15 Powerful Quotes On How to Be A Great Leader: Leadership Quotes

What makes a great leader? Below are 15 quotes on leadership, some of which are inspirational quotes by some great leaders of our time.

1. “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way” — John C Maxwell

A great leader has the ability to inspire action through proper guidance and mentorship and uses their knowledge to educate others along the way.

A great leader also practises what they preach by also “going the way”. This means that they usually have good and strong values and they act congruently with what they say they believe in. “Showing the way” implies leadership through edification and not through micro-management.

2. If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader — John Quincy Adams

A great leader is inspirational and motivational. They encourage others to become the best version of themselves. They empower others to become more and believe in themselves.

3. Leadership is about being of service to others, not being served by others. Be a mentor, not a boss — unknown.

Servant leadership is about coming from a place of wanting to add value to others to other people and enrich other people’s lives. This is different to being a boss, where orders are given and there is a clear divide on authority. Being a mentor means to coach others through educating others and authentically edifying their team. A great leader commands respect and does not necessary demand respect.

4. The goal of an effective leader is to recondition your team, to be solution focused and not problem focused. — Unknown

A great leader works towards getting desired outcomes for their team and so must have a positive attitude as well as a logical mind. They should be primarily focused on coming up with solutions to problems rather than the problems when faced with them.

5. A boss creates fear, a leader confidence. A boss fixes blame, a leader corrects mistakes. A boss knows all, a leader asks questions. — Russel Ewing

Bosses usually instruct and manage their team and can usually create fear on others. A leader empowers their team, and understand that effective team work comes from instilling confidence in them. Another difference is that a boss may be authoratitive and blame others whilst a leader will respect others and correct mistakes by saying it in a way that does not belittle them. A boss does not like to take responsibility for any mistakes and may take advantage of their status. A leader, however, asks questions and give respect to others.

6. People buy into the leader before they buy into the vision — John C Maxwell

It’s very true, the saying “people buy into people”. When a leader has good morals and principles as well as a respectable reputation, people will warm to this particular person more naturally. In general, people will more likely do business with someone they know, like and trust.

7. Strong people don’t put others down, they lift them up — Michael P Watson

It is very easy to make one appear superior by putting others down; that’s one way of creating a divide and appearing more significant. Putting others down and making them feel inferior is not effective leadership. On the contrary, a great leader will want to lift others up and bring them out to be the best versions of themselves.

8. A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus — Martin Luther King Jr.

A true leader is not someone that follows the crowd. A true leader creates a following of people that share the same vision that is aligned with their mission and purpose.

9. “Leadership is not wielding authority — it’s empowering people” — Becky Brodin

True leadership is about building other people up and not about controlling and manipulating others to getting what you want. Instead, it’s about developing others from the inside out.

10. “Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it” — Dwight D Eisenhower

Leaders do not force action on others, instead they motivate and instill confidence in others to inspire action. Influence is not carried out through manipulation but inspiration.

11. “You cannot be a leader, and ask other people to follow you, unless you know how to follow too” — Sam Rayburn

Humility is a common trait amongst great leaders and that is what causes others to have respect for them. Great leaders treat others how they wish to be treated; without coming across patronising or arrogant, instead with respect.

12. “People ask the difference between the leader and a boss. The leader leads, and the boss drives” — Theodore Roosevelt

A great leader guides through education and reasoning. A boss simply gets others to fulfill tasks and may treat others as inferior to them. A boss can come across demanding and possibly derogatory at times, and gives out orders and expects people to obey without questioning.

13. “Control is not leadership; management is not leadership; leadership is leadership” — Dee Hock

Leadership is not about micro managing other people or treating others like chess pawns. Intead, leadership is literally leading other people through proper guidance.

14. “A manager says “go”, a leader says “let’s go”.” — John Maxwell

Someone who manages gives orders and expects others to follow. A leader believes in unity and working together to fulfil a mission or a purpose and believes in working together as a team.

15. “If you delegate tasks, you create followers. If you delegate authority, you create leaders”.

A great leader has an abundance mentality and celebrates the successes of others. They believe in creating an opportunity for other people to become leaders too.

What qualities do you think makes a great leader? What does leadership mean to you? Leave a comment below!