Posted by: Suresh Sundarababu | June 17, 2013

Forbes 100 Best Quotes on Leadership

Forbes 100 Best Quotes on Leadership

Wikipedia describes Cliché  (/ˈklʃ/ ) as an expression or idea which has become overused to the point of losing its original meaning, or effect, and even, to the point of being trite or irritating, especially when at some earlier time it was considered meaningful or novel.

And leadership quotes over time has become cliche’s! Repeated again and again so much that we hear the words but don’t really stop to understand the meaning of it.

In my humble opinion, some cliche’s are well worth everyone’s time and in fact should be repeated and practiced again and again. Maybe lot of the inadequacies in leadership exhibited today worldwide, corporate or social, could be enhanced if these cliche’s are given more respect!

Kevin Kruse in the above Forbes article compiles his top 100 leadership quotes. May be 100 is a little too much and hard to remember all the time. Nevertheless it is useful to have a handful of favorites as your own favorite list. This list should resonate with one’s core value system and something that is not heard as words but seen as action.

I have about 10 or so, but today wanted to expand on three which are in this list and I feel very passionate about

#14 – Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has. —Margaret Mead

Even one person can change the world. Not the one with 7 billion people, but the world around you! The two or three at home, four or five you know at work, six or seven friends that do absorb the things you do and can be inspired! And the force multiplier of this effect is magical to watch. And one example is the African Leadership Bridge. It started as an idea by one person to help one deserving student and now, while still small, we are trying to change a continent! (

#22 – Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm. —Publilius Syrus

Almost everyone wants to lead. Most of them will even do a good enough job when everything is going right. There have been many CEO’s who were named to the best CEO’s list and have written books about leadership when their stocks literally doubled every quarter, but found to be lacking when going got tough. True leadership is exhibited when the weather changes and things aren’t going too well. Are you the first to jump ship, or are you the one steering the ship with a calmness that is reassuring as well as motivating to the flock?

#90 – You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing you think you cannot do. —Eleanor Roosevelt

Time and again we set our sights on something safe or easy to achieve. Because failure is scary. And there are so many reasons (good logical ones!) as to why the safe and easy is the way to go. And unfortunately (or fortunately!) the right thing to do in most situations are not for the faint of heart. But when one chooses to conquer this fear and does the right thing, even if the end result is not exactly what you wanted, the reward is lasting and most certainly long lasting than safe and easy!

And here is hoping that your list is full of cliche’s that matter to you!



  1. Never ask an employee to do something that I as a leader wouldn’t do. A good leader knows when to engage, disengage, when to give praise, encouragement and when to say the most important two words to any employee, thank you.

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