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52 Inspiring Quotes for Aspiring Leaders

52 Inspiring Quotes for Aspiring Leaders

Whether you’re looking to grow your library of quotes or looking to push that last hour of work in the office, these quotes will help. I have hand-picked them in order to give you the best possible impact. These have inspired the masses over the years, and I wish you the best in reaching your goal of being part of the next generation of aspiring leaders.

1. “Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way.”

—George Patton, General

2. “A leader is a dealer in hope.”

—Napolean Bonaparte

3. “You don’t need a title to be a leader.”

—Mark Sanborn

4. “To command is to serve, nothing more and nothing less.”

—Andre Malraux

5. “The greatest artists like Dylan, Picasso and Newton risked failure. And if we want to be great, we’ve got to risk it too.”

—Steve Jobs

6. “A ruler should be slow to punish and swift to reward.”

—Ovid

7. “Leadership is influence.”

—John C. Maxwell

8. “To do great things is difficult; but to command great things is more difficult.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

9. “Leadership is unlocking people’s potential to become better.”

—Bill Bradley

10. “Earn your leadership every day”

—Michael Jordan

11. “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.”

—John F. Kennedy

12. “To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.”

—Eleanor Roosevelt

13. “He who cannot be a good follower cannot be a good leader.”

—Aristotle

14. “Effective leadership is putting first things first. Effective management is discipline, carrying it out.”

—Stephen Covey

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

—Andrew Carnegie

16. “You do not lead by hitting people over the head—that’s assault, not leadership.”

—Dwight D. Eisenhower

17. “Don’t follow the crowd, let the crowd follow you.”

—Margaret Thatcher

18. “I cannot trust a man to control others who cannot control himself.”

—Robert E. Lee

19. “Some leaders are born women.”

—Geraldine Ferraro

20. “In the future, there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders.”

—Sheryl Sandberg

21. “Be with a leader when he is right, stay with him when he is still right, but, leave him when he is wrong.”

—Abraham Lincoln

22. “We’re here for a reason. I believe a bit of the reason is to throw little torches out to lead people through the dark.”

—Whoopi Goldberg

23.“The art of leadership is saying no, not yes. It is very easy to say yes.”

—Tony Blair

24. “Together we are better.”

—John Paul Warren

25. “The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been. ”

—Henry Kissinger 

26. “I must follow the people. Am I not their leader?”

—Benjamin Disraeli

27. “Every great leader can take you back to a defining moment when they decided to lead.”

—John Paul Warren

28. “When you accept a leadership role, you take on extra responsibility for your actions toward others.”

—Kelley Armstrong

29. “Sheep are always looking for a new shepherd when the terrain gets rocky.”

—Karen Marie Moning

30. “I would not be a Moses to lead you into the Promised Land, because if I could lead you into it, someone else could lead you out of it.”

—Eugene V. Debs 

31. “Too many kings can ruin an army.”

—Homer

32. “There are two kinds of leaders, cowboys and Shepherds. Cowboys drive and Shepherds lead.”

—John Paul Warren

33. “When eagles are silent, parrots begin to chatter.”

—Winston Churchill

34. “Stories are the single most powerful weapon in a leader’s arsenal.”

—Howard Gardner

35. “Leadership is a two-way street, loyalty up and loyalty down.”

—Grace Murray Hopper  

36. “The power to lead is the power to mislead, and the power to mislead is the power to destroy.”

—Thomas Monson

37. “It’s not about you. It’s about them.”

—Clint Eastwood

38. “Leadership is the art of giving people a platform for spreading ideas that work.”

—Seth Godin

39. “Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy.”

—Norman Schwarzkopf

40. “Successful leaders see the opportunities in every difficulty rather than the difficulty in every opportunity.”

—Reed Markham 

41. “If you want people to to think, give them intent, not instruction.”

—David Marquet

42. “How was your day? If your answer was ‘fine,’ then I don’t think you were leading.”

—Seth Godin

43. “Dominate in your domain; You can do it.”

—Jaachynma Agu

44. “Our greatest limitation isn’t the leader of the lives; it is the spirit within us.”

—John MacArthur

45. “Winners see the dream and develop plans while the rest see the obstacles and develop justifications.”

—Orrin Woodward 

46. “One mark of a good officer, he remembered, was the ability to make quick decisions. If they happen to be right, so much the better.”

—Larry Niven

47. “Some are born leaders, some achieve leadership, and some have leadership thrust upon them. Which of these are you, or would you rather not bother?”

—Maurice Flanagan

48. “Any man who has ever led an army, an expedition, or a group of Boy Scouts has sadism in his bones.”

—Tahir Shah

49. “Engage the enemy more closely.”

—Charles Faddis

50. “One of the fundamental aspects of leadership, I realized more and more, is the ability to instill confidence in others when you yourself are feeling insecure.”

—Howard Schultz 

51. “Finally, the president added, ‘The American people are idealists, but they also want their leaders to be realistic…’”

—Bob Woodward

52. “There’s no such thing as a superhero, but together we can world in a new direction.”

—Biz Stone

I hope these help and support your missions to success!

Featured photo credit: Piotr Kwiatkowski via unsplash.com

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Last Updated on July 17, 2019

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

What happens in our heads when we set goals?

Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

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Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

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One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

The Neurology of Ownership

Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

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But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

The Upshot for Goal-Setters

So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

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It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

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Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

Reference

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