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Transformational Leadership Quotes

Today, I will be sharing with you 50 transformational leadership quotes from the great business leaders of our time. This article is strictly for those that want to achieve exceptional leadership in business. I have a lot of transformational leadership strategies up my sleeves to share with you but I will prefer you learn directly from the leadership titans of the business world.

I am talking about business leaders such as Aliko Dangote; the richest black man in the world, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison, Warren Buffett, Ingvar Kamprad, John D. Rockefeller, Mukesh Ambani and Lakshmi Mittal.

Without wasting much of your time, below are 50 transformational leadership quotes and strategies for achieving leadership in business.

50 Transformational Leadership Quotes

1. “If there is such a thing as good leadership, it is to give a good example. I have to do so for all the IKEA employees.” – Ingvar Kamprad

“The speed of the leader determines the speed of the gang.” – Mary Kay Ash

“People problems must sometimes be dealt with harshly. When you make an example of someone, make sure everyone knows what the lesson is. Punish one, teach a hundred.” – The Mafia Manager

4. “Sometimes, I think my most important job as a CEO is to listen for bad news. If you don’t act on it, your people will eventually stop bringing bad news to your attention and that is the beginning of the end.” – Bill Gates

5. “Kindness is more powerful than compulsion.” – Charles Schwab

6. “There are no working hours for leaders.” – James Cardinal Gibbons

7. “Don’t encourage overtime. Tell your people that the best way to impress you is to do a great job in the time allotted for it and then go home and relax.” – The Mafia Manager

8. “A real leader faces the music even when he doesn’t like the tune.” – Arnold H. Glassgow

9. “A little thing is a little thing but faithfulness in a little thing is a great thing.” – Hudson Taylor

10. “Be as careful as to the books you read as of the company you keep; for your habits and character will be as much influenced by the former as the latter.” – Poxton Hood

11. “Beware of those who stand aloof and greet each venture with reproof. The world would stop if things were run by men who say ‘it can’t be done.” – Samuel Glover

12. “Be great in little things.” – St. Francis Xavier

13. “Be a life long student, read as many books as possible.” – Nelson Mandela

14. “Calamity is the test of integrity.” – Samuel Richardson

“Your arrows do not carry, observed the master; because they do not reach far enough spiritually.” – Zen Master

16. “Cowards die many times before their death. The valiant never taste death but once.” – William Shakespeare

17. “You are in a war. You must plan to take the other guy down first and do it. Winning is not the best thing; it’s the only thing. If it were not, no one would keep score. To win the war, you must take charge. You must set the organization’s objectives, establish a chain of control, delegate, appraise performance, adjust and act.” – The Mafia Manager

18. “Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees all others.” – Winston Churchill

“When somebody challenges you, fight back. Be brutal, be tough.” – Donald Trump

“To win one hundred battles in one hundred victories is not the ACME of skills. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the ACME of skill.” – Sun Tzu

21. “The ability to deal with people is as purchasable as a commodity as sugar or coffee and I will pay more for that ability than for any other thing under the sun.” – John D. Rockefeller

22. “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” – Winston Churchill

23. “To lead people, walk behind them.” – Lao Tzu

“If you see a snake, just kill it. Don’t appoint a committee on snakes.” – Henry Ross Perot

“The most important thing in your business relationships is your reputation for honesty. If you can genuinely and sincerely fake honesty, you will be a success. Never doubt it.” – The Mafia Manager

26. “Punishing honest mistakes stifles creativity. I want people moving and shaking the earth and they are going to make mistakes.” – Henry Ross Perot

“After loyalty come ability, skill and competence. Promote only able people (and the occasional humbler). You find able people by testing them.” – The Mafia Manager

28. “Do not fear when your enemies criticize you. Beware when they applaud.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

29. “Effort and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.” – John F. Kennedy

“Fire is the test of gold, adversity of strong men.” – Seneca

50 Transformational Leadership Quotes + Strategies for Business Success

31. “Good leadership consists of showing average people how to do the work of superior people.” – John D. Rockefeller

“Be prepared for betrayal from anyone on your staff, but especially from those you have the most trust in. Every betrayal must be repaid as quickly and as publicly as possible. If you should let a betrayal go unpunished, you are through as a leader.” – The Mafia Manager

33. “When people are placed in positions slightly above what they expect, they are apt to excel.” – Richard Branson

“Good judgment comes from experience and experience comes from bad judgments.” – Dr Warne W. Dyer

35. “He who establishes his argument by noise is weak and command shows that his reason is weak.” – Montaigne

36. “He who believes is strong; he who doubt is weak. Strong convictions precede great action.” – J. F. Clarke

“At meetings, have someone else float your newest ideas. Watch the reaction of the rest of your staff. Note who opposes, who supports, who links up with whom. See who responds with an open mind, whose mind is already made up, one way or the other. If you are going to walk on water, you have to know where the rocks are.” – The Mafia Manager

38. “Giving people self confidence is by far the most important thing that I can do because then they will act.” – Jack Welch

39. “It takes character and control to be understanding and forgiving.” – Dale Carnegie

“Before making an important decision, get as much as you can of the best information available and review it carefully, analyze it and draw up worst case scenarios. Add up the plus or minus factors, discuss it with your team and do what your guts tell you to do.” – The Mafia Manager

41. “The people who are doing the work are the moving force behind the Macintosh. My job is to create a space for them, to clear out the rest of the organization and keep it at bay.” – Steve Jobs

42. “Inventories can be managed but people must be led.” – Henry Ross Perot

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and only five Minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you will do things differently.” – Warren Buffett

44. “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.” – Sam Walton

“Don’t be too familiar with your followers; it may at first inspire affection but eventually, like all familiarity; it will breed contempt.” – The Mafia Manager

“I hire people brighter than me and I get out of their way.” – Lee Iacocca

47. “It’s alright to be Goliath but always act like David.” – Philip Knight

48. “If you want to be great and successful, choose people who are great and successful and walk side by side with them.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

49. “If you hear a voice within you saying ‘you are not a painter’ then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.” – Vincent Van Gogh

“There will be times when you will have to be abrasive, even brutal to members of your staff. Don’t worry that your people will say bad things about you because of this. They already have. But in general, try to be pleasant and accommodating. Try to please the greatest number who work for you that you can; antagonize the fewest. Blow smoke.” – The Mafia Manager


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