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Leadership & Authority Quotes

Data Governance Businessman Making AnnouncementWhat’s the difference between being a leader and being an authority figure? A leader can rally, inspire, and motivate their team. An authority is seen as ruling over them, dictating what must be done and when and how. A leader generally focuses on increasing productivity through encouraging enthusiasm and confidence. Meanwhile, an authority generally focuses on increasing productivity through discipline and negative consequences. It’s easy to guess who most people would rather work for.

So what’s the secret to being a good leader? Communication? Attitude? Experience? All of the above? Take some tips from the quotes below and see how we might improve our leadership skills (or how we might encourage others to do so).

A leader is a dealer in hope.

– Napoleon Bonaparte 

Anyone who conducts an argument by appealing to authority is not using his intelligence; he is just using his memory.

– Leonardo da Vinci 

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

– John C. Maxwell 

Authority without wisdom is like a heavy axe without an edge, fitter to bruise than polish.

– Anne Bradstreet 

A leader must have the courage to act against an expert’s advice.

– James Callaghan 

Every great advance in natural knowledge has involved the absolute rejection of authority.

– Thomas H. Huxley 

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 

I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.

– James Madison 

A man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd.

– Max Lucado 

If you’re going to kick authority in the teeth, you might as well use two feet.

– Keith Richards 

Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm.

– Publilius Syrus 

It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority.

– Benjamin Franklin 

Delegating responsibility does not relinquish personal accountability.

– Jeffrey Benjamin 

No statement should be believed because it is made by an authority.

– Robert A. Heinlein 

Good management is the art of making problems so interesting and their solutions so constructive that everyone wants to get to work and deal with them.

– Paul Hawken 

Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence.

– Leonardo da Vinci 

If you command wisely, you’ll be obeyed cheerfully.

– Thomas Fuller 

The disappearance of a sense of responsibility is the most far-reaching consequence of submission to authority.

– Stanley Milgram 

If you don’t drive your business, you will be driven out of business.

– B. C. Forbes 

To punish me for my contempt for authority, fate made me an authority myself.

– Albert Einstein 

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.

– John Quincy Adams 

Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.

– Albert Einstein 

Leaders are more powerful role models when they learn than when they teach.

 – Rosabeth Moss Kantor 

Wherever there is a man who exercises authority, there is a man who resists authority.

– Oscar Wilde 

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 

Leaders do not avoid, repress, or deny conflict, but rather see it as an opportunity.

– Warren G. Bennis 

Leaders must be close enough to relate to others, but far enough ahead to motivate them.

– John C. Maxwell 

Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.

– Warren G. Bennis 

Most important, leaders can conceive and articulate goals that lift people out of their petty preoccupations and unite them in pursuit of objectives worthy of their best efforts.

– John Gardner 

No person will make a great business who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit.

– Andrew Carnegie 

One of the true tests of leadership is the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency.

– Arnold H. Glasgow 

People who enjoy meetings should not be in charge of anything.

– Thomas Sowell 

The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.

– Kenneth Blanchard 

The leaders who work most effectively, it seems to me, never say “I.” And that’s not because they have trained themselves not to say “I.” They don’t think “I.” They think “we”; they think “team.” They understand their job to be to make the team function. They accept responsibility and don’t sidestep it, but “we” gets the credit…. This is what creates trust, what enables you to get the task done.

– Peter Drucker 

The price of greatness is responsibility.

– Winston Churchill 

There’s nothing more demoralizing than a leader who can’t clearly articulate why we’re doing what we’re doing.

– James Kouzes and Barry Posner 

What you allow you encourage.

– Michael Josephson 

When the effective leader is finished with his work, the people say it happened naturally.

– Lao Tzu 

You do not lead by hitting people over the head – that’s assault, not leadership.

– Dwight D. Eisenhower 

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