You manage things; you lead people. - Admiral Grace Murray Hopper

This is a great quote because it focuses on how people have to be handled differently than other resources.  Yes, people are a "resource", but they can to be handled different than what you would manage any other resource.  This is a great quote that I feel shows leadership as well as ties in well with my doctorate degree.  As I become a better leader, I need to continue to view people and the workforce with a better understanding of what it takes to best utilize the resource and harness its ability.


"We know that leadership is very much related to change. As the pace of change accelerates, there is naturally a greater need for effective leadership." - John Kotter

Here is something that I think everyone already knows, but this makes it a bit more clear.    We all know that we need leadership in this world.  The idea that we need leadership so desperately because of all the change makes a lot of sense.  We are all familiar with how quickly things are changing.  Technology is changing, economy is changing, the environment seems to be rapidly changing, etc.  The idea that a leader is necessary for effective change makes sense.  Change is difficult and it forces us to have to react.  So the more change there is the more leadership is required.

This is also a wake-up call to leaders.  We are needed because of the change, therefore we have to be willing and capable of adapting to change ourselves.  We need to recognize the change that is occurring and facilitate effective and efficient change for those we are leading.
"The leadership instinct you were born with is the backbone. You develop the funny bone and the wishbone that go with it." - Elaine Agather

I really like this quote because it indicates two things.  First, that leadership is something you are born with.  Secondly, leadership is something that you must develop.

It is an age old debate on whether leadership is something you are born with.  I feel pretty strongly that you are not born a leader, but you are born with traits that are necessary for a leader to have.  I think backbone could definitely be one of those traits.  It is necessary for a leader to stand up for what they believe and be willing to be different and make their own decisions.

Secondly, I think it is very important to develop your leadership skills.  I think the funny bone indicates that a leader must have a soft side.  They need to be able to laugh at themselves and make mistakes.  They need to be able to relate to the people they are leading.  The wishbone I think indicates a vision.  Leaders need to see and hope for the future.  They cannot be stuck looking at things at how they are, they need to look into the future and develop a vision and goals. 

In conclusion, I think this is a cute and creative quote that has some good in depth meaning.  
"When the effective leader is finished with his work, the people say it happened naturally." -- Lao Tzu

This quote is interesting in the fact that it takes much of the glory and appeal out of being a leader.  People often view the leader as this heroic individual fighting all odds.  This quote is saying that a leader often times does such a good job planning and leading, that everything looks like it happened on its own.  No heroic and dramatic victory.  No accomplishing great feats at the very last second.  I think that a leader certainly needs to be prepared to lead in the face of diversity, but their goal should to be to accomplish things in a manner that makes it look easy.

"Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way." -- General George Patton

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"Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way." -- General George Patton

I really like this quote because the leader is giving his followers the option to follow or to lead themselves.  I think too often leaders become more focused on being followed, they lose sight of the ultimate goal.  It should not matter who is leading who as long as everyone gets where they are trying to go.  By giving someone the option to lead they way, you are empowering them and probably motivating them.  Leadership in this sense is less about leading, and more about influencing.
The question, 'Who ought to be boss?', is like asking, 'Who ought to be the tenor in the quartet?' Obviously, the man who can sing tenor. ~ Henry Ford

I am not sure how relevant the comment of tenor in a quartet is this days.  But you could put it in a sports metaphor.  "Who should be the boss?, is like asking 'Who should be the quarterback on a football team?' Obviously, the man who can throw a ball"

I am not sure how many times in my life I have had bosses who are not capable of leading and are only the boss for some reason other than being the best person to lead and manage.  Often times boss's know someone to get the role.  Other times, they were in an organization for a long period of time and their reward is becoming a boss.  Often times, I have seen people who are REALLY good at what they do... so they want more money, so the business makes them a boss to justify giving them more money and they end up not being good at being a boss at all and are no longer doing what they are truly good at.

I think leadership and management will continue to hurt our work places until people realize that leaders and bosses should only achieve that position based on skill with that work.  And they must also recognize the importance of non management and leadership people and reward them accordingly.  Someone should not have to be in management to warrant a pay increase or deserve respect.  Let people do what they are best at and reward them based on their value to the business... not what title they hold.  
Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren't! ~ Margaret Thatcher 

I think this is a very funny but interesting leadership quote.  So often leaders are insecure about their power and leadership that they perform actions or do things that show off their power.  When you are a leader, you shouldn't have to tell people you are a leader.  Everyone should know because you are leading.

Being a leader and holding a position of leadership are two completely things.  Unfortunately they are often not the same thing.  Leaders get too caught up in being a leader they forget to lead.  
"A leader is best When people barely know he exists, When his work is done, his aim fulfilled, They will say: We did it ourselves." Lao-Tzu 

I think this is a very good quote.  It really talks about how a leader is to motivate.  Also, some of the poor leaders out there empower their employees to do the work but take all the credit for themselves.  This really indicates the need to both empower and reward employees.

You want the people you are leading to take pride in their work.  Part of that pride will come from being rewarded for their work.  If a leader is trying to get their name out there and have all the work associated with his / her name, then the employees will not take as much pride in their work because it is not their name being recognized.

So if you are a leader who is trying to move up in a company, do you put your name out there on purpose to try to get yourself recognized?  Or by trying to get yourself recognized are you not being as an effective leader?  How do you balance being a great leader and trying to get ahead in life by getting promotions?
Pull the string, and it will follow wherever you wish. Push it, and it will go nowhere at all. ~ Dwight Eisenhower

I really like this quote because it gives a good visual on how to get something where you want it to go.  To pull the string, you must be out in front to pull it along.  Just as a leader, you need to actually be out in front doing what you are trying to lead people to do.  And vica versa, if you are not out in front and just trying to push it to go in that direction, a string will not go there, it is hard to tell which direction it will go.  

Leadership is about persuading people to do what you want, but if you are not doing it yourself, it does not matter how persuasive you are, you are going to have a hard time getting people to buy in.  
"I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure: which is: Try to please everybody." - Herbert B. Swope

I find this quote interesting because of how many leaders these days focus on being liked and trying to please everyone.  We can start from the President of the United States and work our way down; leadership (or perceived leadership) is often just a popularity contest.

When you were in high school and you had to vote for a class president, was it the guy who was the most capable of getting stuff done and leading?  Or was it the person who was the most popular?

Sometimes being a leader means being liked by NOBODY, let alone everyone.  So I think this is a true statement but just complicates things because if you make decisions that are not popular (even if they are the right decisions) then you may lose your position of leadership.  So does a true leader try to keep people just happy enough to keep his position?  Should a true leader play the popularity game because that is the only type that can succeed?  Or does a true leader maintain all integrity and focus on just doing the right thing... even if that means he never gains a position of leadership and quietly gets passed by as other leaders who play the game take over?

I would definitely be interested in some comments on this one if anyone finds this interesting.

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