Becoming a successful leader rarely happens overnight. In fact, discovering what it takes to succeed as a leader requires hard work and patience.
Over the years, many leaders have shared their thoughts on what it takes to succeed as a leader in the hopes of inspiring others to do the same.
Check out this list of 20 quotes from the greatest leaders in history:
1. “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.” – Ronald Reagan
2. “Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower
3. “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.” – Theodore Roosevelt
4. “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.” – Vince Lombardi
5. “When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” – Henry Ford
6. “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” – Albert Einstein
7. “A 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
8. “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” – Jack Welch
9. “He who has never learned to obey cannot be a good commander.” – Aristotle
10. “Men make history and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better.” – Harry S. Truman
11. “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.” – Rosalynn Carter
12. “A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his intent.” – Douglas MacArthur
13. “Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate and doubt to offer a solution everybody can understand.” – Colin Powell
14. “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.” – Benjamin Franklin
15. “In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.” – Thomas Jefferson
16. “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.” – Nelson Mandela
17. “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” – John F. Kennedy
18. “True leadership lies in guiding others to success. In ensuring that everyone is performing at their best, doing the work they are pledged to do and doing it well.” – Bill Owens
19. “Earn your leadership every day.” – Michael Jordan
20. “Do what you feel in your heart to be right–for you’ll be criticized anyway.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
At American Executive Sedan, we strive to lead by example in everything we do.
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