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Leadership

  • How can anybody who is the head of a nation afford not to be a pragmatist?

  • It is high time that we had lights that are not incendiary torches.

    • George Sand,
    • 1863, in Raphaël Ledos de Beaufort, ed., Letters of George Sand, vol. 2 ()
  • Now that we are recognizing more fully the value of the individual, now that management is defining more exactly the function of each, many are coming to regard the leader as the man who can energize his group, who knows how to encourage initiative, how to draw from all what each has to give.

    • Mary Parker Follett,
    • in Henry C. Metcalf and L. Urwick, eds., Dynamic Administration: The Collected Papers of Mary Parker Follett ()
  • ... we should think not only of what the leader does to the group, but also of what the group does to the leader.

    • Mary Parker Follett,
    • in Henry C. Metcalf and L. Urwick, eds., Dynamic Administration: The Collected Papers of Mary Parker Follett ()
  • Another idea that is changing is that the leader must be one who can make quick decisions. The leader to-day is often one who thinks out his decisions very slowly.

    • Mary Parker Follett,
    • in Henry C. Metcalf and L. Urwick, eds., Dynamic Administration: The Collected Papers of Mary Parker Follett ()
  • The best leader does not ask people to serve him, but the common end. The best leader has not followers, but men and women working with him.

    • Mary Parker Follett,
    • in Henry C. Metcalf and L. Urwick, eds., Dynamic Administration: The Collected Papers of Mary Parker Follett ()
  • We no longer think that the best leader is the greatest hustler or the most persuasive orator or even the best trader. The great leader is he who is able to integrate the experience of all and use it for a common purpose.

    • Mary Parker Follett,
    • in Henry C. Metcalf and L. Urwick, eds., Dynamic Administration: The Collected Papers of Mary Parker Follett ()
  • ... the leader releases energy, unites energies, and all with the object not only of carrying out a purpose, but of creating further and larger purposes. And I do not mean here by larger purposes mergers or more branches; I speak of larger in the qualitative rather than the quantitative sense. I mean purposes which will include more of those fundamental values for which most of us agree we are really living.

    • Mary Parker Follett,
    • in Henry C. Metcalf and L. Urwick, eds., Dynamic Administration: The Collected Papers of Mary Parker Follett ()
  • While leadership depends on depth of conviction and the power coming therefrom, there must also be the ability to share that conviction with others.

    • Mary Parker Follett,
    • in Henry C. Metcalf and L. Urwick, eds., Dynamic Administration: The Collected Papers of Mary Parker Follett ()
  • Part of the task of the leader is to make others participate in his leadership. The best leader knows how to make his followers actually feel power themselves, not merely acknowledge his power.

    • Mary Parker Follett,
    • in Henry C. Metcalf and L. Urwick, eds., Dynamic Administration: The Collected Papers of Mary Parker Follett ()
  • ... the most successful leader of all is one who sees another picture not yet actualized.

    • Mary Parker Follett,
    • in Henry C. Metcalf and L. Urwick, eds., Dynamic Administration: The Collected Papers of Mary Parker Follett ()
  • The foreman today does not merely deal with trouble, he forestalls trouble. In fact, we don't think much of a foreman who is always dealing with trouble; we feel that if he is doing his job properly, there won't be so much trouble.

    • Mary Parker Follett,
    • in Henry C. Metcalf and L. Urwick, eds., Dynamic Administration: The Collected Papers of Mary Parker Follett ()
  • ... that is always our problem, not how to get control of people, but how all together we can get control of a situation.

    • Mary Parker Follett,
    • in L. Urwick, ed., Freedom and Co-ordination: Lectures in Business Organisation ()
  • ... the point of educating instead of blaming seems to me very important. For nothing stultifies one more than being blamed. Moreover, if the question is, who is to blame?, perhaps each will want to place the blame on someone else, or on the other hand, someone may try to shield his fellow-worker. In either case the attempt is to hide the error and if this is done the error cannot be corrected.

    • Mary Parker Follett,
    • in L. Urwick, ed., Freedom and Co-ordination: Lectures in Business Organisation ()
  • An order then should always be given not as a personal matter, not because the man giving it wants the thing done, but because it is the demand of the situation. And an order of this kind carries weight because it is the demand of the situation.

    • Mary Parker Follett,
    • in L. Urwick, ed., Freedom and Co-ordination: Lectures in Business Organisation ()
  • ... many rules could be made for the giving of orders. Don't preach when you give orders. Don't discuss matters already settled unless you have fresh data. Make your direction so specific that there will be no question whether they have been obeyed or not. Find out how to give directions and yet to allow people opportunity for independent thinking, for initiative. And so on and so on. Order-giving requires just as much study and just as much training as any other skill we wish to acquire.

    • Mary Parker Follett,
    • in L. Urwick, ed., Freedom and Co-ordination: Lectures in Business Organisation ()
  • We often tend to think that the executive wishes to maintain standard, wishes to reach a certain quality of production, and that the worker has to be goaded in some way to do this. Again and again we forget that the worker is often, usually I think, equally interested, that his greatest pleasure in his work comes from the satisfaction of worthwhile accomplishment, of having done the best of which he was capable.

    • Mary Parker Follett,
    • in L. Urwick, ed., Freedom and Co-ordination: Lectures in Business Organisation ()
  • I am convinced that any feeling of exaltation because we have people under us should be conquered, for I am sure that if we enjoy being over people, there will be something in our manner which will make them dislike being under us.

    • Mary Parker Follett,
    • in L. Urwick, ed., Freedom and Co-ordination: Lectures in Business Organisation ()
  • The leader is one who can organize the experience of the group ... and thus get the full power of the group. The leader makes the team. This is pre-eminently the leadership quality — the ability to organize all the forces there are in an enterprise and make them serve a common purpose.

    • Mary Parker Follett,
    • in L. Urwick, ed., Freedom and Co-ordination: Lectures in Business Organisation ()
  • When leadership rises to genius it has the power of transforming, of transforming experience into power. And that is what experience is for, to be made into power. The great leader creates as well as directs power.

    • Mary Parker Follett,
    • in L. Urwick, ed., Freedom and Co-ordination: Lectures in Business Organisation ()
  • The leader should have the spirit of adventure, but the spirit of adventure need not mean the temperament of the gambler. It should be the pioneer spirit which blazes new trails. The insight to see possible new paths, the courage to try them, the judgment to measure results — these are the qualifications of the leader.

    • Mary Parker Follett,
    • in L. Urwick, ed., Freedom and Co-ordination: Lectures in Business Organisation ()
  • Leader and followers are both following the invisible leader — the common purpose. The best executives put this common purpose clearly before their group. While leadership depends on depth of conviction and the power coming therefrom there must also be the ability to share that conviction with others, the ability to make purpose articulate. And then that common purpose becomes the leader.

    • Mary Parker Follett,
    • in L. Urwick, ed., Freedom and Co-ordination: Lectures in Business Organisation ()
  • ... the best leaders try to train their followers themselves to become leaders. ... they wish to be leaders of leaders.

    • Mary Parker Follett,
    • in L. Urwick, ed., Freedom and Co-ordination: Lectures in Business Organisation ()
  • The ablest administrators do not merely draw logical conclusions from the array of facts of the past which their expert assistants bring to them, they have a vision of the future.

    • Mary Parker Follett,
    • in L. Urwick, ed., Freedom and Co-ordination: Lectures in Business Organisation ()
  • I am convinced that we must train not only the head, but the heart and hand as well.

  • Credibility is lost when there are big discrepancies between what leaders say and what they do. ... Increasing credibility requires openness. Hidden agendas will destroy trust.

  • Leaders evoke emotional connections in followers only to the extent that the followers are emotionally needy.

    • Judith M. Bardwick,
    • in Frances Hesselbein, Marshall Goldsmith, and Richard Beckhard, eds., The Leader of the Future ()
  • Trust me, there are as many ways of living as there are men, and one is no more fit to lead another, than a bird to lead a fish, or a fish a quadruped.

  • ... many people think that controlling people is what management is about. Leaders should have no time to control people. You're busy enough thinking, planning, discussing, interacting, suggesting, bargaining, negotiating, and checking. Controlling others is not the main event. It is less important than establishing objectives on which those who depend on you for a salary can focus.

  • The manager who gives up control finds little need to control. There is less clock-watching, fewer sabotage attempts, less time given to unproductive behavior. By delegating both the symbols and realities of power to subordinates, the manager has more time for the real work of leadership: establishing and setting goals, evaluating progress.

  • If you would be a leader, you must resist the reactive role that is the easier path. Those who succumb to fire fighting and crisis management will seldom enjoy the pleasures of achievement.

  • The mark of a leader may be the ability to prevent fire fighting behavior and to seek elegant solutions.

  • The ages are but baubles hung upon / The thread of some strong lives — and one slight wrist / May lift a century above the dust ...

  • ... no leader can be too far ahead of his followers.

  • Clearly no one knows what leadership has gone undiscovered in women of all races, and in black and other minority men.

  • You take people as far as they will go, not as far as you would like them to go.

    • Jeannette Rankin,
    • in Hannah Josephson, Jeannette Rankin: First Lady in Congress ()
  • The power of leadership is derived from perfecting ourselves. The closer we lead ourselves into becoming an ideal person, the greater our power to lead others. The foundation of leadership power is in striving toward perfection.

  • Leadership is the initiative to conquer our limitations and to more ably extend our abilities over a greater area.

  • The highest type of leadership is serving other people in such a way that they lead themselves, that they develop spiritually. An authentic leader helps others increase their own independence, and ... does not actually give direction or assert authority.

  • ... a true leader is constantly providing tools that enable independence. The timing and the selection of the presented tools is the exercise of leadership or wisdom.

  • Leadership, in a very real sense, is helping others develop their leadership.

  • Leaders are people who are able to evoke humanitarian values and creativity from the ones they are leading in order to increase the common good or to accomplish a vision.

  • Leadership is not for those who want an easy life or for those who want to maintain things as they are. Leadership is for those who have talents in some field of human endeavor and have a vision of how to vastly improve it. Leaders are willing champions of the revelations of creativity and the destiny of human dignity. Leaders are pathfinders to increase the common good.

  • Influence is a key leadership skill. The power of influence is greater than position power. ... Positive influence is the fruit of actualizing dreams and visions.

  • Women do not have to depend on men in order to advance in leadership. Women in the United States would not be able to vote today if they waited for men to give them the vote. It is the same for feminine leadership in any field. Women have to work for what they believe in and cause it to happen. The problems that men have in accepting women will be overcome by women, not by men.

  • Above everything else leadership is confidence in our inner resources.

  • Women lead in ways different from men's. Men, I think, have been programmed to give orders. Women have been programmed to motivate people, to educate them, to bring out the best in them. Ours is a less authoritarian leadership. I think women tend to play hardball less often. This is the trend of office politics anyway: the days of warring factions are over. We're talking now in terms of cooperation, and I think that is the game women play best.

    • Muriel Fox,
    • in Marilyn Loden, Feminine Leadership ()
  • The difference between government and leadership is that leadership has a soul.

  • When you're feeling smug because you've heard no complaints, that's the time to worry. It's human nature to gripe. But to bring up a problem, your people have to know you allow respectful disagreement. Show your interest, open your door, and establish set times ... when you are available for feedback.

  • Patting the back knocks a chip off the shoulder.

  • Leadership is elusive and enigmatic, just as it is enlightening and empowering. It is a bright light among human energies that sometimes, by its very intensity, casts a long and dark shadow.

  • Leadership both projects to the future and reflects upon the past. It bursts with possibilities, flaunts peculiarities, and occasionally defies probabilities.

  • Good leadership is pervasive, persuasive, and persistent. Bad leadership is poisoned with pedanticism, posturing, self-importance.

  • ... typically, our love for our leaders is one-sided: their successes become our own, while their failures are theirs alone.

  • Leaders shape our visions of the possible and direct our energies toward it.

  • Leadership is not something that you learn once and for all. It is an ever-evolving pattern of skills, talents, and ideas that grow and change and you do.

  • As leaders, we live under a microscope. Nothing we say or do escapes the scrutiny and examination of our followers.

  • People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care.

  • Leadership style isn't what you think your style is: It's what others perceive it to be. Like beauty, leadership style is in the eye of the beholder.

  • Choose your leaders with wisdom and forethought. To be led by a coward is to be controlled by all that the coward fears. To be led by a fool is to be led by the opportunists who control the fool. To be led by a thief is to offer up your most precious treasures to be stolen. To be led by a liar is to ask to be lied to. To be led by a tyrant is to sell yourself and those you love into slavery.

  • Leadership is creating a state of mind in others. The difference between being a leader and manager, all due respect to managers, is that leaders have to create states of mind. But a leader, first of all, has to have a clear state of mind, which is usually her own vision, which energizes her, motivates others, and then creates that state of mind in others.

    • Barbara Mikulski,
    • in Dorothy W. Cantor and Toni Bernay With Jean Stoess, Women in Power ()
  • ... employees are not your family, or even your friends. Don't drag personal emotions or relationships into the business situation.

  • Recognize that people want to do a good job. They do not make mistakes because they think it's fun, or because they want to spite you or make you lose money.

  • There is no doubt about it: we are judged by our language as much as (perhaps more than) we are judged by our appearance, our choice of associates, our behavior. Language communicates so much more than ideas; it reveals our intelligence, our knowledge of a topic, our creativity, our ability to think, our self-confidence, et cetera.

  • True leaders have so much power they are willing to give it away. Power is not a fixed, quantifiable sum; instead it is an unlimited abstraction which grows as it is shared.

  • The leader who uses power well is aware of the good uses to which it can be put; she has accepted the ramifications of using power, knowing it is necessary if she is to operate in the most efficient manner. Power is just one more vehicle to facilitate accomplishments. Most people do not think about their potential for power. The leader does. She is willing to use her power over others to make things happen. She extends her influence whenever she can with whatever tools she has or can borrow.

  • ... current research is showing that true leaders enjoy using their power and are comfortable with it — so comfortable, in fact, that they don't mind sharing that control when it is appropriate to do so.

  • Generally speaking, followers will not commit themselves for very long to a leader who is not also a pragmatist. As most of us have discovered, dreams are only powerful when we believe they can come true. Pipe dreams belong in the realm of fantasy; leaders' dreams belong in the realm of possibility.

  • ... leaders seem to have a high tolerance for ambiguity. Recognizing that the brain does not work in a completely linear fashion, leaders demonstrate a comfort with the chaos of exploding ideas, many of them seemingly unrelated to the stimulus that caused them.

  • The team developer realizes that at times the leadership 'torch' must be passed on to others. This empowerment of others serves a dual purpose; it helps them hone their own team-building skills and it brings a fresh approach, perhaps even a special expertise, to the group's efforts.

  • Women who want to lead the orchestra have to turn their back on the crowd.

    • Patti LaBelle,
    • in Patti LaBelle and Laura Randolph Lancaster, Patti's Pearls ()
  • The most important thing a leader must keep in mind during the decision making process is the distinction between compliance (getting people to act) and commitment (getting people to want to act). The command approach gets people to act while the consultative or delegative approach can inspire them to want to act.

  • Effective leadership depends on a complex pattern of interactions among leaders, followers, and situations.

  • The days when women leaders were viewed as deficit males are a relic of the past. ... Instead of treating women leaders as exceptions or anomalies who are categorized as 'women leaders,' and not just 'leaders,' we have to acknowledge that the number of women leaders will eventually reach a critical mass.

  • Leaders at all levels need practice, practice, and more practice to yield new knowledge from their experiences, which can be applied to the future leadership situations in which they find themselves. They also need opportunities to test concepts and theories in a variety of leadership situations and in different contexts.

  • Developing oneself as a leader takes time. If we take leadership development seriously, it occupies much of our life space across the entire lifespan.

  • A common theme present in most discussions of leadership for the 21st century is the leader's ability to create, articulate, and communicate not only a vision, but, more importantly, a global vision.

  • I believe that critical requirements for 21st century leaders include the ability to think metaphorically, globally, and futuristically.

  • While many of the legal barriers to women's participation in the workforce and access to leadership positions in corporations have been removed through legislation, changing demographics, and women's increased level of education and experience, women still face many obstacles on the path to leadership.

  • Women in leadership roles share many of the structural characteristics of tokens: they are highly visible, public individuals who attract attention with anything they do; as such, they are stand-ins for all women, symbols of how women behave and perform as leaders. As tokens, women leaders are different in status from other members of their work group. The pressure of being a minority sets women apart by gender even before anything is said or done. Token leaders find themselves in the organizational limelight; their actions and moves are constantly scrutinized, and they are faced with pressures that result from the application of performance standards that are only applicable to tokens. Many token women have reported that they must work twice as hard as their male colleagues to be considered competent.

  • ... empirical evidence of female-male differences in leader behaviors, leadership styles, and evaluations of female and male leaders is fragile at best. When we conflate leadership with gender, we imply that there are women's ways of leading and men's ways of leading. The review of the scientific evidence of gender differences in leadership leaves us with some perplexing questions. In contrast to popular writers, leadership researchers generally seem to agree that there are few and negligible gender differences in actual leader behavior. Moreover, the scientific evidence fails to support the notion of a distinctive 'feminine' leadership style portrayed by the popular literature.

  • Leadership and management are not incompatible, no more than leadership and followership are at odds with one another. Managers produce orderly results, concentrate on the short run, seek consistence, and solve problems. Leaders by contrast produce significant change, develop long-term visions, establish new directions, and produce innovative and creative opportunities. Managers thrive on order and control, while leaders embrace chaos and empowerment. Managers tend to avoid conflict, while leaders find creative value in conflict. ... An effective balance between leadership and management is essential for organizational survival and success.

  • Women, with few exceptions, have had no place in history as leaders.

  • Putting a strict, presumably encompassing definition on leadership limits our thinking about the phenomenon. Moreover, the requirement that an agreed-upon definition be established hinders individuals in thinking critically and deciphering for themselves what leadership means in different situations.

  • The word 'leadership' is found in every language. It can be traced back at least as far as ancient Egypt. ... In English, the word 'leader' is more than 1000 years old, and little has changed from its Anglo-Saxon root laedere, meaning 'people on a journey' ...

  • One did not serve on committees for twenty years without developing an invincible technique for dealing with obstructive people and getting one's own way. Perhaps it was that peculiar ability that made one wish to serve on committees in the first instance, feeling the power of oneself as a social servant, organizing hospital welfare and clubs, and 'running' boroughs and councils.

  • Wise leaders learn early in their careers to maximize their influence on any given project by inviting the participation of talented subordinates. The art of leadership, in fact, has been described by some corporate leaders as the process of turning one's work over to others.

  • Exert control through people, not upon them.

  • The true leaders — those who hold enterprises together and keep spirits high — wear no standard uniform of personality and spring from no single heritage. ... Understanding that leaders come in all flavors and sizes frees us to contemplate our own eligibility for leadership roles.

  • Our society and our organizations have learned to value masculine, 'quick-fix' traits in leaders. In a primitive society, a rural society, or even the industrial society of the early 1990s, quick fixes worked out all right. But they are less likely to work in a complex society. We need to look at long-range outcomes now. Service and patience are what can keep things running effectively today and women can contribute a lot in both of these areas.

  • Leaders stand out. Good leaders succeed. Great leaders make a difference in the world.

    • Cheryl Richardson,
    • in Suzanne Harper, ed., Hands On! 22 More Things Every Girl Should Know ()
  • I think the leadership of a company should encourage the next generation not just to follow, but to overtake.

  • Not all risktakers are leaders. Not everybody wants to be a leader. However, all leaders are risktakers because they create new ideas and visions and have to convince others to follow them.

    • Dorothy W. Cantor,
    • in Dorothy W. Cantor and Toni Bernay With Jean Stoess, Women in Power ()
  • I will not follow where the path may lead, but I will go where there is no path, and I will leave a trail.

  • It's very difficult to evaluate a leader in a very short-term perspective because to be a leader you must be able to have a long-term perspective. You must be able to carry changes which take many years. And this is why you can really only see whether it has been a good leadership after some years have passed.

  • For a lot of women, one of the hardest things about leadership is the desire to be liked by everyone. That's often inconsistent with leadership. It's certainly inconsistent with taking positions on very controversial issues.

  • Effective leaders let people discover things for themselves.

  • We still think of a powerful man as a born leader and a powerful woman as an anomaly.

  • ... what a rope of sand we are without a leader ...

  • Sometimes I'll trust my gut more than my head. Logical information might lead me in one direction and my feelings in another. Whereas I would have followed my head ten years ago, now I'm as likely or more likely to go with my gut feeling. It's ironic — you'd think the opposite would be true as you move to the top but it's not.

  • In Business School they taught us about cash flow, not about corporate politics; about return on equity, not about egos and pride. Oh, there were optional courses on 'Organizational Behavior' and 'Managerial Skills,' but these were a little too bloodless to convey what I learned on the job.

  • Leaders are people we as followers want to regard with awe as the fullest flowering of our own possibilities.

  • If you want to be a leader, it doesn't mean that you have to have an opinion on everything. But if you do have an opinion and it is clear and you feel strongly about it, then you should say it.

    • Barbara Boxer,
    • in Dorothy W. Cantor and Toni Bernay With Jean Stoess, Women in Power ()
  • When you get promoted, you may find yourself having to give assignments and criticism to people with whom you formerly had a very different relationship — quite equal and quite friendly. It can be a difficult predicament. Your friend or ex-peer may not take your requests seriously, or may not take you seriously. He or she may in every way resist the shift in rank and continue to treat you in the same old way. The company has promoted you — but your friends won't.

    • Janice LaRouche,
    • in Janice LaRouche and Regina Ryan, Janice LaRouche's Strategies for Women at Work ()
  • We may act as if some lead and others follow. The reality is that everyone leads and everyone follows. In successive levels of system, those who 'lead' at one level of system become those who 'follow' at another level of system. ... Both roles arise out of assumptions about the hierarchy of organizational control that confine leadership behaviors to a role instead of seeing behaviors as actions that are available regardless of role.

  • Successful leaders develop effective strategies for maintaining their boundaries. ... Most time bandits don't know any better. And being a time bandit is a matter of context. One person's time bandit is another person's pleasant diversion. ... Instead of gritting our teeth to be polite and resenting the time bandit for holding us up, the best choice is to be honest. We cannot expect another person to honor our needs unless we affirm them ourselves.

  • An effective leader is willing to think about what's happening and how to understand what's going on. Facilitating flow and making others more conscious of it, the leader communicates an awareness of process to the group, making them more aware of their energies and options. One important principle is to keep track of who has not spoken. ... It's also important to notice when people do speak out but are not heard. Effective leaders practice patience, reminding themselves to wait and observe, remembering that there's always more going on in a group than we're consciously aware of.

  • Wise leaders know that if an individual doesn't count, the institution doesn't count for much either. Put mathematically, if the individual is a zero, together a lot of zeros add up to a whole lot of nothing.

  • There are apparently no gender differences between women and men in terms of leadership style. ... What differences appear to exist seem to disappear when other variables are taken into account. ... Even though the preponderance of the evidence shows scant differences at most, stereotypes continue to favor the 'male is normal' model of leadership. ... The most encouraging implication from the research is that stereotypes tend to become less important as experience increases.

  • It has been said that there are three kinds of people: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who wonder what happened. Because the planning function is essential to effective organizational leadership, leaders cannot watch or wonder; they must do and plan.

  • 'She still seems to me in her own way a person born to command,' said Luce ... 'I wonder if anyone is born to obey,' said Isabel. 'That may be why people command rather badly, that they have no suitable material to work on.'

  • As women's leadership qualities come to play a more dominant role in the public sphere, their particular aptitudes for long-term negotiating, analytic listening, and creating an ambiance in which people work with zest and spirit will help reconcile the split between the ideals of being efficient and being humane. This integration of female values is already producing a more collaborative kind of leadership, and changing the very ideal of what strong leadership actually is.

  • ... most of us persist in regarding leadership as synonymous with — indeed solely derived from — high position. Perhaps the notion of grass-roots leadership strikes us as too much of an oxymoron; confronted with apparent paradox, our imaginations fail. ... I believe that in the future, our ideas about the nature of leadership will undergo a radical transformation. As the instrumental use of knowledge continues to redefine the nature and purpose of organizations, we will begin to look at those on the front lines for leadership.

    • Sally Helgesen,
    • "Leading From the Grass Roots," in Frances Hesselbein, Marshall Goldsmith, and Richard Beckhard, eds., The Leader of the Future ()
  • Top-down leaders, by withholding power from those in the ranks, deprive them of the ability to use the expertise and information vested in them to respond directly and with speed to customer concerns.

    • Sally Helgesen,
    • "Leading From the Grass Roots," in Frances Hesselbein, Marshall Goldsmith, and Richard Beckhard, eds., The Leader of the Future ()
  • ... the female view that one strengthens oneself by strengthening others is finding greater acceptance, and female values of inclusion and connection are emerging as valuable leadership qualities.

  • Leadership doesn't mean giving marching orders that others must follow blindly. Rather, it means causing others to want to follow. Successful leadership is personal.

    • Pat Heim,
    • with Susan K. Golant, Hardball for Women: Winning at the Game of Business ()
  • Great leaders make leadership look so easy.

    • Pat Heim,
    • with Susan K. Golant, Hardball for Women: Winning at the Game of Business ()
  • As long as you don't behave differently from other people, you escape criticism. But if you step up front and advocate some belief, you are bound to be criticized. In fact, one of the characteristics of a leader is that he is criticized.

    • Fusae Ichikawa,
    • in Kristen Golden and Barbara Findlen, Remarkable Women of the Twentieth Century ()
  • There are times when you have to be an educator. When people don't understand, you have to educate them to the issue. That's leadership. Governance is leadership and moving the issues forward even when they're unpopular.

    • Marge Roukema,
    • in Dorothy W. Cantor and Toni Bernay, with Jean Stoess, Women in Power ()
  • No matter how lofty you are in your department, the responsiblity for what your lowliest assistant is doing is yours.

    • Bessie Rowland James,
    • in Adlai E. Stevenson, Bessie Rowland James, Mary Waterstreet, Adlai's Almanac ()
  • One advantage of consensus is that you can get a broader participation. But you have to know when the moment has been reached to say well, OK, now I have to assume my responsibility. Because if you don't know, if you lose the momentum of assuming your responsibility, then, you know, everything can be lost. ... But know when to assume your responsibility and take the decision that you feel you have to take.

  • ... the leader has to strike a balance between, on the one hand, acknowledging success and helping people to feel good about what they've accomplished, and, on the other, creating or maintaining the discomfort necessary to keep people moving. ... The art of effective leadership lies in steering between complacency and discouragement.

    • Sandy Linver,
    • with Jim Mengert, The Leader's Edge: How to Use Communication to Grow Your Business and Yourself ()
  • The leader is the primary keeper and originator of the vision, but it's her responsibility to help others own it, too, not to impose it.

    • Sandy Linver,
    • with Jim Mengert, The Leader's Edge: How to Use Communication to Grow Your Business and Yourself ()
  • In the future, there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders.

  • Recognizing the good, not just in one's own personal circumstances, but in the world, makes anything possible. When I am asked about the important characteristics of leadership, being of good, positive mind is at the top of my list. If a leader can focus on the meritorious characteristics of other people and try to play to their strengths as well as find value in even the most difficult situation, she can inspire hope and faith in others and motivate them to move forward.

    • Wilma Mankiller,
    • in Marlo Thomas and Friends, The Right Words at the Right Time ()
  • Our first responsibility as a leader is to create an attractive dream, to proclaim a destination, communicating it in detail to others who might be interested in joining our expedition.

  • Leaders are like gardeners ... As leaders we are not only responsible for harvesting our own success but for cultivating the success of the next generation.

  • Leaders are usually people of vision, effective communicators, effective decision makers, and intelligent; they respect and value individuals and their dignity; they are committed to service and to obedience to the unenforceable; they have total honesty and integrity; they are kind; and they often see themselves as teachers.

    • Sara E. Meléndez,
    • "An 'Outsider's' View of Leadership," in Frances Hesselbein, Marshall Goldsmith, and Richard Beckhard, eds., The Leader of the Future ()
  • The art of leadership is one which the wicked, as a rule, learn more quickly than the virtuous.

  • [To the young woman who intimated it was time for Morgan to pass on the feminist torch:] Get your own damned torch. I'm still using mine.

  • ... in most important ways, leaders of the future will need the traits and capabilities of leaders throughout history: an eye for change and a steadying hand to provide both vision and reassurance that change can be mastered, a voice that articulates the will of the group and shapes it to constructive ends, and an ability to inspire by force of personality while making others feel empowered to increase and use their own abilities.

    • Rosabeth Moss Kanter,
    • "World-Class Leaders," in Frances Hesselbein, Marshall Goldsmith, and Richard Beckhard, eds., The Leader of the Future ()
  • Leadership is one of the most enduring, universal human responsibilities.

    • Rosabeth Moss Kanter,
    • "World-Class Leaders," in Frances Hesselbein, Marshall Goldsmith, and Richard Beckhard, eds., The Leader of the Future ()
  • 'Rules for Stifling Innovation': 1. Regard any new idea from below with suspicion — because it's new, and because it's from below. 2. Insist that people who need your approval to act first go through several other levels of management to get their signatures. 3. Ask departments or individuals to challenge and criticize each other's proposals. (That saves you the job of deciding; you just pick the survivor.) ... 10. And above all, never forget that you, the higher-ups, already know everything important about this business.

  • And so, after years of telling corporate citizens to 'trust the system,' many companies must relearn instead to trust their people — and encourage their people to use neglected creative capacities in order to tap the most potent economic stimulus of all: idea power.

  • Some leaders are born women.

  • If you wish to make changes in your office and your job, remember that you are the most important variable. You have more control over yourself than you will ever have over any external variable. And since people and events are interrelated, any change in you will provoke corresponding changes in the environment.

  • All choices are gambles. An effective leader is one who minimizes the risks without being paralyzed by the fear of gambling. An effective leader knows when to admit to being wrong and when to cut the losses. In short, an effective leader admits to being human without using that as an excuse for being indecisive.

  • The easiest definition of leadership is the ability to decide where you're going and to know how to get there.

  • 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.

  • You must — you abosolutely must — possess what can only be called leadership: that rare-as-rubies personal force that can resolve the clash of issues and personalities, pull others along with you, induce them to see things your way, to work their heads off in your young firm's behalf.

  • You must be able to winnow avarice from ambition, sycophancy or flattery from loyalty, reflectiveness from lack of fiber.

  • The speed of the leader is the speed of the gang.

  • A risk-taking environment starts at the top of a corporation. If the CEO doesn't have this spirit, chances are you won't find it anywhere else in the organization.

  • I believe that in order to be a good leader you must understand the value of praising people to success.

  • The seven secrets of being a number one boss: 1. Develop professional expertise. 2. Sharpen your communication skills. 3. Cultivate enthusiasm. 4. Keep an open mind. 5. Pay attention to accomplishment. 6. Be accessible. 7. Respect your staff (treat your staff as you would your clients).

  • The end point of leadership is not just the position of power we reach, but the continual change and deepening we experience that makes a difference in our lives, our work, our world. Our leadership journeys are only at midpoint when we have achieved a position of power.

  • The leader beyond the millennium will not be the leader who has learned the lessons of how to do it, with ledgers of 'hows' balanced with 'its' that dissolve in the crashing changes ahead. The leader for today and the future will be focused on how to be — how to develop quality, character mind-set, values, principles, and courage.

    • Frances Hesselbein,
    • in Frances Hesselbein, Marshall Goldsmith, and Richard Beckhard, eds., The Leader of the Future ()
  • Perhaps the true mark of a leader is that she or he is willing to stand alone.

  • A good leader has a plan that consists of changing simple pictures. Just because a group of people has a bunch of boards, hammers, and nails does not mean that they are building a house or even anything recognizable. Sometimes leaders think they are doing their job just because there is a lot of hammering going on. As a society we like the sound of hammering, but we are uncomfortable with the sound of thinking, which is silence.

  • Belief in oneself is a crucial quality of leadership, because 'a house divided against itself cannot stand.' A leader who fluctuates back and forth sends a very wavery signal. Like the soprano who can shatter glass by finding that high note and holding it, a leader who can hold that high note, without wavering, can shatter walls.

  • Leaders identify, articulate, and summarize concepts that motivate others. Most important, they boil concepts down to an understandable idea.

  • ... whether there are innately female leadership styles ... is not really the right question. It is more important to ask why there has been so little attention paid to women leaders over the years as well as why the styles of leading more often exhibited by women are particularly useful at this critical moment in history. The empowering, cooperative approaches most often associated with women are not exclusively female terrain. If we see these as crucial models for leadership in the twenty-first century, then we do not want only women to adopt them.

    • Charlotte Bunch,
    • in Helen S. Astin and Carole Leland, Women of Influence, Women of Vision: A Cross-Generational Study of Leaders and Social Change ()
  • Authority without wisdom is like a heavy axe without an edge, fitter to bruise than polish.

    • Anne Bradstreet,
    • "Meditations Divine and Moral" (1664), in John Harvard Ellis, ed., The Works of Anne Bradstreet in Prose and Verse ()
  • ... leadership is the process by which one individual consistently exerts more impact than others on the nature and direction of group activity.

    • Barbara Kellerman,
    • "Leadership As a Political Act," in Barbara Kellerman, ed., Leadership: Multidisciplinary Perspectives ()
  • ... leadership is tied to conviction. Leaders have a vision of a better future, they feel strongly about the need to go there.

  • Management is aimed at maintenance. The effective manager ensures that organizational goals are met efficiently and profitably, with a minimal amount of disruption. ... Leadership is aimed at change. The effective leader inspires and empowers others to respond to challenges by using their creativity to secure the best possible future for all concerned.

  • The ability to envision positive outcomes is the essence of leadership.

  • Your attitude as a leader will set the pace and tone for your employees. People tend to mirror each other, and employees especially tend to mirror their managers.

    • Marilyn Manning,
    • in Marilyn Manning and Patricia Haddock, Leadership Skills for Women ()
  • The leadership instinct you are born with is the backbone. You develop the funny bone and the wishbone that go with it.

  • I have always thought that what is needed is the development of people who are interested not in being leaders as much as in developing leadership in others.

    • Ella Josphine Baker,
    • in J. Todd Moye, Ella Baker: Community Organizer of the Civil Rights Movement ()
  • Good leadership requires you to surround yourself with people of diverse perspectives who can disagree with you without fear of retaliation.

  • The best kind of leader: one who creates independence, not dependence.

  • Power without a nation's confidence is nothing.

    • Catherine the Great,
    • in Ashton Applewhite, Tripp Evans, Andrews Frothingham, eds., And I Quote ()
  • ... leadership is a mirror in which the people see their collective reflection.