Provision #593: Leadership Quotes

Laser Provision

The more difficult the times the more important our leadership becomes. Whether or not you call yourself a leader, each of us is a leader in important and revealing ways. We each have possibilities to see and contributions to make. Today’s Provision encourages us on that journey with 26 quotes and poems about leadership. I don’t know about you, but I take heart in these pithy yet powerful sayings. Read on and put your favorite quote where you’re likely to see it often. The world will be glad you did.

LifeTrek Provision

My friend and colleague, Mike Alafaci, has focused his coaching practice on business and personal development, giving particular attention to leadership. You can learn more about his work by visiting Since LifeTrek shares this concern, we hope to collaborate with Mike in the future on developing a new website devoted to the art and science of effective leadership. We already have the URLs and hope to have it ready within months.

To that end, I have been reading some books recently on leadership that are starting to quicken my imagination. I thought you would enjoy the following excerpts, poems, and quotes:

Martin Luther King, Jr. (from “The Drum Major Instinct”):

“If you want to be important • wonderful. If you want to be recognized • wonderful. If you want to be great • wonderful. But recognize that he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. That’s your new definition of greatness. And this morning, the thing I like about it…by giving that definition of greatness, it means that everybody can be great. Because everybody can serve.”

“You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don’t have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve. You don’t have to know Einstein’s theory of relativity to serve, you don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love. And you can be that servant”

Lt. General Melvin Zais:

“The one piece of advice which will contribute to making you a better leader, will provide you with greater happiness, and will advance your career more than any other advice…and it doesn’t call for a special personality or any certain chemistry…and anyone can do it, and it’s this: You must care.”

Sam Walton:

“Communicate everything you possibly can to your partners and teammates. The more they understand, the more they’ll care. Once they care, there’s no stopping them.”

Jan Carlzon

“An individual without information cannot take responsibility; an individual who is given information cannot help but take responsibility.”

Matthew Fox:

“The times do not allow anyone the luxury of waiting around for others to lead. All can lead and ought to be invited to do so.”

Jan Greene:

“True leadership is the art of changing a group from what it is into what it ought to be. It’s not something that is done ‘to’ people, it is something done ‘with’ people. By that definition, every person in an organization can and must lead.”

Albert Schweitzer:

“Example is leadership.”

Betty Linton:

“Leadership is not about making yourself more powerful. It’s about making people around you more powerful.”

Tom Peters:

“The hyperfast-moving, wired-up, reengineered, quality-obsessed organization will succeed or fail on the strength of the trust that its managers place in the folks working on the front line.”

Henry Ford:

“A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business.”

Glendon Johnson:

“If all anyone takes home from their job is a paycheck, then they take home too little.”

Joseph Campbell:

“I don’t believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive.”

Benjamin Shield:

“The shortest distance between two points is an intention.”

Michael Dukakis:

“Our greatest strength comes not from what we possess, but from what we believe; not from what we have, but from who we are.”

P.O. Branson:

“There is nothing more genuine than breaking away from the chorus to learn the sound of your own voice.”

Carlos Castaneda:

“We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.”

Abigail Adams:

“These are the hard times in which a genius would wish to live. Great necessities call forth great leaders.”

Jon Alama

“If you believe it will work out, you’ll see opportunities. If you believe it won’t, you’ll see obstacles.”

Diane Branson

“Leadership means resisting our own urge to be the brilliant one.”

W. Clement Stone:

“We have a problem. ‘Congratulations.’ But it’s a tough problem. ‘Then double congratulations.'”

Philip Selznick:

“Leadership, pure and simple, is the assumption of responsibility for the pursuit of excellence in group life.”

Diane Branson:

“Leadership is less about what we know and more about what we’re willing to discover.”

Jack Welch:

“The leader’s role is not to control people or stay on top of things, but rather to guide, energize, and excite.”

Martha Beck:

“Having fun is not a diversion from a successful life; it is the pathway to it.”

Joe Tye:

“If you’re not enjoying the journey, you probably won’t enjoy the destination.”

Emily Dickinson (I dwell in Possibility):

“I dwell in Possibility —
A fairer House than Prose —
More numerous of Windows —
Superior • for Doors —

Of Chambers as the Cedars —
Impregnable of eye —
And for an everlasting Roof —
The Gambrels of the Sky —

Of Visitors • the fairest —
For Occupation • This —
The spreading wide my narrow Hands
To gather Paradise –“

Coaching Inquiries: What assists you to dwell in possibility? What helps you to be a leader? What causes or organizations would benefit from you taking more responsibility? How can you lead from whatever position you hold? Who could you talk with to develop your leadership abilities?

To reply to this Provision, use our Feedback Form. To talk with us about coaching or consulting services for yourself or your organization, Email Us or use our Contact Form to arrange a complimentary conversation. To learn more about LifeTrek Coaching programs, Click Here.

LifeTrek Readers’ Forum (selected feedback from the past week)

Editor’s Note: The LifeTrek Readers’ Forum contains selections from the comments and materials sent in each week by the readers of LifeTrek Provisions. They do not necessarily reflect the perspective of LifeTrek Coaching International. To submit your comment, use our Feedback Formor Email Bob..

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May you be filled with goodness, peace, and joy.

Bob Tschannen-Moran, MCC, BCC

President, LifeTrek Coaching
CEO & Co-Founder, Center for School
Immediate Past President, International Association of
Author, Evocative Coaching: Transforming Schools One Conversation at a TimeOnline Retailers

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