership is coming to grips with yourself, who you are, where you are, and what is of value to you, and shaping yourself by acts of conscious will into what you want to become.

FENWICK W. ENGLISH, The Art of Educational Leadership

Introducing the WHY.os. Learn YOUR why, how, and what that drives your passion and motivation.


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