One of the most impressive things about all great leaders is their obsession with learning new things about leadership in order improve their team. Luckily, some of the best leaders of all time have left behind some of their brightest lessons to help pass their wisdom forward.
Whether you are leading an Inc. 5000 company, managing a team from the front-lines or just trying to lead your startup better, these quotes can help point you in the right direction or nudge you to make some changes.
I have come to define leadership this way, someone whose actions inspire, empower and serve others to produce an improved state for an extended period of time. Here are some of the best quotes on how to be a better leader aligned with the key ingredients of this definition.
Inspiring others is one of the critical components to effective leadership. The best leaders do this by helping their people reach higher, achieve more, and think bigger. It's possible if you do nothing else but inspire others to go be more than they are today you are fulfilling the basic requirement of leadership.
"The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires" - William Arthur Ward
"We rise by lifting others." - Robert Ingersoll
"Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it's amazing what they can accomplish." - Sam Walton
There is nothing worse than a boss who sucks the life out of their team by having to make every decision and assuming they are the only capable of being in their position. The best leaders do everything possible to empower their people to make decisions and be successful.
"As we look into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others" - Bill Gates
"I start with the premise that the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers." - Ralph Nader
"The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership." - Harvey S. Firestone
At the core of leadership is serving other people. Too often those in positions of leadership get confused as to who is supposed to be serving who. It's the leader who is meant to serve not the other way around.
"The leaders who get the most out of their people are the leaders who care most about their people." - Simon Sinek
"Above all, leadership is a position of servanthood." - Max De Pree
"Servant-leadership is all about making the goals clear and then rolling your sleeves up and doing whatever it takes to help people win. In that situation, they don't work for you, you work for them."- Ken Blanchard
Improve Over Time
At the end of the day, teams and people are meant to achieve things. Ensuring your actions are helping the group get better and have success for a long period of time is critical. Be sure not to forget one simple word, performance.
"Leadership is unlocking people's potential to become better." - Bill Bradley
"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." - Helen Keller
"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader." - John Quincy Adams