One of the most impressive things about all great leaders is their obsession with learning new things about leadership in order improve their team. Luckily, some of the best leaders have left behind a few of their brightest lessons to help pass their wisdom forward.
Whether you are the CEO of a company, managing a team from the front-lines, or just trying to lead your family better, these quotes can help point you in the right direction or nudge you to make some changes.
I have come to define leadership this way:
Someone whose actions inspire, empower and serve in order to elevate others over an extended period of time.
Here are some of the best quotes on how to be a better leader aligned with the key ingredients of this definition.
Inspiring others is one of the critical components to effective leadership. The best leaders do this by helping their people reach higher, achieve more, and think bigger. It's possible if you do nothing else but inspire others to go be more than they are today you are fulfilling the basic requirement of leadership.
"The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires" - William Arthur Ward
"We rise by lifting others." - Robert Ingersoll
"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
There is nothing worse than a boss who sucks the life out of their team by having to make every decision and assuming they are the only capable of being in their position. The best leaders do everything possible to empower their people to make decisions and be successful.
"As we look into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others" - Bill Gates
"I start with the premise that the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers." - Ralph Nader
"The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership." - Harvey S. Firestone
At the core of leadership is serving other people. Too often those in positions of leadership get confused as to who is supposed to be serving who. It's the leader who is meant to serve not the other way around.
"The leaders who get the most out of their people are the leaders who care most about their people." - Simon Sinek
"Above all, leadership is a position of servanthood." - Max De Pree
"Servant-leadership is all about making the goals clear and then rolling your sleeves up and doing whatever it takes to help people win. In that situation, they don't work for you, you work for them."- Ken Blanchard
At the end of the day, teams and people are meant to achieve things. Ensuring your actions are helping the group get better and have success for a long period of time is critical. Be sure not to forget one simple word, performance.
"Leadership is unlocking people's potential to become better." - Bill Bradley
"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." - Helen Keller
"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader." - John Quincy Adams
Much like children, all parents have a favorite. What's your favorite one?
A version of this article originally appeared on Inc.com.
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About the Author: John Eades is the CEO of LearnLoft, a leadership development company which exists to turn managers into leaders and create healthier places to work. John was named one of LinkedIn’s 2017 Top Voices in Management & Workplace and was awarded the 2017 Readership Award by Training Industry.com. John is also the host of the “Follow My Lead” Podcast, a show that transfers stories and best practices from today’s leaders to the leaders of tomorrow. He is also the author of the upcoming book “Elevate Others.” You follow him on instagram @johngeades.
John is the CEO of LearnLoft, author of, F.M.L. Standing Out & Being a Leader and host of the 'Follow My Lead' Podcast. He writes or has been featured on Inc.com, LinkedIn Pulse, TrainingIndustry.com, eLearningIndustry.com, CNBC Money, and more. John completed his education at the University of Maryland College.