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Quotes of Leadership

Updated on June 15, 2011
  • No amount of study or learning will make a man a leader unless he has the natural qualities of one.
    -Sir Archibald Wavell
  • He who wishes to be obeyed must know how to command.
    -Niccolo Machiavelli
  • I can no longer obey; I have tasted command, and I cannot give it up.
    -Napoleon Bonaparte
  • To command is to serve, nothing more, nothing less.
    -Andre Malraux
  • A chief is a man who assumes responsibility. He says, "I was beaten," he does not say, "My men were beaten."
    -Antoine De Saint-Exupery
  • I must follow them. I am their leader.
    - Andrew Bonar Law
  • The most important quality in a leader is that of being acknowledged as such. All leaders whose fitness is questioned are clearly lacking in force.
    -Andre Maurois
  • The nature of encounter operations required of the commanders limitless initiative and constant readiness to take the responsibility for military actions.
       -Marshal Georgi Zhukov

Napoleon Bonaparte
Napoleon Bonaparte
  • Everyone imposes his own system as far as his army can reach.
    -Joseph Stalin
  • To a surprising extent the war-lords in shining armour, the apostles of martial virtues, tend not to die fighting when the time comes. History is full of ignominious getaways by the great and famous.
    -George Orwell
  • It is not the business of generals to shoot one another.
    Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington
  • Name me an emperor who was ever struck by a cannonball.
    -Charles V, of France
  • Nothing remains static in war or in military weapons, and it is consequently often dangerous to rely on courses suggested by apparent similarities in the past.
    -Admiral Ernest Joseph King
  • All very successful commanders are prima donnas and must be so treated.
    General George Patton
  • Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate and doubt, to offer a solution everybody can understand.
       -Colin Powell

Colin Powell
Colin Powell
  • The true test of a leader is whether his followers will adhere to his cause from their own volition, enduring the most arduous hardships without being forced to do so, and remaining steadfast in the moments of greatest peril.
  • Leadership is the democratic army means firmness, not harshness; understanding, not weakness; justice, not license; humaneness, not intolerance; generosity, not selfishness; pride, not egotism.
       -General Omar Bradley
  • Always do everything you ask of those you command.
       -General George Patton
  • Never neglect details.  When everyone's mind is dulled or distracted the leader must be doubly vigilant.
       -Colin Powell
  • To watch a highly skilled, experienced, and resolute commander controlling a hard-fought battle is to see, not only a man triumphing over the highest mental and physical stresses, but an artist producing his effects in the most complicated and difficult of all the arts.
       Field Marshal Sir William J. Slim
  • True genius resides in the capacity for evaluation of uncertain, hazardous, and conflicting information.
       -Winston Churchill

Karl Von Clausewitz
Karl Von Clausewitz
  • Battles are won by slaughter and maneuver.  The greater the general, the more he contributes in maneuver, the less he demands in slaughter.
       -Winston Churchill
  • There is small risk a general will be regarded with contempt by those he leads, if, whatever he may have to preach, he shows himself best able to perform.
  • Leadership is intangible, and therefore no weapon ever designed can replace it.
       -General Omar Bradley
  • The more a general is accustomed to place heavy demands on his soldiers, the more he can depend on their response.
       -Karl Von Clausewitz
  • Remember, gentleman, an order that can be misunderstood, will be misunderstood.
       Field Marshal Helmuth von Moltke, The Elder
  • Always presume that the enemy has dangerous designs and always be forehanded with the remedy.  But do not let these calculations make you timid.
       -Frederick the Great
  • Remember this: the truly great leader overcomes all difficulties and campaigns and battles are nothing but a long series of difficulties to be overcome.  The lack of equipment, the lack of food, the lack of this or that are only excuses: the real leader displays his quality in his triumphs over adversity, however great it may be.
       -General George Marshall
  • When things go wrong in your command, start searching for the reason in increasingly larger concentric circles around your own desk.
       -General Bruce C. Clarke


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    • KingDrew profile image

      Drew Bobbitt 7 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Thanks for your comment RTalloni!

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 7 years ago from the short journey

      Can't beat Colin Powell but General Bruce C. Clarke's is a new one for me...and a very good one. Right up there with "value your critics."