Leadership and Management
10 Great Leadership Quotes
Down the centuries there have been many great quotations on leadership. These have come from a variety of sources including political leaders, business CEO’s, philosophers, leadership writers and academics. Selecting a list of only 10 is therefore a somewhat arbitrary exercise, as we could have listed well over a thousand and maintained a very high level of quality in so doing. However, in the list of 10 below is not only a wide variety of reflections on leadership but a range of insights that are expressed in an incredibly pithy and memorable way. Of course, the one quote from each person listed is not all that the particular person said about the subject of leadership in many cases. You can therefore find out more than the short biography on each individual by clicking on their name and going to a hyperlink which will tell you more about them and their wider thinking.
1. Lao Tzu (Lived between 600 and 300 B.C.E)
The Philosopher Lao Tzu encouraged his followers to observe, and seek to understand the laws of nature; to develop intuition and build up personal power; and to use that power to lead life with love, and without force.
2. Winston Churchill (1874–1965)
British Conservative politician and visionary UK Prime Minister known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. Widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century.
3. Peter Drucker (1909–2005)
Prolific author on leadership and management issues – often called the father of management thinking.
4. John F. Kennedy (1917–1963)
Visionary President of the US who was assassinated in 1963. Mainly remembered for galvanizing America’s space exploration and the mission to land on the moon.
5. Max Depree (1924–Present)
CEO and author, Depree led the Herman Miller furniture organization for many years and subsequently wrote about his leadership philosophy.
6. Warren Bennis (1925–Present)
Academic and author, Bennis is Distinguished Professor of Business Administration and Founding Chairman of The Leadership Institute at USC.
7. Jack Welch (1935–Present)
John Francis “Jack” Welch, Jr. is an American chemical engineer, business executive, and author. He was Chairman and CEO of General Electric between 1981 and 2001.
8. Rosabeth Moss Kanter (1943–Present)
Academic and author, Rosabeth Moss Kanter is a tenured professor in business at Harvard Business School. She specializes in strategy, innovation, and leadership for change.
9. John C. Maxwell (1947–Present)
Prolific leadership author, Maxwell is also an evangelical Christian writer, speaker, and pastor.
10. Ricardo Semler (1959–Present)
CEO of Semco in Brazil who wrote several books subsequently including his best-seller, “Maverick.”