Laura Berlinsky-Schine
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Realizing your vision is tough work. Motivating others to share your dream is even harder.

A good leader not only inspires her team; she also inspires the world. Learning what it takes to be a great leader is a process that requires courage—the courage to realize other people's potential and want them to have personal success in life as much as you want success in your own life. You need to be willing to share the limelight and celebrate the hard work and dreams of others.

How do we learn how to be a good leader? How can we help others achieve their dreams while advancing our own goals? Fortunately for us, many great leaders have shared—and continue to impart—their wisdom through inspirational and motivational quotes.

Here are 51 great quotes by 51 great leaders. May they inspire you to lead with passion, courage, and strength, find long-term success, and realize your vision.

1. "Don't waste your energy trying to educate or change opinions; go over, under, through, and opinions will change organically when you're the boss. Or they won't. Who cares? Do your thing, and don't care if they like it."—Tina Fey

2. "Power isn't control at all—power is strength, and giving that strength to others. A leader isn't someone who forces others to make him stronger; a leader is someone willing to give his strength to others that they may have the strength to stand on their own."—Beth Revis

3. “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” —Maya Angelou

4. “Leadership should be more participative than directive, more enabling than performing.”—Mary D. Poole

5. "Leadership is the ability to guide others without force into a direction or decision that leaves them still feeling empowered and accomplished."—Lisa Cash Hanson

6. "Leadership is not a person or a position. It is a complex moral relationship between people based on trust, obligation, commitment, emotion, and a shared vision of the good."—Joanne Ciulla

7. "Ninety percent of leadership is the ability to communicate something people want."—Dianne Feinstein

8. "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

9. "I believe in a quiet, strong and grounded leadership. I think some of the best leaders are those whose work is widely known and respected but who, themselves, are relatively unknown."—Rachael Chong

10. "Without passion, a person will have very little influence as a leader."—Michele Payn-Knoper

11. "One bad day from one member of my staff doesn’t mean they are not really good at their jobs the rest of the time. I play a long game in terms of management."—Helen McCabe

12. “I don’t go by the rule book. I lead from the heart, not the head.”—Diana Spencer, Princess of Wales

13. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”—Margaret Mead

14. "Women are leaders everywhere you go, from the CEO who runs a Fortune 500 company to the housewife who raises her children and heads her household. Our country was built by strong women, and we will continue to breakdown walls and defy stereotypes."—Nancy Pelosi

15. “Good leaders organize and align people around what the team needs to do. Great leaders motivate and inspire people with why they’re doing it. That’s purpose. And that’s the key to achieving something truly transformational.”—Marillyn Hewson

16. "Women lead in different ways. Women rarely feel the need to speak the most at a meeting to make their point."—Patricia Bellinger

17. “I just love bossy women. I could be around them all day. To me, bossy is not a pejorative term at all. It means somebody’s passionate and engaged and ambitious and doesn’t mind leading.”—Amy Poehler

18. "Do you know that one of the great problems of our age is that we are governed by people who care more about feelings than they do about thoughts and ideas?"—Margaret Thatcher

19. "We're here for a reason. I believe a bit of the reason is to throw little torches out to lead people through the dark."—Whoopi Goldberg

20. “Our emerging workforce is not interested in command and control leadership. They don’t want to do things because I said so, they want to do things because they want to do them.”—Irene Rosenfield

21. "Leadership is a two-way street, loyalty up and loyalty down. Respect for one's superiors; care for one's crew."—Grace Hopper

22. “Leaders are not just born. Sure, some people are born with strong competencies and strengths for leading in certain situations, but it is very clear that leadership can also be developed. That means everyone can strengthen their skills and abilities to lead and influence.”—Dr. Susan Madsen

23. “Leadership is not about men in suits. It is a way of life for those who know who they are and are willing to be their best to create the life they want to live.”—Kathleen Schafer

24. “Success isn’t about how much money you make; it’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.”—Michelle Obama

25. “I am big on quotes. I love quotes and mantras because they are reminders of what I believe in. I like a phrase that is simple but powerful. I always tell everyone to ‘Go for It.'”—Aixa G. Lopez

26. “Leadership is not a person or a position. It is a complex moral relationship between people based on trust, obligation, commitment, emotion, and a shared vision of the good.”—Joanne Ciulla

27. “I am nice. There’s not such a thing as ‘too nice.’ But my expectations are high, and people do rise to my expectations. I don’t manage based on fear. I manage based on expectations.”—Marjorie Kaplan

28. "Strategic leaders must not get consumed by the operational and tactical side of their work. They have a duty to find time to shape the future."—Stephanie S. Mead

29. "I believe in a quiet, strong and grounded leadership. I think some of the best leaders are those whose work is widely known and respected but who, themselves, are relatively unknown."—Rachael Chong

30. "As a leader, it's a major responsibility on your shoulders to practice the behavior you want others to follow."—Himanshu Bhatia

31. "Find the smartest people you can and surround yourself with them."—Marissa Meyer

32. "True leadership stems from individuality that is honestly and sometimes imperfectly expressed....Leaders should strive for authenticity over perfection."—Sheryl Sandberg

33. "Your job as leader is to stay as close in touch as possible with those closest to the action."—Kat Cole

34. "Leadership is the ability to guide others without force into a direction or decision that leaves them still feeling empowered and accomplished."—Lisa Cash Hanson

35. "The only safe ship in a storm is leadership."—Faye Wattleton

36. “'Restore connection’ is not just for devices, it is for people too. If we cannot disconnect, we cannot lead. Creating the culture of burnout is opposite to creating a culture of sustainable creativity. This is something that needs to be taught in business schools. This mentality needs to be introduced as a leadership and performance-enhancing tool.”—Arianna Huffington

37. “If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then, you are an excellent leader.”—Dolly Parton

38. “The way to achieve your own success is to be willing to help somebody else get it first.”—Iyanla Vanzant

39. "Just because you are CEO, don't think you have landed. You must continually increase your learning, the way you think, and the way you approach the organization."—Indra Nooyi

40. "Seeing what is wrong and how it could be made right propels us into action, but in that action we often leave other people behind and don't give ourselves enough time to be present, or to stop and reflect. Leaders have to get comfortable with pausing in that uncomfortable gap."—Jessica Lawrence

41. "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."—Anita Roddick

42. “As a leader, it’s a major responsibility on your shoulders to practice the behavior you want others to follow."—Himanshu Bhatia

43. "To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart."—Eleanor Roosevelt

44. “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the water to create many ripples.”—Mother Teresa

45. "One of the most important things for any leader is to never let anyone else define who you are. And you define who you are. I never think of myself as being a woman CEO of this company. I think of myself as a steward of a great institution."—Ginni Rometty

46. "I know of no single formula for success. But over the years I have observed that some attributes of leadership are universal and are often about finding ways of encouraging people to combine their efforts, their talents, their insights, their enthusiasm and their inspiration to work together."—Queen Elizabeth II

47. "The important thing is to always ask the world to do some things. But sometimes they cannot be done, so you have to take a stab, and you have to do them."—Malala Yousafzai

48. “Leadership is a series of behaviors rather than a role for heroes.”—Margaret Wheatley

49. “My father had a simple test that helps me measure my own leadership quotient: When you are out of the office, he once asked me, does your staff carry on remarkable well without you?"—Martha Peak

50. "I think leadership is service and there is power in that giving: to help people, to inspire and motivate them to reach their fullest potential."—Denise Morrison

51. "Cultivate a network of trusted mentors and colleagues. Other people can give us the best insight into ourselves—and our own limitations. We must have the courage to ask for help and to request feedback to expand our vision of what's possible.”—Maria Castañón Moats

Feel motivated yet? Hopefully, these inspirational leadership quotes have revved you up for your team's next great adventure—and given you some inspiration to find long-term success.

About the Career Expert:

 Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a freelance writer and editor based in Brooklyn with her demigod/lab mix Hercules. She specializes in education, technology and career development. She also writes satire and humor, which has appeared in Points in Case, Little Old Lady Comedy, Jane Austen’s Wastebasket and The Haven.

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