It's hard to lead a cavalry charge if you think you look funny on a horse.
Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence.
But the fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.
Dwight D. Eisenhower:
You do not lead by hitting people over the head - that's assault, not leadership.
Edwin H. Friedman:
Leadership can be thought of as a capacity to define oneself to others in a way that clarifies and expands a vision of the future.
Whoever is providing leadership needs to be as fresh and thoughtful and reflective as possible to make the very best fight.
H. Ross Perot:
Inventories can be managed, but people must be led.
A leader must have the courage to act against an expert's advice.
James Kouzes and Barry Posner:
There's nothing more demoralizing than a leader who can't clearly articulate why we're doing what we're doing.
Time is neutral and does not change things. With courage and initiative, leaders change things.
Most important, leaders can conceive and articulate goals that lift people out of their petty preoccupations and unite them in pursuit of objectives worthy of their best efforts.
John Quincy Adams:
If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.
The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.
Margaret Chase Smith:
Leadership is not manifested by coercion, even against the resented. Greatness is not manifested by unlimited pragmatism, which places such a high premium on the end justifying any means and any measures.
The leaders who work most effectively, it seems to me, never say "I." And that's not because they have trained themselves not to say "I." They don't think "I." They think "we"; they think "team." They understand their job to be to make the team function. They accept responsibility and don't sidestep it, but "we" gets the credit. This is what creates trust, what enables you to get the task done.
Peter F. Drucker:
Leaders shouldn't attach moral significance to their ideas: Do that, and you can't compromise.
I start with the premise that the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.
Good leaders must first become good servants.
Rosabeth Moss Kantor:
Leaders are more powerful role models when they learn than when they teach.
A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don't necessarily want to go, but ought to be.
The very essence of leadership is that you have to have a vision.
The art of leadership is saying no, not yes. It is very easy to say yes.
Some leaders are born women.
Leaders aren't born they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work. And that's the price we'll have to pay to achieve that goal, or any goal.
The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind him in other men the conviction and the will to carry on.
The manager asks how and when; the leader asks what and why.
Warren G. Bennis:
The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born -- that there is a genetic factor to leadership. This myth asserts that people simply either have certain charismatic qualities or not. That's nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. Leaders are made rather than born.
The price of greatness is responsibility.