Leadership Sayings and Quotes

Below you will find our collection of inspirational, wise, and humorous old leadership quotes, leadership sayings, and leadership proverbs, collected over the years from a variety of sources.

A gentle hand may lead even an elephant by a hair.

Iranian (on leadership)

A great one must have a long heart.     

Ethiopian (on leadership)

A ruler must sometimes humor as well as command.      


An army of a thousand is easy to find but ah how difficult to find a general.      

Chinese Proverb>

Even the largest army is nothing without a good general.

Afghan (on leadership)

Great chiefs prove their worthiness.      

Seneca Proverb

He that cannot obey, cannot command.      

Ben Franklin (1706-1790)

He who rules must fully humor as much as he commands.      

George Eliot (1819-1880)

If the townspeople are happy, look to the chief.     

Liberian (on leadership)

If you can't serve, you can't rule.     

Bulgarian (on leadership)

In the country of the blind, the one

man is king. - Desiderius Erasmus (1465-1536)

Masterly retreat is in itself a victory.      

Norman Vincent Peale (1898-1993)

One man can make a difference.      


Take the bull by the horns.      

North American Saying

The good will of the governed will be starved if not fed by the good deeds of the governors.      

Ben Franklin (1706-1790)

The hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world.      

William Ross Wallace (1819-1881)

The higher the monkey climbs, the more he shows his tail.      

John Wycliffe (c.1320-1384) alternate source:Belizean (on leadership)

The master of the people is their servant.

Yemeni (on leadership)

Whatever the boss says goes.      


When money speaks, truth keeps silent.     

Russian (on money)

When we think we lead, we are most led.      

Henry James Byron (1834-1884)

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

John Quincy Adams

To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.

Eleanor Roosevelt

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

Never give an order that can't be obeyed.

General Douglas MacArthur

Don't tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.

George Patton

Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.     

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.     

Albert Schweiter

You do not lead by hitting people over the head. That's assault, not leadership.     

Dwight Eisenhower

Leaders must be close enough to relate to others, but far enough ahead to motivate them.

John C. Maxwell