The 4th of July means more than great Carolina BBQ, fireworks, and spending time with friends and family. For me the 4th is a celebration of American leadership. No matter your political beliefs it's hard to dispute that the United States is a leader in the world. As Ronald Reagan said, we cannot escape our destiny, nor should we try to do so. The leadership of the free world was thrust upon us two centuries ago in that little hall of Philadelphia. In the days following World War II, when the economic strength and power of America was all that stood between the world and the return to the dark ages, Pope Pius XII said, 'The American people have a great genius for splendid and unselfish actions. Into the hands of America God has placed the destinies of an afflicted mankind.' So in honor of the 4th I've put together 25 quotes from Americans on leadership.
What makes a leader:
"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader." -John Quincy Adams
"A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way." -John C. Maxwell "Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower." -Steve Jobs
"Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality." -Warren Bennis
"A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus." -Martin Luther King, Jr.
"Leadership is about taking responsibility, not making excuses." -Mitt Romney
How to become a leader:
"Today a reader, tomorrow a leader." -Margaret Fuller "Think little goals and expect little achievements. Think big goals and win big success." -David Joseph Schwartz
"If a window of opportunity appears, don't pull down the shade." -Tom Peters "Be careful the environment you choose because it will shape you; be careful the friends you choose because you will become like them." -W. Clement Stone
"Our business in life is not to get ahead of others, but to get ahead of ourselves." -E. Joseph Cossman "To succeed, one must be creative and persistent." -John H. Johnson
"If you care enough for a result, you will most certainly attain it." -William James
The difference between leadership and management:
"People ask the difference between a leader and a boss. The leader leads, and the boss drives." -Theodore Roosevelt "Management is about arranging and telling. Leadership is about nurturing and enhancing." -Tom Peters
"Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things." -Peter Drucker
Leaders and the led:
"You're only as good as the people you hire." -Ray Kroc
"You have to lead people gently toward what they already know is right." -Phil Crosby "If you command wisely, you'll be obeyed cheerfully." -Thomas Fuller
"Good leadership consists of showing average people how to do the work of superior people." -John D Rockefeller
"The speed of the leader is the speed of the gang." -Mary Kay Ash
"It is better to have a lion at the head of an army of sheep, than a sheep at the head of an army of lions." -Daniel Defoe
Leading through adversity:
"Leaders grasp nettles." -David Ogilvy "Problems are only opportunities in work clothes." -Henry J. Kaiser
"The amount of good luck coming your way depends on your willingness to act." -Barbara Sher
"There are three secrets to [leading]. The first secret is have patience. The second is be patient. And the third most important secret is patience." -Chuck Tanner Have a happy 4th and enjoy that BBQ.
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