Through the years, philosophers, scholars and management consultants have attempted to describe the ingredients of good leadership.
Is there a recipe you can follow?
Or are you born a leader?
The low expectations for leaders of all types — business, non-profit, political and religious — shared by participants in Ketchum’s Leadership Communication Monitor, might discourage some.
After all, the survey not only found a wide gap between participants’ expectations and how leaders delivered against those expectations. It also captured participants’ expectations for worsening leadership in 2012.
Pursuing leadership excellence
So, to inspire current and prospective leaders in their continued pursuit of leadership excellence, I thought I’d share 11 quotes from big thinkers to start the weekend with a positive tone. May they reinforce your optimism in the face of leadership challenges!
- “Becoming a leader is synonymous with becoming yourself. It is precisely that simple, and it is also that difficult.” Warren Bennis, American scholar, organizational consultant and author
- “A great leader’s courage to fulfill his vision comes from passion, not position.” John Maxwell, American entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker
- “A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be.” Rosalynn Carter, First Lady of the United States from 1977 to 1981
- “It’s one of the characteristics of a leader that he not doubt for one moment the capacity of the people he’s leading to realize whatever he’s dreaming.” Benjamin Zander, conductor, teacher and motivational speaker
- “If you hire people just because they can do a job, they’ll work for your money. But if you hire people who believe what you believe, they’ll work for you with blood and sweat and tears.” Simon Sinek, author, marketing consultant and motivational speaker
- “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” John Quincy Adams, 6th U.S. President
- “The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office.” Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th U.S. President
- “Leadership should be born out of the understanding of the needs of those who would be affected by it.” Marian Anderson, singer, artist and humanitarian
- “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”
Peter F. Drucker, writer and management consultant
- “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
Aristotle, Greek philosopher
- “There’s something unique and different that makes a leader, and it’s not about creativity or courage or integrity…. A leader’s job is to rally people toward a better future.” Marcus Buckingham, author, motivational speaker and business consultant
Now it’s your turn
Is there a leadership quote that inspires you? Do you think leaders are born or developed?
You might also enjoy A Communications Resource and Eight Tips for Memorable Leadership