7 Leadership Quotes Guaranteed to Make Your Life More Peaceful, Powerful and Free
My book, “People Leadership 30 Proven Strategies To Ensure Your Team’s Success” is jam-packed with leadership tips and quotes and below are my favorites in no particular order, but should you want to read them all (and I highly recommend this), you can easily buy my book on Amazon.
1. “In the end, I’ve found, people like the direct approach. It’s much more valuable to them to have a leader who’s absolutely clear and open than to have one who soft-soaps or talks in circles.” Bill Parcells
I love this quote because all too often in business and in life, I hear people trying to dance around a critical or sensitive issue. You know, it’s like listening to a political debate. I must admit I stopped watching them a long time ago because none of the candidates ever gave a clear, concise, direct response. People need clarity to get results. As a leader, be very specific about your expectations and communicate them with clarity.
2. “Diversity: the art of thinking independently together.” Malcolm Stevenson Forbes
We tend to think of diversity as physical differences like race, gender, culture, or age; however, in this statement, Forbes introduces the concept of diversity in thought or ideas. As a leader, you are 100% guaranteed to have differences on your team because no two people are alike in this world. It is essential to empower your team members to share their ideas and be open to listening to them. You must set the example for appreciating that there is value in everyone’s input. Best of all, when you see diversity in this light, it becomes inclusion.
3.“Surround yourself with the best people you can find, delegate authority, and don’t interfere.” Ronald Reagan
Amen! If you are the type of person who wants to do it all by yourself, you are a Boss and not a Leader, so please don’t have people working with you or for you. However, if you are a true Leader, you will work diligently to find the right people for the job who are not just like you but can enhance your skill set. If you hire the right person and not just a person to fill the position, you will have no trouble delegating and moving out of their way.
4. “The art of communication is the language of leadership.” James Humes
Communication comes in all forms written, spoken, and unspoken, aka body language. People are listening to and watching you at all levels. Sadly, communication is the number one reason most problems occur in business and life. And quite frankly, I think it is because we act before we think. We must think of others when we engage in conversation, written, or verbal. Think about the message you want to convey, think about the energy you wish to the send in the discussion or message to generate, and consider what a successful interaction produces. Taking the time and forethought to communicate in this way will save a ton of time, frustration, and wasted effort in the long run. Communication is an art form, and when treated as masterfully and creatively as a painter paints, a masterpiece produces optimal results. Persuasive communication is intentional, concise, and specific and mindful of the target audience.
5. “He can inspire a group only if he himself is filled with confidence and hope of success.” Floyd V. Filson
One of my life mantras is, “You can’t give what you don’t have.” If you want to be an inspiration to others, you must be an inspiration to yourself, which means possessing self-confidence and belief in your success in any decision or situation. What’s more, it requires stepping outside of your comfort zone and the security of what you know. Inspiring others requires you to “fake it ‘til you make it” sometimes and be willing to walk through the self-doubt and fear that is sure to arise. If you don’t have confidence in your actions, how can anyone else follow your lead? Leader’s don’t play small; they continuously strive for bigger and better with strong self-confidence and belief in their abilities.
6.“Give people enough guidance to make the decisions you want them to make. Don’t tell them what to do, but encourage them to do what is best.” Jimmy Johnson
Love, love, love this quote. I remember when I first became a manager. In my desire to do a good job but mostly in my desire to stay in control, I delegated to my team members by giving them detailed concrete step by step instructions of how to get the job done. After all, that is what bosses are supposed to do right? Well, what I didn’t know at the time was that bosses did dictate, but leaders delegated. Delegating guides with specifics about the intention, the desired outcome, and parameters, like timelines, budgets, internal policies, within which the team can operate. Once you communicate that information and received by your organization, let them loose, and empower them to make it happen in whatever way they believe to be the most effective. Guide, don’t control, and great things will happen for all parties involved!
7. “Leaders do not avoid, repress, or deny conflict, but rather see it as an opportunity.” Warren Bennis
Conflict is a dirty word, and many people avoid it at all costs. I believe that is because we see it merely as a battle or war between people in which one person must lose. But what if we saw the conflict as an opportunity to learn, grow, and create a better outcome for all parties? A lesson instead of a battle? When you look up the word conflict, there is also a verb form which means to be incompatible or clash. Seeing things differently from one another does not have to result in a fight. Different and divergent opinions produce amazing unthinkable results when all parties are heard and respected. And really, appreciating conflict is not a hard practice to implement in your personal or professional life. Try this, the next time someone says something to you that you disagree with take a moment to listen, really listen to what they have to say instead of lashing out or dismissing them. Spend time sharing (with a mild manner) each other’s ideas and co-create the best solution for all parties involved. Leaders face conflict and use it for the greater good rather than the agenda of one.
There you go, seven quotes to live by as a leader in your personal and professional life. I would love to hear what these mean to you! Feel free to paste your thoughts on how you can apply them in your life in the comments section of this article.
Have other favorites? Please share them.
Leaders learn from others’ experiences and use their words of wisdom to make their lives more powerful, peaceful, and free!