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Table of Contents
50 Funny Leadership Quotes
“Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it. Or at least convincing them they do.”
“Being a leader is like being a lady, if you have to tell people you are one, you aren’t.”
“The key to being a good manager is keeping the people who hate you away from those who are still undecided.”
“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way, preferably with a GPS.”
“Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way. Just don’t ask me for directions.”
“The best leaders are like tea bags; you don’t know their strength until they’re in hot water.”
“A leader is someone who can hide their panic from others and their confusion from themselves.”
“Leadership is the art of getting people to want to do what you know must be done. And occasionally doing it yourself.”
“The difference between a boss and a leader: a boss says, ‘Go!’ – a leader says, ‘Let’s go!’ And then wonders why no one is following.”
“My door is always open – so I can hear you complain about me in the break room.”
“Remember the difference between a boss and a leader; a boss says ‘I’ – a leader says ‘We’. And then takes all the credit.”
“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, but not necessarily in that order.”
“In most cases being a good boss means hiring talented people and then getting out of their way. And occasionally bringing donuts.”
“Leadership is doing what is right when no one is watching, and then reminding them about it when they are.”
“I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people and hiding in your office.”
“Management is nothing more than motivating other people – with unpredictable results.”
“You do not lead by hitting people over the head. That’s assault, not leadership.”
“A leader is a dealer in hope, optimism, and occasionally pizza on Fridays.”
“A good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame, a little less than his share of the credit, and all of the office supplies.”
“There are three essentials to leadership: humility, clarity and a lot of coffee.”
“Great leaders are willing to follow. Especially if someone else knows where they are going.”
“The best leader is the one who has sense enough to pick good people to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.”
“Being a leader is like playing chess. You have to plan ahead, think strategically, and avoid getting eaten by the knights.”
“A good leader leads the people from above them. A great leader leads the people from within them. And an extraordinary leader leads the people to the nearest pizza place.”
“Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because you have the office with the best view.”
“A leader is best when people barely know he exists. Especially during performance review season.”
“The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things, but the one who gets people to do the greatest things. And occasionally brings ice cream.”
“Good leaders are like diapers: they need to be changed regularly and for the same reason.”
“Leadership is not about being in charge. It’s about taking care of those in your charge. And hiding the good snacks in your desk.”
“To lead people, walk behind them. And then gently push them in the right direction.”
“A boss creates fear, a leader confidence. A boss fixes blame, a leader corrects mistakes. A boss knows all, a leader asks questions. A boss makes work drudgery, a leader makes it interesting.”
“A good leader is a person who takes a little more than his share of the blame and a little less than his share of the credit, and all of the leftover cake.”
“Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t. Especially if you have to tell them while wearing a power suit.”
“Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes. And by who has the best coffee.”
“The very essence of leadership is that you have to have vision. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet, but you can always use a megaphone.”
“A good leader is a person who isn’t worried about their own career but rather the careers of those who work for them. And who occasionally forgets their coffee order.”
“Leadership is solving problems. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. Also, the day they stop bringing you donuts.”
“The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not a bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; and have a sense of humor, but without folly.”
“Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality through planning, persuasion, and a bit of magic.”
“The art of leadership is saying no, not yes. It is very easy to say yes, especially to free lunches.”
“To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart… and to handle office politics, use your poker face.”
“Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because they want to do it, or at least because they believe it will look good on their performance review.”
“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. Like team-building exercises.”
“The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers. And definitely not more meetings.”
“A great leader’s courage to fulfill his vision comes from passion, not position. And from an endless supply of coffee.”
“You manage things; you lead people. And occasionally, you have to manage to lead people to the nearest exit during fire drills.”
“The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good people to do what he wants done, and self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it. And enough wisdom to hide when things go wrong.”
“Leaders think and talk about the solutions. Followers think and talk about the problems. And everyone thinks about lunch.”
“Leadership is practiced not so much in words as in attitude and in actions. And in knowing where the best coffee is.”
“The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves, and in the quality of the snacks they bring to meetings.”
50 Leadership Proverbs
“A leader without followers is simply a man taking a walk.” – American Proverb
“He who thinks he leads, but has no followers, is only taking a walk.” – Malawian Proverb
“If the leader is filled with high ambition and if he pursues his aims with audacity and strength of will, he will reach them in spite of all obstacles.” – Carl von Clausewitz, Prussian General
“A leader is a dealer in hope.” – Napoleon Bonaparte, French Military Leader
“To add value to others, one must first value others.” – John Maxwell, American Author
“Where there is no vision, the people perish.” – Hebrew Proverb
“A fish rots from the head down.” – Chinese Proverb
“He who cannot be a good follower cannot be a good leader.” – Aristotle, Greek Philosopher
“The best leader is the one who has the sense to choose good people to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.” – Theodore Roosevelt, American President
“A ruler should be slow to punish and swift to reward.” – Ovid, Roman Poet
“Not the cry, but the flight of a wild duck, leads the flock to fly and follow.” – Chinese Proverb
“A wise leader knows when to follow.” – African Proverb
“You cannot push anyone up a ladder unless he is willing to climb a little.” – American Proverb
“A single arrow is easily broken, but not ten in a bundle.” – Japanese Proverb
“When the leader misses the way, the whole clan gets lost.” – African Proverb
“A good leader is a servant and a shepherd.” – Filipino Proverb
“The higher you climb, the heavier you fall.” – Vietnamese Proverb
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” – African Proverb
“Leadership is a privilege to better the lives of others. It is not an opportunity to satisfy personal greed.” – Mwai Kibaki, Kenyan Politician
“A leader who does not take advice is not a leader.” – Kenyan Proverb
“Do not confine your children to your own learning, for they were born in another time.” – Hebrew Proverb
“He who wants to be a leader must be a bridge.” – Welsh Proverb
“The wise leader is like water. Water nourishes without trying.” – Taoist Proverb
“The lion does not turn around when a small dog barks.” – African Proverb
“When the root is strong, the fruit is sweet.” – Bob Marley, Jamaican Singer
“The best leaders are those most interested in surrounding themselves with assistants and associates smarter than they are.” – American Proverb
“A man who uses force is afraid of reasoning.” – Kenyan Proverb
“An army of sheep led by a lion can defeat an army of lions led by a sheep.” – African Proverb
“A good leader leads the people from above them. A great leader leads the people from within them.” – M.D. Arnold, Author
“I start with the premise that the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.” – Ralph Nader, American Political Activist
“If the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.” – English Proverb
“One hand does not tie a bundle.” – Ghanaian Proverb
“A good chief gives, he does not take.” – Mohawk Proverb
“Without a leader, black ants are confused.” – Ugandan Proverb
“The camel never sees its own hump, but that of its brother is always before its eyes.” – Arabian Proverb
“Even the best cooking pot will not produce food.” – African Proverb
“It takes a village to raise a child.” – African Proverb
“The bigger the head, the heavier the burden.” – South African Proverb
“A tree does not move unless there is wind.” – Afghan Proverb
“Leadership involves finding a parade and getting in front of it.” – American Proverb
“No matter how long the night, the day is sure to come.” – African Proverb
“A chief is a man who assumes responsibility. He says ‘I was beaten,’ he does not say ‘My men were beaten.'” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, French Writer
“Leadership is not about titles, positions, or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another.” – John C. Maxwell, American Author
“Every ship needs a captain. The crew is important but the captain steers everything. You need a clear vision to lead.” – American Proverb
“When elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers.” – African Proverb
“A leader is like a shepherd. He stays behind the flock, letting the most nimble go out ahead, whereupon the others follow, not realizing that all along they are being directed from behind.” – Nelson Mandela, South African President
“A good leader can’t get too far ahead of his followers.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt, American President
“To lead people, walk beside them. As for the best leaders, the people do not notice their existence.” – Lao Tzu, Chinese Philosopher
“The spider and the fly can’t make a bargain.” – Jamaican Proverb
“The wise create proverbs for fools to learn, not to repeat.” – African Proverb
Good Leadership Qualities
Good qualities in a leader can vary depending on the context and culture, but certain traits are universally recognized as hallmarks of effective leadership. Here are some of the key qualities:
- Vision: Great leaders have a clear, exciting idea of where they are going and what they are trying to accomplish and are excellent at strategic planning.
- Integrity: Trustworthiness and reliability are crucial. A leader with integrity fosters a sense of fairness and trust among their team members.
- Communication Skills: Effective leaders are good communicators. They are able to clearly and succinctly explain to their employees everything from organizational goals to specific tasks.
- Empathy: Leaders should be able to put themselves in the shoes of others, understand their concerns and needs, and respond appropriately.
- Emotional Intelligence: The ability to understand and manage your own emotions, and those of the people around you, is important. People with a high degree of emotional intelligence know what they’re feeling, what their emotions mean, and how these emotions can affect other people.
- Confidence: To lead and inspire others, a leader needs to be confident in themselves and their decisions.
- Inspiration: Leaders should inspire enthusiasm and motivate their team to achieve great things.
- Humility: Good leaders don’t let success go to their heads and recognize that they are no better or worse than other members of the team.
- Adaptability and Flexibility: The ability to switch gears when the context calls for it and to adapt to changing circumstances is a key leadership quality.
- Decisiveness: A leader must be able to make decisions promptly and confidently.
- Accountability: Good leaders take responsibility for their actions and encourage their team to do the same. This builds a sense of responsibility among the team members and increases their commitment to the tasks.
- Empowerment and Delegation: Effective leaders empower others by offering them opportunities to excel and grow. They delegate tasks effectively and trust their team to perform.
- Innovation and Creativity: Encouraging innovation and creativity can help in problem-solving and in finding new and better ways to achieve goals.
- Resilience: The ability to recover from setbacks, adapt well to change, and keep going in the face of adversity.
- Patience: In dealing with different situations and outcomes, patience is a virtue that can greatly benefit a leader.
- Passion and Commitment: A strong passion for the work and a commitment to achieving the goals of the organization can be infectious and inspire those around a leader.
- Respect for Others: Treating all team members with respect and fairness; recognizing the value and contribution of each person.
- Continuous Learning: A great leader never stops learning. They are always open to new ideas and new ways of thinking.
These qualities, when combined, help create a leader who can effectively guide and inspire their team, navigate challenges, and achieve their goals while maintaining a positive and ethical workplace environment.
“Leadership is not about titles, positions, or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another.” – John C. Maxwell
“The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets people to do the greatest things.” – Ronald Reagan
“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” – Peter F. Drucker
“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” – John C. Maxwell
“Leadership is the art of giving people a platform for spreading ideas that work.” – Seth Godin
“The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves.” – Ray Kroc
“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” – Steve Jobs
“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“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
“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” – John F. Kennedy
“A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
“To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
“Become the kind of leader that people would follow voluntarily; even if you had no title or position.” – Brian Tracy
“The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” – Alan Kay
“Leadership is an action, not a position.” – Donald McGannon
“Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” – Warren Bennis
“The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.” – Ralph Nader
“A great person attracts great people and knows how to hold them together.” – Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
“The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not a bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly.” – Jim Rohn
“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.” – Douglas MacArthur
You might be interested in reading: 200+ Proverbs About Money (Idioms, Quotes, Sayings For Money Lovers) (wishesocean.com)
Read more quotes about leadership here: 100 Best Quotes On Leadership (forbes.com)