3 Quotes that have Impacted My Leadership the Most

Maybe you have heard the old saying “leaders are born.” I wasn’t a born leader. I mean I was birthed, just like you, but I wasn’t born with a pedigree for leadership. 

Early in my life I kind of forced my way into a leadership position. I would try and take charge and be the loudest voice.

Looking back, I had some natural leadership tendencies and strengths, what I didn’t have was good modeling or mentoring on how to develop and use these strengths. 

This often caused me to feel insecure, so I would try and make up for this insecurity by using my strength of courage and assertiveness to tell people what to do and lead the way by saying, ‘come on follow me.’ 

Often it was a challenge to get others to follow me, my influence was weak at best and non-existent at worst. So, I would resort to my title, rank, or position to push myself to do what I needed done. 

Luckily in my early 20’s, I was exposed to some good leaders and mentors. I was given some books to read and some coaching on how to grow and develop. One of those books and still a favorite in my library today is 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. There are so many great lessons in this book that it was an instant classic that I recommend to all people. 

A great and life-changing quote from this classic is “What we are, communicates far more eloquently than anything we say or do.” 

When I look back at the way I was and the way I led in the past, this quote changed my trajectory. I knew when I read it, I had to become different if I truly wanted to be a better leader. It was this book and quote that changed my direction. 

Another great quote from a different leader is, “when you were made a leader, you weren’t given a crown. You were given the responsibility to bring out the best in others.” ~ Jack Welch. 

Leadership is not a position or a title. You don’t even have to be a born leader. But to influence others you do have to be willing to grow your natural strengths and develop some essential skills you may not have yet. When you do this, you will bring out the best in others and begin to put crowns on all their heads. 

My all-time favorite quote from a woman from my home state of Arkansas is “people may not remember what you say, but they will always remember how you made them feel.” ~Maya Angelou. 

Why is this an important quote? I am not sure if you have noticed but we have a problem in the world today with respect for our fellow man or woman. Maya Angelou gives us a great lesson in caring for others. 

This quote reminds me of the word I learned in the book Aspire by Kevin Hall. Genshai means to never make another person feel small.

If we listen to the words of Ms. Angelou and remember to practice Genshai, the world would be a much better place. 

As leaders, we must go first. We can’t wait on others to lead the way. We must lead the way. You must lead the way. Follow the advice from the quotes above and you will find your way to great leadership and followership. 

What are some quotes that have impacted you the most? Share your thoughts.


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