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Sermon Quotes

Leadership

John Quincy Adams

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. 

Oswald Chambers

Faith never knows where it is being led, but it loves and knows the One who is leading.

Winston Churchill

Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.

Max DePree

The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you.  In between the two, the leader must become a servant and a debtor. That sums up the progress of an artful leader.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.

Ronald A. Heifetz

You stay alive in the practice of leadership by reducing the extent to which you become the target of people’s frustrations. The best way to stay out of range is to think constantly about giving the work back to the people who need to take responsibility. Place the work within and between the factions who are faced with the challenge, and tailor your interventions so they are unambiguous and have a context.

 

Ronald A. Heifetz

The challenge of leadership when trying to generate adaptive change is to work with differences, passions, and conflicts in a way that diminishes their destructive potential and constructively harnesses their energy.

Abraham Lincoln

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.

Max Lucado

A man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd.

Douglas MacArthur

A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his intent. 

John C. Maxwell

A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.

John C. Maxwell

Leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less.

Eugene H. Peterson

 A genuine leader will never exploit your emotions or your pocketbook.

Colin Powell

Leadership is solving problems. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help or concluded you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership.

Leonard Ravenhill

A true shepherd leads the way. He does not merely point the way.

Jim Rohn

The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly.

Eleanor Roosevelt

A good leader inspires people to have confidence in the leader,
a great leader inspires people to have confidence in themselves.

Jack Welch

Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.

Andy Stanley

Leaders are rarely the first ones to see an opportunity. They are often the first ones to seize an opportunity.

Terry Linhart

Leadership isn’t one big race; it is a bunch of little races with little finish lines to cross along the way.

The Self-Aware Leader: Discovering Your Blind Spots to Reach Your Ministry Potential, InterVarsity Press

Terry Linhart

Over time, leading tempts us to spend energy protecting our leadership rather than serving the people we lead.

The Self-Aware Leader: Discovering Your Blind Spots to Reach Your Ministry Potential, InterVarsity Press

Albert Schweitzer

Example is not the main thing in influencing others, it is the only thing. 

Walter Lippmann

The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind in others the conviction and will to carry on.

Parker Palmer

A leader is a person who must take special

responsibility for what’s going on inside him- or herself,

inside his or her consciousness,

lest the act of leadership create more harm than good.

Leading from Within

John Koessler

True visionary leadership is a function of time, discipline and attending to the ordinary as much as it is a function of a leader’s big idea. 

Taken from The Radical Pursuit of Rest by John Koessler. ©2015 by John Koessler.  Used by permission of InterVarsity Press, P.O. Box 1400, Downers Grove  IL  60515-1426. www.ivpress.com

Henri Nouwen

So the first and most basic task of the Christian leader in the future will be to lead his people out of the land of confusion into the land of hope. Therefore, he must first have the courage to be an explorer of the new territory in himself and to articulate his discoveries as a service to the inward generation.

The Wounded Healer (Doubleday Image Book. an Image Book), The Crown Publishing Group.

Henri Nouwen

By speaking about articulation as a form of leadership we have already suggested the place where the future leader will stand. Not “up there,” far away or secretly hidden, but in the midst of his people, with the utmost visibility.

The Wounded Healer (Doubleday Image Book. an Image Book), The Crown Publishing Group.

Scotty Smith

Until leaders have suffered, and have learned to steward their pain, they don’t really have much to offer.

Noel M. Tichy

The ultimate test for a leader is not whether he or she makes smart decisions and takes decisive action, but whether he or she teaches others to be leaders and builds an organization that can sustain its success even when he or she is not around.

Eugene B. Habecker

The true leader serves. Serves people. Serves their best interests, and in so doing will not always be popular, may not always impress. But because true leaders are motivated by loving concern, rather than a desire for personal glory, they are willing to pay the price.

The Other Side of Leadership: Coming to Terms with the Responsibilities that Accompany God-Given Authority, Scripture Press, 1987.

John C. Maxwell

When you become a leader, you must focus more on your responsibilities than on your rights.

Good Leaders Ask Great Questions, Center Street.

Warren Bennis & Burt Nanus

It is the capacity to develop and improve their skills that distinguishes leaders from followers.

French Revolutionary

There go my people. I must find out where they’re going, so I can lead them.

John Kenneth Galbraith

All of the great leaders have had one characteristic in common: it was the willingness to confront unequivocally the major anxiety of their people in their time.

Andy Stanley

Uncertainty is not an indication of poor leadership; it underscores the need for leadership.… The nature of leadership demands that there always be an element of uncertainty. The temptation is to think, ‘If I were a good leader, I would know exactly what to do.’ Increased responsibility means dealing more with more intangibles and therefore more complex uncertainty. Leaders can afford to be uncertain, but we cannot afford to be unclear. People will not follow fuzzy leadership.

Parker Palmer

Alfred North Whitehead claimed that all true education is religious education. In the same spirit, all true leadership is religious leadership— for religion has to do with cleansing the human self of the toxins that make our leadership more death-dealing than life-giving.

Casey Stengel

The key to being a good manager is keeping the people who hate me away from those who are still undecided.

Peter Drucker

Most of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to get their jobs done.

Peter Drucker

Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to higher sights, raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, of building a personality beyond its normal limitations.

Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices

Sharon Daloz Parks

It must be underscored that it is the reflection on one’s own experience of leadership failure that is the essential, vital feature of [the] leadership process. Further, some evidence indicates that presenting one’s own failure in a semi-public, professional setting contributes to a greater sense of confidence and freedom. The discovery appears to be this: if I can survive having failed in the eyes of these peers – and if everyone here also suffers failure – then I have a greater degree of freedom to act.

Leadership Can Be Taught

Alan Fadling

I like to describe spiritual leadership as living a grace-paced life in the midst of a driven culture; living at a vital, life-giving, peaceful pace while remaining engaged and active in the kingdom work Jesus began here on this earth. I live not at the mercy of the culture’s pace, but blessed by the mercy of my unhurried Savior.

Taken from An Unhurried Life: Following Jesus’ Rhythms of Work and Rest by Alan Fadling Copyright (c) 2013 by Alan Fadling. Published by InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL. www.ivpress.com

Clayborne Carson, Kris Shepard

Martin’s [Luther King] voice was more than the communication of intellectual ideals and spiritual vision. It was a call for action, action which he personally led. . . . [Martin] saw leadership as a process of relating the daily plight of humankind to the eternal truths of creation.

A Call to Conscience: The Landmark Speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Cornel West

If your success is defined as being well adjusted to injustice and well adapted to indifference, then we don’t want successful leaders. We want great leaders who love the people enough and respect the people enough to be unbought, unbound, unafraid, and unintimidated to tell the truth.

Quoted in Crystal Blanton, “Inspiration, Reflection and Justice: Spirituality through the Voices of Our Leaders,” Feb. 5, 2013, Daughters of Eve (blog), Patheos.

Henri J. M. Nouwen

So the first and most basic task of the Christian leader in the future will be to lead his people out of the land of confusion into the land of hope. Therefore, he must first have the courage to be an explorer of the new territory in himself and to articulate his discoveries as a service to the inward generation.

The Wounded Healer: Ministry in Contemporary Society, Image, 1979.

Henri J. M. Nouwen

A Christian leader is not a leader because he announces a new idea and tries to convince others of its worth; he is a leader because he faces the world with eyes full of expectation, with the expertise to take away the veil that covers its hidden potential. Christian leadership is called ministry precisely to express that in the service of others new life can be brought about. It is this service which gives eyes to see the flower breaking through the cracks in the street, ears to hear a word of forgiveness muted by hatred and hostility, and hands to feel new life under the cover of death and destruction.

The Wounded Healer: Ministry in Contemporary Society, Image, 1979.

Henri J. M. Nouwen

By speaking about articulation as a form of leadership we have already suggested the place where the future leader will stand. Not “up there,” far away or secretly hidden, but in the midst of his people, with the utmost visibility.

The Wounded Healer: Ministry in Contemporary Society, Image, 1979.

Bob Biehl

In determining your leadership competence, your ability to delegate effectively is far more important than your innate intelligence.

30 Days to Confident Leadership (Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 1998), p.75.

Lyle E. Schaller

The final thing leaders will need is courage … the willingness to tell the truth, to say what is not politely or politically acceptable. … The most common expression of the courage to tell the truth is to say, ‘It ain’t workin’.’”

“Schaller: Courageous Leaders Can Say It Ain’t Workin’,” Penn-Jersey Baptist, February 2006.

Hopper (Kevin Spacey)

“First rule of leadership: everything is your fault.”

A Bug’s Life

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