Leadership is a complex topic. It requires drive, ingenuity, creativity, and above all character. Not everyone is a true leader. Running a company by simply giving orders and not caring about your employees at all makes you a boss, not a leader.

Leadership is not about titles, but about people willingly following someone because they trust their vision and abilities. We’re looking for people that have what it takes to inspire us, who would cheer our success and help us get back on track whenever we fail. That’s when we feel we’re being valued and that’s the kind of people we choose to follow.

The following leadership quotes will not only inspire you, but teach you about the differences between a leader with a strong character and an autocratic boss.

When leaders give a sense of purpose and protection, their people will make all the necessary efforts to get the job done. Leadership lies in pointing out people’s strengths, helping them and knowing that success doesn’t come by yourself. You need their contribution if you want to build something that lasts.

Here are 25 leadership quotes to inspire you to become a better leader:

Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall.


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 (more Jim Rohn quotes)

Become the kind of leader that people would follow voluntarily; even if you had no title or position.


Leadership is not bullying and leadership is not aggression. Leadership is the expectation that you can use your voice for good. That you can make the world a better place.

SHERYL SANDBERG (more Sheryl Sandberg quotes)

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.


Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.


My own definition of leadership is this: The capacity and the will to rally men and women to a common purpose and the character which inspires confidence.


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 (more Nelson Mandela quotes)

If you wouldn’t follow yourself, why should anyone else?

JOHN C. MAXWELL (more John C. Maxwell quotes)

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.


The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born-that there is a genetic factor to leadership. That’s nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. Leaders are made rather than born.


He who has never learned to obey cannot be a good commander.

ARISTOTLE (more Aristotle quotes)

A great person attracts great people and knows how to hold them together.


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.


You don’t lead by pointing and telling people some place to go. You lead by going to that place and making a case.


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.


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.


A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his intent.


No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself, or to get all the credit for doing it.


The leader has to be practical and a realist yet must talk the language of the visionary and the idealist.


Great leaders are not defined by the absence of weakness, but rather by the presence of clear strengths.


Earn your leadership every day.


Lead and inspire people. Don’t try to manage and manipulate people. Inventories can be managed but people must be led.


Leaders aren’t born, they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work. And that’s the price we’ll have to pay to achieve that goal, or any goal.


Leadership is solving problems. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help or concluded you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership.