Picture a leader in your mind. What qualities come to mind? Someone charismatic? Someone fearless? Someone who tells others what to do? If these are the type of people who come to mind, then it’s time to reassess who you’re following.

True leaders are self-aware, courageous, good communicators, and perhaps most importantly they care about, motivate, and inspire others to lead.

Self-awareness and humility. A leader who recognizes their personal strengths and weaknesses is much better than a self-proclaimed leader who feels they’re always right. Having humility and the grace to admit fault are essential qualities of a true leader.

Courageous. Leaders can’t just go with the crowd, they need to stand up for what is right. They need to deal with conflicts and be able to act with integrity.

Good communicators. Whether using synchronous or asynchronous communication leaders need to know how to express their goals, be empathetic, and motivate their team.

The most defining characteristic of a true leader is that they inspire others to be leaders, to stand for their principles, and to care for others.

Here is a collection of inspiring leadership quotes put together for current leaders and those who aspire to lead.

Quotes About Leadership and How To Be a Good Leader


Bill Bradley quote on leadership


“Leadership is unlocking people’s potential to become better.”

– Bill Bradley


Ralph Nader quote on leadership


“The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.”

– Ralph Nader


Douglas MacArthur quote on leadership


“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


Peter F. Drucker quote on leadership


“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”

– Peter F. Drucker


Diogenes quote on leadership


“Wise leaders generally have wise counselors because it takes a wise person themselves to distinguish them.”

– Diogenes


Vince Lombardi quote on leadership


“Praise in public, criticize in private.”

– Vince Lombardi


Theodore Roosevelt quote on leadership


“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


Robert Louis Stevenson quote on leadership


“Keep your fears to yourself, but share your courage with others.”

– Robert Louis Stevenson


Ronald Reagan quote on leadership


“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


Johann Wolfgang von Goethe quote on leadership


“Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you help them become what they are capable of being.”

– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Andrew Carnegie quote on leadership


“No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself, or to get all the credit for doing it.”

– Andrew Carnegie