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229 of 6,095 quotations related to Leadership, showing Adams to Goldsmith

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Adams, Abigail
These are the times in which a genius would wish to live. It is not the still calm of life, or in the repose of a pacific station, that great challenges are formed . . . great necessities call out great virtues.

Jan. 19, 1780 - from a letter to John Quincy Adams
Adams, Douglas
Mortal terror is not the best state of mind in which to try and frame intelligent answers.

1990 - from Last Chance to See
Adams, Samuel
It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds...

Aesop
Yield to all and you will soon have nothing to yield.

c. 500 B.C. - from "The Man and His Two Wives" in Aesop's Fables
Aiken, Howard
Don't worry about people stealing an idea. If it's original, you will have to ram it down their throats.

Alcuin
What makes bitter things sweet? Hunger.

Alexander, Shana
Trying to squash a rumor is like trying to unring a bell.

Alfred the Great
The saddest thing about any man is that he be ignorant -- and the most exciting thing is that he knows.

quoted in The Year 1000 by Robert Lacey and Danny Danziger, Little, Brown and Co.
Amiel, Henri Frederic
Great men are true men, the men in whom nature has succeeded. They are not extraordinary -- they are in the true order. It is the other species of men who are not what they ought to be.

What we call little things are merely the causes of great things; they are the beginning, the embryo, and it is the point of departure which, generally speaking, decides the whole future of an existence.




For purposes of action nothing is more useful than narrowness of thought combined with energy of will.

quoted in Barnes & Noble Book of Quotations, by Robert I. Fitzhenry, 1987
To be always ready a man must be able to cut a knot, for everything cannot be untied; he must know how to disengage what is essential from the detail in which it is enwrapped, for everything cannot be equally considered... To know how to be ready, is to know how to start.

1872 - from Amiel's Journey
He who is silent is forgotten; he who abstains is taken at his word; he who does not advance, falls back; he who stops is overwhelmed, distanced, crushed; he who ceases to grow greater becomes smaller; he who leaves off, gives up; the stationary condition is the beginning of the end.

1872 - from Amiel's Journey
The man who insists upon seeing with perfect clearness before he decides never decides. Accept life, and you must accept regret.

1872 - from Amiel's Journey
Amory, Cleveland
Every creator painfully experiences the chasm between his inner vision and its ultimate expression.

Anthony, Susan B.
Cautious, careful people, always casting about to preserve their reputation and social standing, never can bring about reform. Those who are really in earnest must be willing to be anything or nothing in the world's estimation, and publicly and privately, in season and out, avow their sympathy with despised and persecuted ideas and their advocates, and bear the consequences.

1860
Aristophanes
The wise learn many things from their enemies.

Ashcroft, Sen. John
Leaders who suggest they can separate their private lives and their public actions are wrong. Morality is not divisible.

Jan. 30, 1998 - from a speech to the Conservative Political Action Committee
Attila the Hun
Appropriate stress is essential in developing chieftains.

quoted in The Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun, by Wess Roberts, 1987
Superficial goals lead to superficial results.

quoted in The Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun, by Wess Roberts, 1987



Bagehot, Walter
The notion of a farseeing and despotic statesman, who can lay down plans for ages yet unborn, is a fancy generated by the pride of the human intellect to which facts give no support.

Baldwin, Stanley
A statesman wants courage and a statesman wants vision; but believe me, after six months' experience, he wants first, second, third and all the time - patience.

Bastiat, Frederic
The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended.

Ben-Gurion, David
In Israel, in order to be a realist you must believe in miracles.

Bennett, William J.
... truly great leaders do not disdain small responsibilities.

1993 - from The Book of Virtues
Others may try to feed our ego, but it is up to us to constrain it.

1993 - from The Book of Virtues
Bennis, Warren G.
Managers do things right. Leaders do the right thing.

1985 - from Leaders: The Strategies for Taking Charge
Failing organizations are usually over-managed and under-led.

quoted in Leadership 101: Inspirational Quotes and Insights for Leaders by John Maxwell
[Leaders] provide direction and meaning... generate and sustain trust... display a bias towards action, risk-taking and curiosity... [and] are purveyors of hope.

Jan. 1997 - from "The Secrets of Great Groups", published by the Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Non-Profit Management
An unconscious conspiracy in contemporary society prevents leaders from taking charge and making changes. Within any organization, an entrenched bureaucracy with a commitment to the status quo undermines the leader. Social forces such as the increasing tension between individual rights and the common good, for example, discourage the emergence of leaders. ... Each individual feels helpless to affect anything beyond the immediate environment and so retreats into an ever-contracting private world--a phenomenon that manifests itself among the affluent as "cocooning." People don't dream, and people without a dream are less easily inspired by a leader's vision.

1989 - from "Why Leaders Can't Lead"



The liberal style of negotiation, of splitting differences, of bringing people together to iron out differences, will work during a time of shared values, but not in charged and polarized times. It is one thing to negotiate differences when the stakes are only economic; it is another thing to negotiate between morally antithetical viewpoints.

1989 - from "Why Leaders Can't Lead"
Leaders manage trust. The main determinant of trust is reliability, what I call constancy. A recent study showed that people would much rather follow individuals they can count on, even when they disagree with their viewpoints, than people they agree with but who shift positions frequently. I can not emphasize enough the significance of constancy and focus. Leaders must be constant, focused, and all of a piece.

1989 - from "Why Leaders Can't Lead"
Bhagavad Gita
Action should culminate in wisdom.

Bonaparte, Napoleon
Circumstances - what are circumstances? I make circumstances.

Treason is a matter of dates.

A leader is a dealer in hope.

Never interfere with the enemy when he is in the process of defeating himself.

Bradbury, Ray
We are an impossibility in an impossible universe.

Brandeis, Louis Dembitz
Most of the things worth doing in the world have been declared impossible before they were done.

Organization can never be a substitute for initiative and for judgment.




Branden, Nathaniel
The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance.

Browning, Robert
... a man's reach should exceed his grasp

1855 - from "Andrea del Sarto" in Men and Women
Buchan, John
Man, according to Aristotle, is a political animal, but there is an exception in the case of a Governor General. His views on public policy can only be the views of his Ministers. If he touches on the subject he must confine himself to what may be called Governor-Generalities.

1940 - quoted in Canadian Occasions: Addresses and in Famous Lasting Words by John Robert Columbo
Buck, Pearl S.
Every great mistake has a halfway moment, a split second when it can be recalled and perhaps remedied.

1942 - from What American Means to Me
Buck, Tim  
You can't cross a chasm in two leaps.

quoted in Columbo's New Canadian Quotations by John Robert Columbo
Burke, Edmund
All government, indeed every human benefit and enjoyment, every virtue, and every prudent act, is founded on compromise and barter. ... Man acts from motives relative to his interests; and not on metaphysical speculations.

1770 - from "On the Causes of the Present Discontents"
A populace never rebels from passion for attack, but from impatience of suffering.

It is the nature of all greatness not to be exact.

Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.

Burnett, Francis Hodgson
At first people refuse to believe that a strange new thing can be done, then they begin to hope it can be done, then they see it can be done - then it is done and all the world wonders why it was not done centuries ago.




Burnett, Leo
The secret of all effective originality in advertising is not the creation of new and tricky words and pictures, but one of putting familiar words and pictures into new relationships.

Bush, George W.
We must show courage in a time of blessing by confronting our problems instead of passing them on... I ask you to seek a common good beyond your comfort, to defend needed reforms against many attacks, to serve your nation, beginning with your neighbors. I ask you to be citizens. Citizens, not spectators.

Jan. 20, 2001 - from his inaugural address
Butler, Samuel
You can do very little with faith, but you can do nothing without it.

from Notebooks
Char, René
In action, be primitive; in foresight, a strategist.

1956 - from "Leaves of Hypnos" in Hypnos Waking, quoted in The International Thesaurus of Quotations by Ehrlich and de Bruhl
Churchill, Charles
Those who would make us feel--must feel themselves.

from The Rosciad
No statesman e'er will find it worth his pains, to tax our labours and excise our brains.

from Night
Churchill, Sir Winston
Never hold discussions with the monkey when the organ grinder is in the room.

Confucius
People who do not think far enough ahead inevitably have worries near at hand.

from Analects 15.12
If leaders are courteous, their people will not dare to be disrespectful. If leaders are just, people will not dare to be intractable. If leaders are trustworthy, people will not dare to be dishonest.

from Analects 13:4
Exemplary people concern themselves with virtue, small people concern themselves with territory.

from Analects 4.11



Ideal people do not deviate from humaneness at any time; they are at it even when in a rush, they are at it even in the midst of turmoil.

from Analects 4.5
Cultivated people foster what is good in others, not what is bad. Petty people do the opposite.

from Analects 12.16
To see justice but not do it is to lack courage.

from Analects 2.24
If you act on the basis of profit you will be much resented.

from Analects 4.12
Cultivated people are ashamed to say more than they can do.

from Analects 14.29
Learn a lot, eliminate the doubtful, and speak discreetly about the rest; then there will be little blame. See a lot, eliminate the perilous, act prudently on the rest; then there will be little regret. When your words are seldom blamed and your actions seldom regretted, employment will be there.

from Analects 2.18
Coolidge, Calvin
We cannot do everything at once, but we can do something at once.

Perhaps one of the most important accomplishments of my administration has been minding my own business.

It is not the name of the action, but the result of the action, which is the chief concern.

Mar. 4, 1925 - from his Inaugural Address
We are not without our problems, but our most important problem is not to secure new advantages but to maintain those which we already possess.

Mar. 4, 1925 - from his Inaugural Address



[Advice to legislators] Do the day's work. If it be to protect the rights of the weak, whoever objects, do it. If it be to help a powerful corporation better to serve the people, whatever the opposition, do that. Expect to be called a stand-patter, but don't be a stand-patter. Expect to be called a demagogue, but don't be a demagogue. Don't hesitate to be as revolutionary as science. Don't hesitate to be as reactionary as the multiplication table. Don't expect to build up the weak by pulling down the strong. Don't hurry to legislate. Give administration a chance to catch up with legislation.

Jan. 7, 1914 - from a speech delivered to the Massachusetts Senate when he became its president
Little progress can be made by merely attempting to repress what is evil; our great hope lies in developing what is good.

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination are omnipotent. The slogan 'press on' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.

Cooper, James Fenimore
Systems are to be appreciated by their general effects, and not by particular exceptions.

de Gaulle, Charles
Faced with crisis, the man of character falls back upon himself.

de Montaigne, Michel Eyquem
He who establishes his argument by noise and command shows that his reason is weak.

Deming, W. Edwards
It is not enough to do your best; you must know what to do, and then do your best.

Drucker, Peter
The purpose of an organization is to enable common men to do uncommon things.

from Management
The best way to predict the future is to create it.

Durant, William
It may be true that you can't fool all the people all the time, but you can fool enough of them to rule a large country.




Eisenhower, Dwight D.
Humility must always be the portion of any man who receives acclaim earned in the blood of his followers and the sacrifices of his friends.

Jul. 12, 1945
In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.

What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight - it's the size of the fight in the dog.

1958 - from a speech to the Republican National Committee
Emerson, Ralph Waldo
Begin and proceed on a settled and not-to-be-shaken conviction that but little is permitted to any man to do or to know, and if he complies with the first grand laws, he shall do well.

1832 - from his Journals
All great masters are chiefly distinguished by the power of adding a second, a third, and perhaps a fourth step in a continuous line. Many a man had taken the first step. With every additional step you enhance immensely the value of you first.

Erhard, Ludwig
A compromise is the art of dividing a cake in such a way that everyone believes that he has got the biggest piece.

1958 - quoted in the London Observer
Ford, Henry
Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.

Fosdick, Harry Emerson
No steam or gas drives anything until it is confined. No life ever grows great until it is focused, dedicated, disciplined.

He who chooses the beginning of a road chooses the place it leads to. It is the means that determines the end.

Fox, Terry  
I just wish people would realize that anything is possible if you try; dreams are made if people try.

1980



Franklin, Benjamin
Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.

1754 - from Poor Richard's Almanac
Fuller, Thomas
He that is everywhere is nowhere.

1732 - from Gnomologia: Adagies and Proverbs
If you command wisely, you'll be obeyed cheerfully.

1732 - from Gnomologia: Adagies and Proverbs
He that will not sail till all dangers are over must never put to sea.

1732 - from Gnomologia: Adagies and Proverbs
Don't let your will roar when your power only whispers.

1732 - from Gnomologia: Adagies and Proverbs
Galbraith, John Kenneth  
If all else fails, immortality can always be assured by spectacular error.

Gerber, Michael
The five essential entrepreneurial skills for success: Concentration, Discrimination, Organization, Innovation and Communication

Gissing, George Robert
It is because nations tend to stupidity and baseness that mankind moves so slowly; it is because individuals have a capacity for better things that it moves at all.

Goethe, Johann Wolfgang
Life is the childhood of our immortality.

Goldsmith, Oliver
For he who fights and runs away, May live to fight another day; But he who is in battle slain, Can never rise and fight again.

1761 - from The Art of Poetry on a New Plan, see also John Ray