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The Best Quotations

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best quotations about

Leadership


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Quotations

Vince LombardiNo leader, however great, can long continue unless he wins battles. The battle decides all.

—  Vince Lombardi, 1913-1970, American football coach

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Duc de LevisNobility obligates.

Noblesse oblige.

—  Duc de Levis, 1764-1830, French politician & author of maxims

     (meaning: nobility or a high position extends beyond titles and requires fulfillment of social responsibilities especially in leadership roles)

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ThucydidesIt is frequently a misfortune to have very brilliant men in charge of affairs. They expect too much of ordinary men.

—  Thucydides, 460-394 BC, Ancient Greek historian

Bill GatesAs we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.

—  Bill Gates, 1955-, American businessman

NapoleonPut your iron hand in a velvet glove.

—  Napoleon, 1769-1821, French Emperor

Jim RohnThe challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly.

—  Jim Rohn, 1930-2009, American self-help speker

Lao-TzuTo lead people, walk beside them.

—  Lao-Tzu, 6th cent. BC, Chinese philosopher

Henry FordYou don’t have to hold a position in order to be a leader.

—  Henry Ford, 1863-1947, American industrialist, founder of FORD

NapoleonA leader is a dealer in hope.

—  Napoleon, 1769-1821, French Emperor

NapoleonI know he's a good general, but is he lucky?

—  Napoleon, 1769-1821, French Emperor

NapoleonMen are more easily governed through their vices than through their virtues.

—  Napoleon, 1769-1821, French Emperor

Lao-TzuA leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.

—  Lao-Tzu, 6th cent. BC, Chinese philosopher

Dwight EisenhowerPull the string, and it will follow wherever you wish. Push it, and it will go nowhere at all.

—  Dwight Eisenhower, 1890-1969, American general & President

Lao-TzuBe the chief but never the lord.

—  Lao-Tzu, 6th cent. BC, Chinese philosopher

NapoleonA general must be a charlatan.

—  Napoleon, 1769-1821, French Emperor

NapoleonA man who has no consideration for the needs of his men ought never to be given command.

—  Napoleon, 1769-1821, French Emperor

NapoleonA prince should suspect everything.

—  Napoleon, 1769-1821, French Emperor

NapoleonI am sometimes a fox and sometimes a lion. The whole secret of government lies in knowing when to be the one or the other.

—  Napoleon, 1769-1821, French Emperor

NapoleonOrders and decorations are necessary in order to dazzle the people.

—  Napoleon, 1769-1821, French Emperor

Sun TzuThe expert in battle seeks his victory from strategic advantage and does not demand it from his men.

—  Sun Tzu, c. 5th cent. BC, Chinese general & military strategist

Sun TzuTreat your men as you would your own beloved sons. And they will follow you into the deepest valley.

—  Sun Tzu, c. 5th cent. BC, Chinese general & military strategist

Wolfgang GoetheDivide and rule, a sound motto. Unite and lead, a better one.

—  Wolfgang Goethe, 1749-1832, German poet & philosopher

Wolfgang GoetheInstruction does much, but encouragement everything.

—  Wolfgang Goethe, 1749-1832, German poet & philosopher

Eric HofferThe ability to get along without an exceptional leader is the mark of social vigor.

—  Eric Hoffer, 1902-1983, American writer & philosopher

Eric HofferCharlatanism of some degree is indispensable to effective leadership.

—  Eric Hoffer, 1902-1983, American writer & philosopher

Niccolò MachiavelliThe best fortress which a prince can possess is the affection of his people.

—  Niccolò Machiavelli, 1469-1527, Italian political philosopher

Niccolò MachiavelliThe first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him.

—  Niccolò Machiavelli, 1469-1527, Italian political philosopher

Niccolò MachiavelliPerhaps we should wish to be both feared and loved: but since love and fear can hardly exist together, if we must choose, it is far safer to be feared than loved.

—  Niccolò Machiavelli, 1469-1527, Italian political philosopher

Niccolò MachiavelliThere is nothing more important than appearing to be religious.

—  Niccolò Machiavelli, 1469-1527, Italian political philosopher

John KennedyLeadership and learning are indispensable to each other.

—  John Kennedy, 1917-1963, American President [1961-1963]

Ronald ReaganThe 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.

—  Ronald Reagan, 1911-2004, American President [1981-1989]

Benjamin DisraeliTo govern men, you must either excel them in their accomplishments, or despise them.

—  Benjamin Disraeli, 1804-1881, British Prime Minister

Charles de GaulleThe leader is always alone before bad destiny.

—  Charles de Gaulle, 1890-1970, French President

Paul ValeryA leader is someone who needs other people.

—  Paul Valery, 1871-1945, French poet

Will DurantHistory reports that the men who can manage men manage the men who can manage only things, and the men who can manage money manage all.

—  Will Durant, 1885-1981, American historian & philosopher

Martin Luther KingA genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.

—  Martin Luther King, 1929-1968, American leader in the Civil Rights Movement

Douglas MacArthurA true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others.

—  Douglas MacArthur, 1880-1964, American general

Douglas MacArthurNever give an order that can't be obeyed.

—  Douglas MacArthur, 1880-1964, American general

Peter DruckerManagement is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.

—  Peter Drucker, 1909–2005, Austrian management guru

Peter DruckerYour first and foremost job as a leader is to take charge of your own energy and then help to orchestrate the energy of those around you.

—  Peter Drucker, 1909–2005, Austrian management guru

Peter DruckerOnly three things happen naturally in organizations: friction, confusion, and underperformance. Everything else requires leadership.

—  Peter Drucker, 1909–2005, Austrian management guru

Peter DruckerA man should never be appointed into a managerial position if his vision focuses on people's weaknesses rather than on their strengths.

—  Peter Drucker, 1909–2005, Austrian management guru

Bob MarleyThere comes a time as an artist, can't follow the crowd. You have to do YOU, and make the crowd follow you.

—  Bob Marley, 1945-1981, Jamaican singer

Lyndon JohnsonBeing president is like being a jackass in a hailstorm. There's nothing to do but to stand there and take it.

—  Lyndon Johnson, 1908-1973, American President [1963-1969]

Lyndon JohnsonWhen things haven't gone well for you, call in a secretary or a staff man and chew him out. You will sleep better and they will appreciate the attention.

—  Lyndon Johnson, 1908-1973, American President [1963-1969]

Dwight EisenhowerThere is one thing about being President: nobody can tell you when to sit down.

—  Dwight Eisenhower, 1890-1969, American general & President

Dwight EisenhowerLeadership consists of nothing but taking responsibility for everything that goes wrong and giving your subordinates credit for everything that goes well.

—  Dwight Eisenhower, 1890-1969, American general & President

Dwight EisenhowerThe supreme quality of leadership is integrity.

—  Dwight Eisenhower, 1890-1969, American general & President

Dwight EisenhowerLeadership is the ability to decide what is to be done and then get others to do it.

—  Dwight Eisenhower, 1890-1969, American general & President

Dwight EisenhowerIn order to be a leader a man must have followers. And to have followers, a man must have their confidence.

—  Dwight Eisenhower, 1890-1969, American general & President

Harry TrumanTo be able to lead others, a man must be willing to go forward alone.

—  Harry Truman, 1884-1972, American President [1945-1953]

Harry TrumanHow far would Moses have gone if he had taken a poll in Egypt?

—  Harry Truman, 1884-1972, American President [1945-1953]

Harry TrumanA president either is constantly on top of events or, if he hesitates, events will soon be on top of him. I never felt that I could let up for a moment.

—  Harry Truman, 1884-1972, American President [1945-1953]

Harry TrumanThe President hears a hundred voices telling him that he is the greatest man in the world. He must listen carefully indeed to hear the one voice that tells him his is not.

—  Harry Truman, 1884-1972, American President [1945-1953]

Harry TrumanHe’ll sit there are he’ll say “Do this! Do that!” and nothing will happen. Poor Ike - it won’t be a bit like the army.

—  Harry Truman, 1884-1972, American President [1945-1953]

     (“Ike” being his successor, president Eisenhower)

George W. BushIn the end, leaders are defined by the convictions they hold.

—  George W. Bush, 1946-, American President

Vince LombardiLeaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.

—  Vince Lombardi, 1913-1970, American football coach

Lou HoltzThe way you motivate a football team is to eliminate the unmotivated ones.

—  Lou Holtz, 1937-, American football coach

Alexander the GreatI am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion.

—  Alexander the Great, 356-323 BC, King of Macedon

John WoodenA coach is someone who can give correction without causing resentment.

—  John Wooden, 1910-2010, American basketball coach

Franklin RooseveltIf I prove a bad president, I will also likely to prove the last president.

—  Franklin Roosevelt, 1882-1945, American President [1936-1945]

Walt DisneyCourage is the main quality of leadership, in my opinion, no matter where it is exercised. Usually it implies some risk — especially in new undertakings.

—  Walt Disney, 1901-1966, American businessman & cartoonist

Margaret ThatcherDon't follow the crowd, let the crowd follow you.

—  Margaret Thatcher, 1925-2013, British Prime Minister

NapoleonIt is often in the audacity, in the steadfastness, of the general that the safety and the conservation of his men is found.

—  Napoleon, 1769-1821, French Emperor

Vince LombardiCoaches who can outline plays on a black board are a dime a dozen. The ones who win get inside their player and motivate.

—  Vince Lombardi, 1913-1970, American football coach

Vince LombardiLeadership is based on a spiritual quality: the power to inspire, the power to inspire others to follow.

—  Vince Lombardi, 1913-1970, American football coach

Peter DruckerA manager sets objectives. A manager organizes. A manager motivates and communicates. A manager, by establishing yardsticks, measures. A manager develops people.

—  Peter Drucker, 1909–2005, Austrian management guru

Arthur ClarkeSometimes a decision has to be made by a single individual, who has the authority to enforce it. That's why you need a captain. You can't run a ship by a committee-at least not all the time.

—  Arthur Clarke, 1917-2008, British Sci-Fi writer


Latin Quotes

SenecaNo one is able to rule unless he is also able to be ruled.

Nemo autem regere potest nisi qui et regi.

—  Seneca, 4 AD-65 AD, Roman philosopher

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Funny Quotes

Bill ClintonBeing president is like running a cemetery: You’ve got a lot of people under you, and nobody’s listening.

—  Bill Clinton, 1946-, American President [1992-2000]

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Jules RenardI always have the last word in my house and that word is usually “yes.”

—  Jules Renard, 1864-1910, French writer


Ancient Greek

AgathonEvery ruler must remember three things. Firstly, that he rules men; secondly, that he rules according to law, and thirdly, that he does not rule for ever.

Τον άρχοντα τριών δει μέμνησθαι: Πρώτον ότι ανθρώπων άρχει. Δεύτερον ότι κατά νόμους άρχει. Τρίτον ότι ουκ αεί άρχει.

—  Agathon, 450-400 BC, Ancient Greek tragic poet

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HomerMany leaders is not a good thing. Let there be one ruler, one king.

Ουκ αγαθόν πολυκοιρανίη. Είς κοίρανος έστω, είς βασιλεύς.

—  Homer, c. 800-750 BC, II ‐ Iliad II

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Proverbs

International proverbFish always stink from the head down.

—  International proverb

American Indian proverbA good chief gives, he does not take.

—  American Indian proverb ‐ Mohawk

American Indian proverbWhite men have too many chiefs.

—  American Indian proverb ‐ Nez Perce










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2017: Manolis Papathanassiou