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Inspiring Leadership Quotes

I live in the Midwest, and I abhor snow. As I say, “you can’t say snow without saying NO.” I grew up here, and despite decades of practice dealing with it, snow remains in the “do not like” column. My husband and I both have lots of extended family and incredible friends within a few miles of our house; although the idea of moving south is enticing, leaving them all behind it is not something we are in a big hurry to do. The winter generally goes like this: snowfall means clouds, clouds mean no sun, and no sun means feelings of meh and blah with a side of needing an all-day nap. It’s days like these when a little pick-me-up of being with family and friends can go a long way to light an inner sunshine in ourselves that makes dreary snow days feel warm and up-lifting.

Leaders can feel meh and blah and like they need an all-day nap at times; after all, leaders are human! When tough days come around, it is very tempting to dial back effort and instead channel what little energy there is, to simply making it to the end of the day. When that happens, sometimes all it takes is pick-me-up style brain food to re-charge the leadership batteries. In this post, I’ll share with you some of my favorite pick-me-up leadership quotes, and a few words why these made an impact on me. I’ve attached them at the bottom for you to download and share.

I hope these inspire you! 

This quote underscores why I believe we all can develop our leadership abilities. Even the smallest positive influence over others is a gesture of leadership; one instance can lead to another, which leads to another, and so on. It makes me sad to read statistics that show bad bosses are a high contributor to turnover, and even more sad to see articles written specifically about how to deal with toxic workplaces or whether they should quit their jobs. We all deserve safe environments to grow professionally, and effective leadership is a key ingredient. I hope one day to see fewer of those articles and advice columns. Let’s all pledge to make leadership development our own responsibility. No matter where you are in your career, what role you have, or where you work…YOU can find and develop your leader voice!

Peter Drucker’s works were some of the first impressions I had to organizational change and leadership way back when I started on my own journey. Knowing the difference between managing and leading is as important as, knowing when you are on the side of right, vs having right on your side. People who want right on their side tend to over-explain why their spin on data/ideas/strategies is the way to go. They spend a lot of energy trying to convince you how and why the data/ideas/strategies align with their leadership style and motives. Conversely, leaders who are on the side of right seek objective data/ideas/strategies and let them stand on their own, and these leaders explain how and why their leadership will align with the data, ideas, and strategies that will most likely create long term value for the company and stakeholders.

I have a post coming soon which will expand on Maya’s beautiful quote…for now, start to think about why this resonates with you.

This is a quote I saw recently, which doesn’t really need much explanation. The first time I read it, in my head I saw a continuous infinity loop with the words “learning” and “leading” intertwined. Developing leadership skills and learning how to use your leader voices is an ongoing journey of learning, practice, and more learning. Once we stop learning, we stop leading, and vice versa.

I wrote a post that wraps some thoughts around this next quote. The best leaders nurture and cultivate their teams and create an inspiring, resourceful environment in which everyone can grow and contribute to the best of their capabilities. These leaders see signs of wilting and disengagement early and do what is needed to find the root cause. From there, it is up to both the leader and the team member to discuss reasonable changes to turn disengagement into engagement, and furthermore, healthy growth.

There are hundreds if not thousands of truly spectacular leadership quotes out there, and I’m sure you have one or several that are your go-to pick-me-ups when your inspiration tank is low. Go to them often. Share them. Display them. Emulate them.

Lead on, everyone!

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