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12 Leadership Lessons from Thought Leaders

admin May 10, 2017

Leadership is not management or direction. More than that, it is about the ability to inspire, empower people to contribute their best toward the common goals. There are so many styles of leadership, but all successful leaders have some traits in common. Let’s learn valuable leadership lessons from great thought leaders in the world by their famous quotes below.

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Have a great vision and commit to it

A leader has the vision and conviction

“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

"The future belongs to those who see possibilities before they become obvious." — John Scully

 “Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” —Warren Bennis

“To grasp and hold a vision, that is the very essence of successful leadership—not only on the movie set where I learned it, but everywhere.” — Ronald Reagan

"Leadership is lifting a person's vision to high sights, the raising of a person's performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations." —Peter Drucker

“Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.”Jack Welch

Inspire people

Leadership is the art of giving people a platform for spreading ideas that work

"Leadership is the art of giving people a platform for spreading ideas that work." — Seth Godin

"Leadership is that art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it" — Eisenhower

“Leadership is getting people to work for you when they are not obligated.” — Fred Smith

“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

Listen more, speak less

The art of conversation lies in listening

"The art of conversation lies in listening." — Malcom Forbes

“To be a good leader you have to be a great listener. Brilliant ideas can spring from the most unlikely places, so you should always keep your ears open for some shrewd advice.”— Richard Branson

"Speak little, do much” —Benjamin Franklin

“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”—Bill Gates

Trust and Actualize Themselves

Great leaders always believe in themselves and keep learning

“Don't compare yourself with anyone in this world. If you do so, you are insulting yourself.”— Bill Gates

"Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use." – Steve Jobs

 “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” ― Jack Welch

"Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other." — John Fitzgerald Kennedy

“True leaders always practice the three R's: Respect for self, Respect for others, Responsibility for all their actions.” — Anonymous.

"Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower." - Steve Jobs

Understand the Challenges of a Leader

People don't care about what you say, they care about what you build

"People don't care about what you say; they care about what you build." — Mark Zuckerberg

"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

"I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure, which is: Try to please everybody." —Herbert Swope

"Well done is better than well said." — Benjamin Franklin

Take Risks

Great leadership does not mean running away from reality

“Great leadership does not mean running away from reality. Sometimes the hard truths might just demoralize the company, but at other times sharing difficulties can inspire people to take action that will make the situation better. “ — John P. Kotter

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” — Barack Obama 

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” — Winston Churchill

Solve Problems

Management is doing things right, leadership is doing the right things.

"Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things."— Peter Drucker

"People ask the difference between a leader and a boss. The leader leads, and the boss drives." —Theodore Roosevelt

"Leaders think and talk about the solutions. Followers think and talk about the problems." — Brian Tracy

 “Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.”Steve Jobs

Make Decisions

Nothing is more difficult and therefore more precious than to be able to decide

“Nothing is more difficult, and therefore more precious, than to be able to decide.” — Napoleon Bonaparte

"The art of leadership is saying no, not saying yes. It is very easy to say yes." —Tony Blair

"Don't make the same decision twice. Spend time and thought to make a solid decision the first time so that you don't revisit the issue unnecessarily. If you're too willing to reopen issues, it interferes not only with your execution but also with your motivation to make a decision in the first place. After all, why bother deciding an issue if it isn't really decided?" — Bill Gates

Attract Great People

A great leader attracts great people

"A great person attracts great people and knows how to hold them together." —Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

"The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it." —Theodore Roosevelt

“I think as a company, if you can get those two things right – having a clear direction on what you are trying to do and bringing in great people who can execute on the stuff—then you can do pretty well.”— Mark Zuckerberg

Value People

To add value to others, one must first value others

"To add value to others, one must first value others."— John Maxwell

“I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.” — Bill Gates

"The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things." — Ronald Reagan

 “A leader should never compare his technical skills with his employee’s. Your employee should have superior technical skills than you. If he doesn’t, it means you have hired the wrong person.” — Jack Ma

Encourage People to Develop

A leader inspires others to dream more, do more and become more.

"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader." —John Quincy Adams

"My job is not to be easy on people. My job is to take these great people we have and to push them and make them even better." — Steve Jobs

“Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.” — Richard Branson

“As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.” — Bill Gates

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

“Great leaders love to see people grow. The day you are afraid of them being better than you is the day you fail as a leader” — Jack Welch.

Lead from Behind

Lead from behind

"It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership." —Nelson Mandela

“To lead people, walk behind them.” — Lao Tzu

"Tend to the people, and they will tend to the business." —John Maxwell

"I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people."—Mahatma Gandhi

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