Leadership Quote Archive

The path of least resistance leads to the land of nothing done. — Bill Purdin

The man who insists on seeing with perfect clearness before he decides, never decides. — Henri-Frédéric Amiel

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction.
— E. F. Schumacher

If you wish to know what a man is, place him in authority. — Yugoslav Proverb

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.
— Voltaire

If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.
— Frank A. Clark

Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower. — Steve Jobs

If you would convince a man that he does wrong, do right. But do not care to convince him. Men will believe what they see. Let them see. — Henry David Thoreau

One doesn’t discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time. — Andre Gide

If you are not criticized, you may not be doing much. — Donald H. Rumsfeld

Be great in act, as you have been in thought. — William Shakespeare

The glory of great men should always be measured by the means they have used to acquire it. — Francois de La Rochefoucauld

Can you faithfully identify unfairness … even if it’s you? – Bill Purdin

Only the mediocre are always at their best. — Jean Giraudoux

A determined soul will do more with a rusty monkey wrench that a loafer will accomplish with all the tools in a machine shop. — Robert Hughes

People who never get carried away should be. — Malcolm Forbes

Beware of the man who won’t be bothered with details. — William Feather

I have never been especially impressed by the heroics of people who are convinced they are about to change the world. I am more awed by those who struggle to make one small difference after another. — Ellen Goodman

There are two ways of exerting one’s strength: one is pushing down, the other is pulling up. — Booker T. Washington

Respect a man, he will do the more. — James Howell

Great leaders want other leaders to march beside them. Bad leaders want followers to follow behind them. — Bill Purdin

Everything I did in my life that was worthwhile I caught hell for. — Earl Warren

The man who insists on seeing with perfect clearness before he decides, never decides. — Henri-Frederic Amiel

I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. That is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.
— Martin Luther King Jr.

He that promises most will perform least. — Gaelic Proverb

Leadership in any organization, if present at all, occurs at all levels. — Bill Purdin

Common sense is the knack of seeing things as they are, and doing things as they ought to be done. — C. E. Stowe

Leadership is based on inspiration, not domination; on cooperation, not intimidation. — William Arthur Wood

In order to truly be someone, you must truly do something. — Bill Purdin

To see what is right, and not to do it, is want of courage or of principle. — Confucius

Everybody can be great because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love. — Martin Luther King Jr.

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. — Benjamin Franklin

The smaller the mind the greater the conceit — Aesop

It’s the action, not the fruit of the action, that’s important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there’ll be any fruit. But that doesn’t mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.
— Mahatma Gandhi

The highest destiny of the individual is to serve rather than to rule. — Albert Einstein

People don’t really care how much you know until they know how much you care
— Mike McNight

The love of liberty is the love of others; the love of power is the love of ourselves
— William Hazlitt

A leader who doesn’t hesitate before he sends his nation into battle is not fit to be a leader. — Golda Meir

Setting an example is not the main means of influencing another, it is the only means. — Albert Einstein

If not you, then who? If not now, then when? — Rabbi Hillel

The basic difference between an ordinary man and a warrior is that a warrior takes everything as a challenge, while an ordinary man takes everything either as a blessing or a curse. — Don Juan

The optimist sees opportunity in every danger; the pessimist sees danger in every opportunity. — Winston Churchill

If I am not for myself who will be? And if I am only for myself who am I?
— Rabbi Hillel

Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future. — Anonymous

Two men look out from the same bars:
One sees the mud, and one sees the stars.
— Frederick Langbridge

Stay true and stand tall.
Your enemies will seem false and small.
— Bill Purdin

A leader is best when people barely know he exists.
Not so good when people obey and acclaim him.
Worse when they despise him.
“Fail to honor people, They fail to honor you;”
But of a good leader, who talks little,
When his work is done, his aim fulfilled,
They will say, “We did this ourselves.”
— Lao-tzu

It is never too late to start doing what is right. Never. — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Every man is guilty of all the good he didn’t do. — Voltaire

The strongest man in the world is the man who stands alone. — T. H. Huxley

The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just. — Abraham Lincoln

Never trouble another for what you can do yourself. — Thomas Jefferson

Force is all-conquering, but its victories are short-lived. — Abraham Lincoln

Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does. — William James

Wicked men obey from fear; good men, from love. — Aristotle

Do something every day that you don’t want to do; this is the golden rule for acquiring the habit of doing your duty without pain. — Mark Twain

I observe that there are two entirely different theories according to which individual men seek to get on in the world. One theory leads a man to pull down everyone around him in order to climb on them to a higher place. The other leads a man to help everybody around him in order that he may go up with them. — Elihu Root

Champion not lost causes, but noble ones. Become addicted to them. Identify with people, not data, or institutions, or theories. Identify with tomorrow. Always remain empathic with the young. — Robert F. Kennedy

If a country is governed wisely, its inhabitants will be content.
They enjoy the labor of their hands and don’t waste time inventing labor-saving machines.
Since they dearly love their homes, they aren’t interested in travel.
There may be a few wagons and boats, but these don’t go anywhere.
There may be an arsenal of weapons, but nobody ever uses them.
People enjoy their food, take pleasure in being with their families, spend weekends working in their gardens, delight in the doings of the neighborhood.
And even though the next country is so close that people can hear its roosters crowing and it dogs barking, they are content to die of old age without ever having gone to see it. — Tao Te Ching

There are two kinds of light — the glow that illuminates, and the glare that obscures. — James Thurber

I feel the greatest reward for doing is the opportunity to do more. — Jonas Salk

Not the cry, but the flight of the wild duck, leads the flock to fly and follow.
— Chinese Proverb

A great nation is like a great man:
When he makes a mistake, he realizes it.
Having realized it, he admits it.
Having admitted it, he corrects it.
He considers those who point out his faults
as his most benevolent teachers.
He thinks of his enemy
as the shadow he himself casts.
— Tao Te Ching

Evil often triumphs, but never conquers. — Joseph Roux

Revenge is an abject pleasure of an abject mind. — Juvenal

Responsibility’s like a string we can only see the middle of. Both ends are out of sight.
— William McFee

Saying is one thing, doing is another. — Montaigne

That you may retain your self-respect, it is better to displease the people by doing what you know is right, than to temporarily please them by doing what you know is wrong. — William J. H. Boetcker

Ridicule often checks what is absurd, but fully as often smothers that which is noble. — Sir Walter Scott

Curb your tongue and senses and you are beyond trouble. Let them loose and you are beyond help. — Lao-Tzu

What is impossible today that if made possible would change everything?
— Joel Barker

What you keep to yourself you lose, what you give away you keep forever.
— Axel Munthe

Note how good you feel after you have encouraged someone else. No other argument is necessary to suggest that one never miss the opportunity to give encouragement. — George Adams

Keep me from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh, and the greatness which does not bow before children. — Kahlil Gibran

Dignity does not consist in possessing honors, but in deserving them. — Aristotle

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy
— Martin Luther King, Jr.

The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men and women who can dream of things that never were. — John F. Kennedy

It’s not only what we do, but also what we do not do for which we are accountable.
— Moliere

Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never; in nothing, great or small, large or petty; never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense
— Winston Churchill

The main ingredient of stardom is the rest of the team. — John Wooden

All growth is a leap in the dark, a spontaneous, unpremeditated act without benefit of experience. — Henry Miller

The man who rows the boat generally doesn’t have time to rock it. — Unknown

When men speak ill of thee, so live that nobody will believe them. — Plato

Never cut what you can untie. — Joseph Joubert

Do routine things routinely well. Handle problems right now. Do something on every project every day. Be brave. Be kind. Be bold. — Bill Purdin

After I am dead, I would rather have them ask why Cato has no monument than why he had one — Cato the Elder

One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree. “Which road do I take?” she asked. “Where do you want to go?” was his response. “I don’t know,” Alice answered. “Then,” said the cat, “it doesn’t matter.” — Lewis Carroll

We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future. — George Bernard Shaw

It’s easy to stop making mistakes. Just stop having ideas. — unknown

Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.
— Mark Twain

Live your beliefs and you can turn the world around. — Henry David Thoreau

One man with courage makes a majority. — Andrew Jackson

Share your fears with yourself and your courage with others. You will inspire people to do things that are incredible. — Franklin D. Miller, Medal Of Honor recipient

There is a great man who makes every man feel small. But the real great man is the man who makes every man feel great. — G. K. Chesterton

Be willing to make decisions. That’s the most important quality in a good leader. Don’t fall victim to what I call the Ready-Aim-Aim-Aim Syndrome. You must be willing to fire. — T. Boone Pickens

Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain, and most fools do.
— Benjamin Franklin

You can’t hold someone down without staying down with them.
— Booker T. Washington

My father did not tell me how to live. He lived, and let me watch him do it.
— Clarence Budinton Kelland

People may doubt what you say, but they will always believe what you do.

Very few burdens are heavy if everyone lifts. — Sy Wise

Sometimes you need to look reality in the eye, and deny it. — Garrison Keillor

We must not promise what we ought not, lest we be called to perform what we cannot. — Abraham Lincoln

The breakfast of champions is not cereal. It is opposition. — Nick Seitz

A ship in port is safe, but that is not what ships are built for. — Benazir Bhutto

Some men see things as they are and say, why: I dream things that never were and say, why not? — Robert F. Kennedy

The only limitation in our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. Let us move forward with strong and active faith. — Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home — so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any map of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person: the neighborhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm or office where he works. Such are the places where every man, woman and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world. — Theodore Roosevelt

If there is any principle of the Constitution that more imperatively calls for attachment than any other it is the principle of free thought — not free thought for those who agree with us but freedom for the thought that we hate.
— Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

He that can have patience, can have what he will. — Benjamin Franklin

All power is trust. — Margaret Thatcher

Always, always, always do what you can. — Bill Purdin

After all, what counts is not creed but conduct. — Sir Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan

You must be the change in the world that you wish to see. — Mahatma Gandhi

Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Setting an example is not the main means of influencing another, it is the only means. — Albert Einstein

A good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame, and a little less than his share of the credit. — Arnold Glasow

There’s always room at the top. — Daniel Webster

Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.
— John F. Kennedy

Criticism is something we can avoid easily — by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing. — Aristotle

Real difficulties can be overcome; it is only the imaginary ones that are unconquerable. — Theodore N. Vail

I prefer tongue-tied knowledge to ignorant loquacity. — Cicero, De Oratore

Of all the virtues we can learn, no trait is more useful, more essential for survival, and more likely to improve the quality of life that the ability to transform adversity into an enjoyable challenge. — Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Psychologist

To bear up under loss, to fight the bitterness of defeat and the weakness of grief, to be victor over anger, to smile when tears are close, to resist evil men and base instincts, to hate hate and to love love, to go on when it would seem good to die, to seek ever after the glory and the dream, to look up with unquenchable faith in something evermore about to be, that is what any one can do, and so be great. — Zane Grey

A leader is a dealer in hope. — Napoleon I, Emperor of France

Love of power. Power of love. Some people have it backwards. — Bill Purdin

I have accepted fear as a part of life — specifically the fear of change. I have gone ahead despite the pounding in the heart that says, turn back… turn back.
— Erica Jong

We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done. — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

There is no road too long to the man who advances deliberately and without undue haste; there are no honours too distant to the man who prepares himself for them with patience. — Jean de La Bruyere

If you don’t know where you’re going, when you get there you’ll be lost.
— Yogi Berra

Worrying about what’s right is always more important than worrying about who’s right. — Anonymous

There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. — Niccolo Machiavelli

Apathy can only be overcome by enthusiasm, and enthusiasm can only be aroused by two things: First, an ideal which takes the imagination by storm, and second, a definite intelligible plan for carrying that ideal into practice. — Arnold Toynbee

You can’t make one thin dime from giving people what they need. You’ve got to give them what they want. — Angel Martin

Creativity is a drug I cannot live without. — Cecil B. DeMille

No matter how far you’ve gone on a wrong road, turn back. — Turkish Proverb

The greatest reward for doing is the opportunity to do more. — Jonas Salk

One cool judgement is worth a thousand hasty counsels. — Woodrow Wilson

Little progress can be made by merely attempting to repress what is evil; our great hope lies in developing what is good. — Calvin Coolidge

It is well to think well; it is divine to act well. — Horace Mann

Genius begins great works; labor alone finished them. — Joubert

There is no darkness — but ignorance. — Shakespeare

A politician thinks of the next election; a statesman of the next generation.
— J. F. Clarke

A politician is elected by his friends and rules by his enemies. — Richard Hughes

We come nearest to the great when we are great in humility. — Rabindranath Tagore

Honor is like an island, rugged and without a beach; once we have left it, we can never return. — Boleau

You can only govern men by serving them. The rule is without exception.
— Victor Cousin

I can get up at nine and be rested, or I can get up at six and be President.
— Jimmy Carter, 39th President of the United States

Too many people are thinking of security instead of opportunity. They seem more afraid of life than death. — James F. Byrnes

If we work marble, it will perish; if we work upon brass, time will efface it; if we rear temples, they will crumble into dust; but if we work upon immortal minds and instill into them just principles, we are then engraving upon tablets which no time will efface, but will brighten and brighten to all eternity. — Daniel Webster

Where there is no vision the people perish. — Proverbs

He who has never failed has never tried. — Emmett LeCompte

We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light. — Plato

Justice is to give every man his own. — Aristotle

If you don’t know where you are going, any road will do.
— Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

I would so live as if I knew that I received my being only for the benefit of others.
— Seneca

Failed in business — age 22
Ran for legislature, defeated — age 23
Again failed in business — age 24
Elected to legislature — age 25
Sweetheart died — age 26
Had a nervous breakdown — age 27
Defeated for Speaker — age 29
Defeated for Elector — age 31
Defeated for Congress — age 34
Elected to Congress — age 37
Defeated for Congress — age 39
Defeated for Senate — age 46
Defeated for Vice President — age 47
Defeated for Senate — age 49
Elected President Of The United States — age 51
~ Abraham Lincoln’s record (Hang in there)

The Ten Most Powerful Two-Letter Words: If it is to be, it is up to me. — Anonymous

And when we think we lead, we are most led. — George Gordon Byron (Lord Byron)

It is organized violence on top which creates individual violence at the bottom.
— Emma Goldman

The courage of life is often a less dramatic spectacle than the courage of a final moment; but it is no less that a magnificent mixture of triumph and tragedy. A man does what he must — in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures — and that is the basis of all human morality.
— John Fitzgerald Kennedy