In an era of high-profile sexual harassment allegations and data-privacy scandals, it's evident this country is faced with a leadership crisis. Question is, how do we go about swiftly challenging the pervasive status quo?
The solution has always been quite simple. It should be every organization's top priority to identify and place true leaders -- the kind whereby others will believe in and willingly follow -- into influential roles where their character and moral authority are displayed in full view.
31 quotes to inspire and reimagine the essence of true leadership
Perhaps we can start here by painting a picture of what true leadership looks like, as described by great leaders past and present.
Robert K. Greenleaf: "The first and most important choice a leader makes is the choice to serve, without which one's capacity to lead is severely limited."
Sheryl Sandberg: "Motivation comes from working on things we care about. It also comes from working with people we care about."
James M. Strock: "In the wired world of the 21st century, advancing shared values creates value."
Zig Ziglar: "You can have anything you want in life if you just help enough other people get what they want."
Winston Churchill: "We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give."
Sara Blakely: "Don't be intimidated by what you don't know. That can be your greatest strength and ensure that you do things differently from everyone else."
Warren Buffett: "It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently."
Steve Jobs: "Technology is nothing. What's important is that you have a faith in people, that they're basically good and smart, and if you give them tools, they'll do wonderful things with them."
Lisa Cash Hanson: "Leadership is the ability to guide others without force into a direction or decision that leaves them still feeling empowered and accomplished."
Doug Conant: "To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace."
Sheryl Sandberg: "True leadership stems from individuality that is honestly and sometimes imperfectly expressed... Leaders should strive for authenticity over perfection."
Richard Branson: "From my very first day as an entrepreneur, I've felt the only mission worth pursuing in business is to make people's lives better."
John Hancock: "The greatest ability in business is to get along with others and influence their actions."
Ginni Rometty: "I learned to always take on things I'd never done before. Growth and comfort do not coexist."
Simon Sinek: "When people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute."
Anita Roddick: "What I have learned is that people become motivated when you guide them to the source of their own power and when you make heroes out of employees who personify what you want to see in the organization."
Tony Hsieh: "We must all learn not only to not fear change, but to embrace it enthusiastically and, perhaps even more important, encourage and drive it.
Stephen R. Covey: "When you listen with empathy to another person, you give that person psychological air."
Sheila Murray Bethel: "If leadership serves only the leader, it will fail. Ego satisfaction, financial gain, and status can all be valuable tools for a leader, but if they become the only motivations, they will eventually destroy a leader. Only when service for a common good is the primary purpose are you truly leading."
Sam Walton: "Appreciate everything your associates do for the business. Nothing else can quite substitute for a few well-chosen, well-timed, sincere words of praise. They're absolutely free and worth a fortune."
Kat Cole: "Your job as leader is to stay as close in touch as possible with those closest to the action."
Phil Jackson: "The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team."
Bob Kelleher: "Some companies don't have an engagement problem, they have a hiring problem."
John C. Maxwell: "People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care."
Warren Buffett: "The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything."
Indra Nooyi: "If you don't give people a chance to fail, you won't innovate. If you want to be an innovative company, allow people to make mistakes."
Benjamin Franklin: "Whatever is begun in anger, ends in shame."
Steve Jobs: "It doesn't make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do."
John Wooden: "Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are."
Lao Tzu: "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."