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This is the talk page for discussing improvements to the Leadership page.

This page is no longer linked to from the Themes page. --Dylanmathews 00:13, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

duplicate quote[edit]

"Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." This quote appears twice on the leadership page. It is sourced as both Ralph Waldo Emerson and Muriel Strode. It shouldn't be both, should it?

Preliminary indications are that though it has been commonly attributed to Emerson neither attribution can be substantiated. I will probably try to hunt down more on this within the next day or so, but it seems to be a common saying without any verifiable source. ~ Kalki 00:02, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

Another duplicate quote:

Under the session "Influence":

"A leader is best when people barely know he exists; Not so good when people obey and acclaim him; worst when they dispise him. but a good leader who falks little when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say "We did it our selves!" Lao-zi"

is duplicated to "Lao Tsu"'s in the session "Miscellaneous".


After alphabetization of quotes by cited author so as to minimize duplication, and sourcing a few which seemed most relevant and prominent, these were removed from the article as having no source citations, and not all of them even seem entirely on topic, or of notable authorship. Published sources should be provided before moving these back into the article
  • Leadership should be born out of the understanding of the needs of those who would be affected by it.
  • Managers are people who do things right, while leaders are people who do the right thing.
  • I used to think that running an organization was equivalent to conducting a symphony orchestra. But I don't think that's quite it; it's more like jazz. There is more improvisation.
  • The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.
  • To lead, you must be followable. To follow, you must be leadable. To be neither, just be nothing.
    • Bunch & Breeze
  • And when we think we lead, we are most led.
  • 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.
  • Self leadership is the courage to face the challenge between success and right now
    • W. Chalklen (2008)
  • It is important that an aim never be defined in terms of activity or methods. It must always relate directly to how life is better for everyone. . . . The aim of the system must be clear to everyone in the system. The aim must include plans for the future. The aim is a value judgment.
  • The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you.
  • A friend of mine characterizes leaders simply like this: "Leaders don't inflict pain. They bear pain."
  • Give people a convincing reason and they will lay down their very lives.
  • Probably my best quality as a coach is that I ask a lot of challenging questions and let the person come up with the answer.
  • Most of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to get their jobs done.
  • Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes... but no plans.
  • Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with the important matters.
  • If you think you can do a thing or that you cannot do a thing, in either case you are right.
  • To put up with. . . distortions and to stick to one's guns come what may — this is the. . . gift of leadership. (Abridged)
  • Leadership is practiced not so much in words as in attitude and in actions.
  • Uncertainty will always be part of the taking charge process.
  • When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost.
  • Leadership is a quality of those who earn the respect of others through the wisdom of the combination of their words and their actions.
  • We know not where our dreams will take us, but we can probably see quite clearly where we'll go without them.
  • Leadership in today's world requires far more than a large stock of gunboats and a hard fist at the conference table.
  • Leadership has a harder job to do than just choose sides. It must bring sides together.
  • What is character but the determination of incident, what is incident but the illustration of character?
  • The only real training for leadership is leadership.
  • In matters of style, swim with the current; In matters of principle, stand like a rock.
  • The trouble is, if you don't risk anything, you risk even more.
  • The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been.
  • The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves.
  • Leadership consists not in degrees of technique but in traits of character; it requires moral rather than athletic or intellectual effort, and it imposes on both leader and follower alike the burdens of self-restraint.
  • Most of the ladies and gentlemen who mourn the passing of the nation's leaders wouldn't know a leader if they saw one. If they had the bad luck to come across a leader, they would find out that he might demand something from them, and this impertinence would put an abrupt and indignant end to their wish for his return.
  • Nearly all men can withstand adversity. If you truly want to test a man's character, give him power.
  • There is no such thing as a perfect leader either in the past or present, in China or elsewhere. If there is one, he is only pretending, like a pig inserting scallions into its nose in an effort to look like an elephant.
  • The very essence of leadership is its purpose. And the purpose of leadership is to accomplish a task. That is what leadership does — and what it does is more important than what it is or how it works.
  • The most important quality in a leader is that of being acknowledged as such.
  • When what you are doing isn't working, you tend to do more of the same and with greater intensity.
    • Dr. Bill Maynard & Tom Champoux Heart, Soul and Spirit
  • Managers think about today. Leaders think about tomorrow.
  • Leadership is about capacity: the capacity of leaders to listen and observe, to use their expertise as a starting point to encourage dialogue between all levels of decision-making, to establish processes and transparency in decision-making, to articulate their own values and visions clearly but not impose them. Leadership is about setting and not just reacting to agendas, identifying problems, and initiating change that makes for substantive improvement rather than managing change.
  • The real leader has no need to lead — he is content to point the way.
  • I start with the premise that the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers
  • In war, three quarters turns on personal character and relations; the balance of manpower and materials counts only for the remaining quarter.
  • If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulder of giants.
  • Effective leadership does not emerge where the righteous proves his righteousness by standing alone; it occurs where the righteous is able to work with others for attainment of common goals
  • One measure of leadership is the caliber of people who choose to follow you.
  • Lead and inspire people. Don't try to manage and manipulate people. Inventories can be managed but people must be led.
  • A competent leader can get efficient service from poor troops, while on the contrary an incapable leader can demoralize the best of troops.
  • If you're confused, you're paying attention.
  • You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing that we call 'failure' is not the falling down, but the staying down.
  • Leadership is solving problems. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help or concluded you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership.
  • Think of managing change as an adventure. It tests your skills and abilities. It brings forth talent that may have been dormant. Change is also a training ground for leadership. When we think of leaders, we remember times of change, innovation and conflict. Leadership is often about shaping a new way of life. To do that, you must advance change, take risks and accept responsibility for making change happen.
  • Leadership is a performing art; the instrument is the self.
  • You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.
  • People ask the difference between a leader and a boss. . . . The leader works in the open, and the boss is covert. The leader leads, and the boss drives.
  • There is no contest between the company that buys the grudging compliance of its work force and the company that enjoys the enterprising participation of its employees.
  • If I were to say a few words, I'd be a better public speaker.
  • If leadership is an art, then leaders are the artists, organizations are the easel, people are the canvas, ideas are the pigment, values are the frame, and vision is the thing that's hung up at the gallery--the final outcome that's so magical it tempts the audience to forget the messy process by which the result is fashioned, and lures them into a state of awe.
  • In the face of adversity and personal pain, we continue to strive to achieve our ideals... to provide comfort and hope to those we care about... by converting our collective hopes, dreams and aspirations into reality.
  • A good leader directs the path to success and let his followers use their own skills and knowledge in achieving it.
  • Remember that it is far better to follow well than to lead indifferently.
  • Fortune sides with he who dares.
  • Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.


  • A clear vision is usually assumed and rarely communicated.
  • Leaders manage change. Managers control process.
  • To expect innovation without support is hallucination.