HR & Management

20 greatest inspirational leadership quotes from famous leaders

4 min read

27 March 2014

From Winston Churchill to Nelson Mandela, here are some of the greatest inspirational leadership quotes.

1. Nelson Mandela

“It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.” 

2. Harry S. Truman

“Itis amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets thecredit” 

3. Theodore Roosevelt

“People ask the difference between a leader and a boss.The leader works in the open, and the boss in covert. The leader leads, and the boss drives.” 

4. General Montgomery

“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.” 

5. Winston Churchill

“The nation will find it very hard to look up to the leaders who are keeping their ears to the ground.” 

6. Benjamin Franklin

“If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth reading, or do things worth the writing.”  

7. Eleanor Roosevelt

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”

8. Dwight D. Eisenhower

“The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office.” 

9. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus, but a molder of consensus.”

10. Ronald Reagan

“The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.” 

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11. Theodore Roosevelt

“The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it.” 

12. General Colin Powell

“Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate, and doubt to offer a solution everybody can understand.”

13. Margaret Thatcher

“Don’t follow the crowd, let the crowd follow you.” 

14. Vaclav Havel

“The exercise of power is determined by thousands of interactions betweenthe world of the powerful and that of the powerless, all the more sobecause these worlds are never divided by a sharp line: everyone hasa small part of himself in both.” 

15. Tony Blair

“The art of leadership is saying no, not yes. It is very easy to say yes.” 

16. Abraham Lincoln

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character give him power.” 

17. John F. Kennedy

“Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.” 

18. John Quincy Adams

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” 

19. Napoleon Bonaparte

“A leader is a dealer in hope.” 

20. Barack Obama

“I always believe that ultimately, if people are paying attention, then we get good government and good leadership. And when we get lazy, as a democracy and civically start taking shortcuts, then it results in bad government and politics.”