The Best Leadership Quotes and How to Apply Them

“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” -John F. Kennedy

Perhaps this quote is so often recited because JFK didn’t say it. He wrote it and was scheduled to say it during a speech on November 22, 1963. That speech never came, and the rest is history. 

“I am still learning.”  -Michelangelo

I don’t know if Michelangelo was a leader of people. But he was a leader of culture, and amazingly still is 450 years after his death. 

“The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The leader adjusts the sails.”  John Maxwell

The one has that Goldilocks “magic of three” vibe to it. You don’t want to be too “this” or too “that.” You’ve got the be just right. The more time I spend in this world, the more I think this quote is a home run. 

“Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm.” –Publilius Syru

Another boat metaphor? I know, I know. But it makes sense. Boats need captains. Good boats need good captains. And good captains are good leaders. 

“Whatever you are, be a good one.” –Abraham Lincoln

If the world was full of middle managers, then who would make the coffee? Not everyone can be a leader at all times. Even if you find yourself in a “follower” position, be good at what you do. That’s what a leader does. 

“Leadership is the art of giving people a platform for spreading ideas that work.” –Seth Godin

Leadership–especially in modern times–involves the network effect. The capability of everyone far outweighs the ability of a single person. 

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