While managing and leading your team is a set of tasks and challenges that can carry many nuances, some of the best advice is surprisingly simple. That’s why today, we’re bringing you a collection of some of the best leadership quotes we’ve found over the last year that capture a key lesson or inspiration.
“I apologize for the length of this letter; I didn’t have time to make it shorter.” – Mark Twain
I’ve always loved this quote by the ever-quotable, Mark Twain. I’ve caught myself many times getting over verbose in an email or blog post, that when investing more time made it more effective, and shorter. The beauty of Twitter is it forces exactly those kinds of condensed, poignant thoughts.
Take a moment to read and really contemplate these lessons; there’s truly deep insights in many of them. Also, consider following the authors; many of them are brilliant leaders whose tweets we’ve been enjoying and learning from on a regular basis. (Note: If you’re a Lighthouse blog subscriber, click to read the post on our site; the tweets renders much nicer on our blog than your email.)
25 Leadership Quotes to Inspire You
I’ve organized these quotes into a few categories that are commonly on the mind of most managers and leaders: retaining your team, being successful, growing your people, giving feedback, and leading effectively in the modern world. I hope you enjoy them.
It’s no secret that it’s expensive to lose a member of your team (we’ve calculated it at costing over $65,000 to replace an employee.) There are a lot of reasons why people leave jobs, but there are a few key concepts that can help you think of how to keep your best people for a long time. We also couldn’t help but include Joe Stump’s tweet showing a clever recruiting hack that can help you think about all these tweets as ways to consider how you can recruit because someone’s manager is not following this advice.
I am reminded every day that engineers leave managers not companies. Managers, this should keep you up at night.
— Elias Torres (@eliast) February 27, 2014
Talented employees stay because they are: 1 paid well 2 mentored 3 challenged 4 promoted 5 involved in decisions 6 appreciated #INBOUND14
— Vala Afshar (@ValaAfshar) September 16, 2014
When a sales leader doesn't engage with their team on even sensitive topics, the team loses trust in the leader and the best ppl leave.
— Aaron Ross (@motoceo) October 17, 2014
Working hard for something we don't care about is called stress. Working hard for something we love is called passion.
— Joshua Davidson (@dasjoshua) October 17, 2014
What? You don’t put events into your calendar for your friends’ vesting anniversaries for recruiting purposes?
— Joe Stump (@joestump) February 24, 2014
Keys to Success
We all want to be successful, but what does that really mean? I’ve personally invested a lot of time in reading books and blog posts on the subject trying to crack the code. What I found was that it’s actually a handful of simple things not that far from the Golden Rule combined with a strong work ethic. These tweets capture a number of key aspects of it.
Here's how to get lucky: 1 work hard 2 teach others 3 complain less 4 share the credit 5 show up on time 6 be responsible 7 stay teachable
— Vala Afshar (@ValaAfshar) October 8, 2014
Your probability of success is proportional to the number of people that want you to succeed. Work to keep increasing that number.
— Dharmesh Shah (@dharmesh) August 27, 2014
Engineering management, especially in startups, seems to be a much-undervalued & oft-ignored discipline, but done well it's a game changer.
— Ian Malpass (@indec) February 8, 2015
Leadership is about serving your people!
What is the difference between management and leadership? That’s a question worthy of a deep dive of its own post, but here we look at a key aspect of the difference: Leaders focus on their people. These sets of tweets show all the ways you should focus, invest, and listen to your people.
Leadership is not about being in charge. Leadership is about taking care of those in your charge.
— Simon Sinek (@simonsinek) January 28, 2015
— Matt Monge (@MattMonge) January 9, 2015
You don't hire people and delegate because you are "too busy" to do the work. You do it because they are better at it than you
— Michael Wolfe (@michaelrwolfe) January 6, 2015
— John Ryan (@johndryan) May 14, 2015
The more you trust others to do their job, the better you will do yours.
— rands (@rands) April 6, 2015
Essentials for Feedback
Whether you’re giving feedback up the chain in your company, to a peer, or to someone on your team, it’s important to have empathy for the other person’s views. You also have to seek out feedback from your people so you can help them, see what they see, and not miss anything important. No leader can fix a problem they’re not aware of, so consider these essential feedback concepts for your company.
"We cannot change what we are unaware of, and once we are aware, we cannot help but change." – Sheryl Sandberg
— Daisy Qin (@DaisyQin) February 12, 2015
When raising obstacles to management, don't make a list of future dated excuses. Make a todo list of things they can block and tackle.
— Greg Wester (@gwestr) March 5, 2015
"The best approach to making employees feel like they matter, is to let them know that they matter." –@petershankman
— Randi Zuckerberg (@randizuckerberg) December 17, 2014
Leaders: If someone on your team steals your idea, runs with it and gets credit for it, CELEBRATE! Everybody wins.
— Dharmesh Shah (@dharmesh) May 18, 2015
If there is one thing I wish I could drill into people's heads it is: Overcommunicate overcommunicate overcommunicate
— Camille Fournier (@skamille) May 6, 2015
Growing Your People
No company survives without growth. The same can be said for the modern worker; if you’re not growing and learning new skills, not only are you less likely to be happy, you run the risk of your skills become outdated. As a leader, you must help your team achieve their goals for the sake of both the survival of your company and to keep your best people happy and motivated. Consider these quotes when you want to make the key investment every leader must make: growing their people.
"The best way a mentor can prepare another leader is to expose him or her to other great people." – @JohnCMaxwell
— Get Lighthouse (@Get_Lighthouse) April 29, 2015
"Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment." – Jim Rohn pic.twitter.com/Cc4OQt9jAk
— Alex McClafferty (@alexmcclafferty) May 19, 2015
Hire people who learn constantly and teach others what they learn.
— Cap Watkins (@cap) April 4, 2015
To teach x well you have to be an expert not just on x but also on the mistakes people make when learning x.
— Paul Graham (@paulg) October 28, 2014
The Modern Leader
Leading today is different than it’s ever been before. Whether it’s a desire for more feedback, Gallup’s report showing high levels of disengagement, or the latest on managing Millennials from Mary Meeker, it’s clear new approaches are needed. These quotes capture well the mindsets you need to be a great modern leader.
"Companies do not become exceptional by believing they are exceptional but by understanding the ways in which they aren’t." —Ed Catmull
— Angeliki (@Capoglou) October 30, 2014
This century will be dominated by companies who treat their employees like potential superheroes instead of like cogs in a machine.
— Kyle Wild (@dorkitude) October 25, 2014
"Companies need to change the way they manage and lead to match the way that modern humans actually work and live." – @bhalligan
— David Cancel (@dcancel) October 8, 2014
These are just a few leadership quotes I’ve found on Twitter that I felt captured well the challenges and skills needed to be a great leader. What are your favorite? Leave a link in a comment below.