An aphorism is nothing else but the slightest
form of writing raised to the highest level of expressive communication. Carl William Brown





Leadership is a matter of having people look at you and gain confidence, seeing how you react. If you're in control, they're in control.


Tom Landry (1924-, American football player, coach)


A leader is best when people barely know he exists, not so good when people obey and acclaim him, worse when they despise him. But of a good leader who talks little when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: We did it ourselves.


Lao-Tzu (BC 600-?, Chinese philosopher, founder of Taoism)


I have three precious things which I hold fast and prize. The first is gentleness; the second is frugality; the third is humility, which keeps me from putting myself before others. Be gentle and you can be bold; be frugal and you can be liberal; avoid putting yourself before others and you can become a leader among men.


Lao-Tzu (BC 600-?, Chinese philosopher, founder of Taoism)


The wicked leader is he who the people despise. The good leader is he who the people revere. The great leader is he who the people say, We did it ourselves.


Lao-Tzu (BC 600-?, Chinese philosopher, founder of Taoism)


To lead people walk behind them.


Lao-Tzu (BC 600-?, Chinese philosopher, founder of Taoism)


When the best leader's work is done the people say, "We did it ourselves."


Lao-Tzu (BC 600-?, Chinese philosopher, founder of Taoism)


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.


Lewis H. Lapham (1935-, American essayist, editor)


Leaders don't force people to follow -- they invite them on a journey.


Charles S. Lauer


A leader has the vision and conviction that a dream can be achieved. He inspires the power and energy to get it done.


Ralph Lauren (1939-, American designer)


I'm their leader, I've got to follow them.


Alexandre Ledru-Rollin


The real leader has no need to lead -- he is content to point the way.


Henry Miller (1891-1980, American author)


Public sentiment is everything, without it nothing can fail, without it nothing can succeed.


Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865, American President (16th))


It is a characteristic of all movements and crusades that the psychopathic element rises to the top.


Robert Lindner


The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind him in other men the conviction and the will to carry on.


Walter Lippmann (1889-1974, American journalist)


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.


Shao-Chi Liu (1898-1959, Chinese leader)


Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.


Vince Lombardi (1913-1970, American football coach)


Leaders aren't born, they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work. And that's the price we'll have to pay to achieve that goal, or any goal.


Vince Lombardi (1913-1970, American football coach)


The leader can never close the gap between himself and the group. If he does, he is no longer what he must be. He must walk a tightrope between the consent he must win and the control he must exert.


Vince Lombardi (1913-1970, American football coach)


Some men must follow, and some command, though all are made of clay.


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1819-1892, American poet)


The speed of the leader determines the rate of the pack.


Wayne Lukas


Men shrink less from offending one who inspires love than one who inspires fear.


Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527, Italian author, statesman)


Men shrink less from offending one who inspires love than one who inspires fear.


Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527, Italian author, statesman)


There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.


Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527, Italian author, statesman)


Popularity is not leadership.


Richard Marcinko (1940-, American business author)


Leadership is the other side of the coin of loneliness, and he who is a leader must always act alone. And acting alone, accept everything alone.


Ferdinand E. Marcos (1917-1989, Philippine President)


He is the richest man who enriches his country most; in whom the people feel richest and proudest; who gives himself with his money; who opens the doors of opportunity widest to those about him; who is ears to the deaf; eyes to the blind, and feet to the lame. Such a man makes every acre of land in his community worth more, and makes richer every man who lives near him.


Orison Swett Marden (1850-1924, American author, founder of Success Magazine)


The most important quality in a leader is that of being acknowledged as such.


Andre Maurois (1885-1967, French writer)


A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.


John C. Maxwell


A leader who doesn't hesitate before he sends his nation into battle is not fit to be a leader.


Golda Meir (1898-1978, Israeli Prime Minister, 1969-74)


That is no use at all. What I want is men who will support me when I am in the wrong.


Lord Melbourne (1779-1848, British statesman, Prime Minister)


Wherever I sit is the head of the table.


H. L. Mencken (1880-1956, American editor, author, critic, humorist)


A crown, golden in show is but a wreath of thorns.


John Milton (1608-1674, British poet)


Impatience is the cause of most of our irregularities and extravagances. Command by obeying.




The wealth of kings is in the affections of their subjects.




Leadership involves finding a parade and getting in front of it.


John Naisbitt (American trend analyst, futurist, author)


To be a leader, you have to make people want to follow you, and nobody wants to follow someone who doesn't know where he is going.


Joe Namath (1943-, American football player)


Show me the leader and I will know his men. Show me the men and I will know their leader.


Arthur W. Newcomb


I don't think that a leader can control to any great extent his destiny. Very seldom can he step in and change the situation if the forces of history are running in another direction.


Richard M. Nixon (1913-1994, American President (37th))


Leadership must be established from the top down.


Sam Nunn


It's important for the explorer to be willing to be led astray.


Roger Von Oech


The high sentiments always win in the end, the leaders who offer blood, toil, tears, and sweat always get more out of their followers than those who offer safety and a good time. When it comes to the pinch, human beings are heroic.


George Orwell (1903-1950, British author, "Animal Farm")


A prince should be slow to punish, and quick to reward.


Ovid (BC 43-18 AD, Roman poet)


Leadership appears to be the art of getting others to want to do something you are convinced should be done.


Vance Packard (1914-1996, American journalist, writer)


To be a leader, you must stand for something, or you will fall for anything.


Anthony Pagano


You can lead a horticulture but you can't make her think.


Dorothy Parker (1893-1967, American humorous writer)


The best leaders are those most interested in surrounding themselves with assistants and associates smarter than they are. They are frank in admitting this and are willing to pay for such talents.


Amos Parrish


We herd sheep, we drive cattle, we lead people. Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way.


George S. Patton (1885-1945, American army general during World War II)


Eagles don't flock, you have to find them one at a time.


H. Ross Perot (1930-, American businessman, founder of EDS)


Management is about arranging and telling. Leadership is about nurturing and enhancing.


Thomas J. Peters (1942-, American management consultant, author, lecturer)


The best leaders... almost without exception and at every level, are master users of stories and symbols.


Thomas J. Peters (1942-, American management consultant, author, lecturer)


Leadership should be more participative than directive, more enabling than performing.


Mary D. Poole


It often happens that I wake up at night and begin to think about a serious problem and decide I must tell the Pope about it. Then I wake up completely and remember that I am the Pope.


Pope John XXIII (1881-1963, Italian head of Roman Catholic order)


No organization is stronger than the quality of its leadership, or ever extends its constituency far beyond the degree to which its leadership is representative.


Edgar D. Powell


Example is the greatest of all seducers.


French Proverb (Sayings of French origin)


When a blind man bears the standard, pity those who follow.


French Proverb (Sayings of French origin)


Those that rule must hear and be deaf, must see and be blind.


German Proverb (Sayings of German origin)


Never do that by proxy which you can do yourself.


Italian Proverb (Sayings of Italian origin)


The right man comes at the right time.


Italian Proverb (Sayings of Italian origin)


You cannot be a leader, and ask other people to follow you, unless you know how to follow, too.


Sam Rayburn (1882-1961, American representative)


The ability to deal with people is as purchasable a commodity as sugar or coffee and I will pay more for that ability than for any other under the sun.


John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937, American industrialist, philanthropist, founder Exxon)


A good objective of leadership is to help those who are doing poorly to do well and to help those who are doing well to do even better.


Jim Rohn (American businessman, author, speaker, philosopher)

Author's website:


The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly.


Jim Rohn (American businessman, author, speaker, philosopher)

Author's website:


Perhaps in His wisdom the Almighty is trying to show us that a leader may chart the way, may point out the road to lasting peace, but that many leaders and many peoples must do the building.


Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962, American First Lady, columnist, lecturer, humanitarian)


Our true destiny is not to be ministered unto but to minister to ourselves and to our fellow men.


Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945, American President (32nd))


People ask the difference between a leader and a boss. The leader works in the open, and the boss in covert. The leader leads, and the boss drives.


Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919,  American President (26th))


The lead dog gets the best view. The rest of the dogs view is butt ugly. Of course, the lead dog is also the first to fall into the ravine.


Richard Saunders


The best leaders of all, the people know not they exist. They turn to each other and say We did it ourselves.


Zen Saying


Great leaders understand human behavior rather than the cybernetics of any function.


James Schorr


Do what is right, not what you think the high headquarters wants or what you think will make you look good.


Norman Schwarzkopf (1934-, American general of the gulf war)


Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy.


Norman Schwarzkopf (1934-, American general of the gulf war)


The world cannot be governed without juggling.


John Selden (1584-1654, British jurist, statesman)


The boss drives people; the leader coaches them. The boss depends on authority; the leader on good will. The boss inspires fear; the leader inspires enthusiasm. The boss says "I"; The leader says "WE". The boss fixes the blame for the breakdown; the leader fixes the breakdown. The boss says, "GO"; the leader says lets, "GO!"


Gordon H. Selfridge


Leaders are the ones who keep faith with the past, keep step with the present, and keep the promise to posterity.


Harold J. Seymour


When the leadership is right and the time is right, the people can always be counted upon to follow -- to the end at all costs.


Harold J. Seymour


The secret of a leader lies in the tests he has faced over the whole course of his life and the habit of action he develops in meeting those tests.


Gail Sheehy (1937-, American journalist, author)


To be omnipotent but friendless is to reign.


Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822, British poet)


What you cannot enforce, do not command.


Sophocles (495-406 BC, Greek tragic poet)


Do you wish to rise? Begin by descending. You plan a tower that will pierce the clouds? Lay first the foundation of humility.


St. Augustine (354-430, Numidian-born bishop of Hippo, theologian)


The shepherd always tries to persuade the sheep that their interests and his own are the same.


Henri B. Stendhal (1783-1842, French writer)


If you lead a country like Britain, a strong country, a country which has taken a lead in world affairs in good times and in bad, a country that is always reliable, then you have to have a touch of iron about you.


Margaret Thatcher (1925-, British Prime Minister (1979-90))


Anyone can steer the ship when the sea is calm.


Publilius Syrus (85 BC- 43BC, Roman writer)


Reason and judgment are the qualities of a leader.


Publius Cornelius Tacitus (55-117, Roman historian)


I am more afraid of an army of 100 sheep led by a lion than an army of 100 lions led by a sheep.


Charles Maurice De Talleyrand (1754-1838, French statesman)


Leadership is the activity of influencing people to cooperate towards some goal which they come to find desirable and which motivates them over the long haul.


Orway Tead


Leadership is not a position. You are not a leader because you have the title of manager. Leadership is something that we earn from followers on a day to day basis.


The EMS Manager Newsletter


If the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.


The Holy Bible (Sacred scriptures of Christians and Judaism)


Tell me how much you know of the sufferings of your fellow men and I will tell you how much you have loved them.


Helmut Thielicke


He is the best sailor who can steer within fewest points of the wind and exact a motive power out of the greatest obstacles.


Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862, American essayist, poet, naturalist)


A good leader needs to have a compass in his head and a bar of steel in his heart.


Robert Townsend (1920-, American businessman, president of Avis)


True leadership must be for the benefit of the followers, not the enrichment of the leaders.


Robert Townsend (1920-, American businessman, president of Avis)


I learned that a great leader is a man who has the ability to get other people to do what they don't want to do and like it.


Harry S. Truman (1884-1972, American President (33rd))


Innovate, develop, motivate, inspire, trust -- be a leader.


Ted Turner (1938-, American businessman, founder of CNN)


I am a leader by default, only because nature does not allow a vacuum.


Bishop Desmond Tutu (1931-, South African prelate)


Great people are those who can make others feel that they, too, can become great.


Mark Twain (1835-1910, American humorist, writer)


A good leader inspires others with confidence in him; a great leader inspires them with confidence in themselves.


Author Unknown


A leader's job is to look into the future and see the organization not as it is, but as it can become.


Author Unknown


Among the blind the one eyed is king.


Author Unknown


An army of deer would be more formidable commanded by a lion, than a an army of lions commanded by a stag.


Author Unknown


Blessed is the leader who considers leadership an opportunity for service.


Author Unknown


Blessed is the leader who has not sought the high places, but who has been drafted into service because of his ability and willingness to serve.


Author Unknown


Blessed is the leader who seeks the best for those he serves.


Author Unknown


Do your best to be the lead dog otherwise the view never changes.


Author Unknown


Efficiency tends to deal with Things. Effectiveness tends to deal with People. We manage things, we lead people


Author Unknown


Every leader needs to look back once in a while to make sure he has followers. Source Unknown Effective leaders are known by the questions they ask rather than the statements they make.


Author Unknown


If you want to be comfortable -- take an easy job. If you aspire to leadership, take off your coat.


Author Unknown


Leadership has to do with direction. Management has to do with the speed, coordination and logistics in going in that direction. The WORKERS are chopping their way through the jungle. The MANAGERS are coordinating, making sure the tools are sharp, etc. The LEADERS climb a tree and shout Wrong jungle!! The MANAGERS shout back Be quiet! We're making progress!


Author Unknown


Leadership is like the old galley ships. 100s are rowing, but only one (the captain) knows where they are going


Author Unknown


Leadership is one of the highest forms of service. It is best exercised when it freely motivates others to a decision that is really theirs -- but which may never have been reached without the leader's beneficial influence.


Author Unknown


Outstanding leaders appeal to the hearts of their followers -- not their minds.


Author Unknown


Successful leaders have the courage to take action where others hesitate.


Author Unknown


The best leader is the one who has the sense to surround himself with outstanding people and self-restraint not to meddle with how they do their jobs.


Author Unknown


The well being of the people is the supreme law.


Author Unknown


A leader is one who, out of madness or goodness, volunteers to take upon himself the woe of the people. There are few men so foolish, hence the erratic quality of leadership in the world.


John Updike (1932-, American novelist, critic)


Leadership is doing what is right when no one is watching.


George Van Valkenburg


Our contemptible species is so made that those who walk on a commonly used path are sure to throw stones at those who are displaying a new road.


Francois-Marie Arouet de Voltaire (1694-1778, French historian, writer)


Ronald Reagan has held the two most demeaning jobs in the country: President of the United States and radio broadcaster for the Chicago Cubs.


George F. Will (1941-, American political columnist)


Leadership is an opportunity to serve. It is not a trumpet call to self-importance.


Donald J. Walters (1926-, American author, lecturer, playwright)


Outstanding leaders go out of the way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it's amazing what they can accomplish.


Sam Walton (1918-1992, American businessman, founder of Wal-mart)


When a customer enters my store, forget me. He is king.


John Wanamaker (1838-1922, American merchant)


Leadership is a serving relationship that has the effect of facilitating human development.


Ted Ward


Blessed is he who has learned to admire but not envy, to follow but not imitate, to praise but not flatter, and to lead but not manipulate.


William A. Ward


The world of the 90s and beyond will belong to managers or those who make the numbers dance, as we used to say, or those who are conversant with all the business jargon we used to sound smart. The world will belong to passionate, driven leaders -- people who not only have an enormous amount of energy but who can energize those whom they lead.


John Welch (1935-, American businessman, former chairman of GE)


Education is the mother of leadership.


Wendell L. Willkie (1892-1944, American businessman, presidential candidate)


No man has ever risen to the real stature of spiritual manhood until he has found that it is finer to serve somebody else than it is to serve himself.


Woodrow T. Wilson (1856-1924, American President (28th))


Power consists in one's capacity to link his will with the purpose of others, leading by reason and a gift of cooperation.


Woodrow T. Wilson (1856-1924, American President (28th))


It is very comforting to believe that leaders who do terrible things are, in fact, mad. That way, all we have to do is make sure we don't put psychotics in high places and we've got the problem solved.


Thomas Wolfe (1931-, American author, journalist)


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