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Quotes on leadership and continuous improvement

Leadership and continuous improvement go hand in hand. That’s why this article is titled quotes on leadership and continuous improvement. Not to be seen as two separate topics, but as one being necessary for the other.

Stated more clearly, good leaders cannot remain good leaders without continuous improvement. And good leaders certainly can’t become great leaders without it.

One might say that it is unlikely to become a leader at all without a drive to improve on a consistent basis.

Of course, quotes alone won’t turn you into a leader. They can, however, provide powerful insights into what leaders are made of and how they are built.

Quotes on leadership and continuous improvement can also motivate, inspire, and cause you to think about things differently.  

The more you think about things differently, the more likely you are to start taking different actions.  Over time, taking different actions will change your life.

In that way, quotes serve as a foundation and impetus for self improvement and change.  

For example, one of my favorite quotes on leadership and continuous improvement is:

“Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.”

– Vince Lombardi

To me that quote gets at the heart of a trait that all great leaders share. That trait is lack of contentment or restless aspiration.

In other words, they are always striving to achieve more, or do better. Even when it appears to the outside world that they have already reached the pinnacle.

Great leaders realize they will never reach perfection, but they love the process of chasing it. They love the grind. And they love any incremental improvement.

The best of our leaders chase perfection. And in the process catch excellence, and continually improve.

Even if that particular quote on leadership and continuous improvement doesn’t have any significance for you, chances are there are a few that will.

Check out the list below and see if some of the quotes on leadership and continuous improvement resonate with you.  If they do, commit them to memory and be sure to draw upon them when needed.

One of them could be just what you need at just the right time to help modify your thinking.  Armed with new thoughts, have the courage to act on them and behave differently.

Over time, self improvement and change are inevitable.

Quotes on leadership and continuous improvement

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

– John Maxwell

“Leaders aren’t born they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work. And that’s the price we’ll have to pay to achieve that goal, or any goal.”

– Vince Lombardi

“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.”

– John F. Kennedy

“I never thought in terms of being a leader. I thought very simply in terms of helping people.”

– John Hume
Quotes on leadership and continuous improvement. "A leader is one who sees more than others, who sees farther than others see, and who sees before others see." -Leroy Eimes

“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 

“Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential.”

– Winston Churchill

“The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.”

– Ronald Reagan 

“Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.”

– Dwight D. Eisenhower
Quotes on leadership and continuous improvement. "Leadership is much more an art, a belief, a condition of the heart, than a set of things to do." -Max De Pree

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

– John Quincy Adams

“The hardest thing about being a leader is demonstrating or showing vulnerability… When the leader demonstrates vulnerability and sensibility and brings people together, the team wins.”

– Howard Schultz

“Leadership should be focused on extending the ladder of opportunity for everyone.” – Justin Trudeau

“A leader should have higher grit and tenacity, and be able to endure what the employees can’t.”

– Jack Ma
Quotes on leadership and continuous improvement. "More leaders have been made by accident, circumstance, or will than have been made by all the leadership courses put together." - Warren Bennis

“Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.”

– Mother Teresa

“To me, leadership is about encouraging people. It’s about stimulating them. It’s about enabling them to achieve what they can achieve – and to do that with a purpose.”

– Christine Lagarde

“Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.”

– Jack Welch

“We aim above the mark to hit the mark.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Quotes on leadership and continuous improvement. "Leaders don't force people to follow - they invite them on a journey." - Charles S. Lauer

“The greatest leaders mobilize others by coalescing people around a shared vision.”

– Ken Blanchard

“Great leaders always seem to embody two seemingly disparate qualities. They are both highly visionary and highly practical.”

– John C. Maxwell

“Leadership can be thought of as a capacity to define oneself to others in a way that clarifies and expands a vision of the future.”

– Edwin H. Friedman

“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.”

– Douglas MacArthur
Quotes on leadership and continuous improvement. "Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate, and doubt to offer a solution everybody can understand." - Colin Powell

“A leader must have the courage to act against an expert’s advice.” -James Callaghan

“But to practice leadership, you need to accept that you are in the business of generating chaos, confusion, and conflict.’

– Ronald Heifetz

“Being a leader requires being confident enough in your own decisions and those of your team to own them when they fail. The very best leaders take the blame but share the credit.”

– Travis Bradberry

“Every leader has the responsibility to hone his or her integrity. Many times, there are integrity traps that have a tendency to catch well-meaning leaders off guard.”

– Travis Bradberry
Quotes on leadership and continuous improvement. "The test of leadership is, is anything or anyone better because of you?" - Mark Sanborn

“The most important quality in a leader is integrity: doing the right thing even when it’s hard.”

– Mary Barry 

“The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves.”

– Ray Kroc

“The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born – that there is a genetic factor to leadership. This myth asserts that people simply either have certain charismatic qualities or not. That’s nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. Leaders are made rather than born.”

– Warren Bennis

“Leaders can conceive and articulate goals that lift people out of their petty preoccupations and unite them in pursuit of objectives worthy of their best efforts.”

– John Gardner
Quotes on leadership and continuous improvement. "Mountaintops inspire leaders but valleys mature them." - Winston Churchill

“True leaders actually do very little leading. Instead, they create and maintain a framework that allows others to lead, create, and grow.”

– Neil Strauss

“Leadership is practiced not so much in words as in attitude and in actions.” -Harold S. Geneen

“Real leaders are ordinary people with extraordinary determinations.”

– John Seaman Garns

“No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself, or to get all the credit for doing it.”

– Andrew Carnegie
Quotes on leadership and continuous improvement. "Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself." - Leo Tolstoy

“The most significant contribution leaders make is not simply to today’s bottom line; it is to the long-term development of people and institutions so they can adapt, change, prosper, and grow.”

– James Kouzes and Barry Posner

“The higher you want to climb, the more you need leadership. The greater the impact you want to make, the greater your influence needs to be.”

– John C. Maxwell

“Leaders should always expect the very best of those around them. They know that people can change and grow.”

– Warren Bennis

“Being a good leader requires remembering that you’re there for a reason, and the reason certainly isn’t to have your way. High-integrity leaders not only welcome questioning and criticism – they insist on it.”

– Travis Bradberry
Quotes on leadership and continuous improvement. "Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence." - Sheryl Sandberg

“So much of leadership ability is about how other people experience themselves in your presence. A great leader has a presence that makes other people bigger.”

– Shane Parrish

“In a time of drastic change, it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists.”

– Warren Bennis

“It’s not the absence of leadership potential that inhibits the development of more leaders; it’s the persistence of the myth that leadership can’t be learned. This haunting myth is a far more powerful deterrent to leadership development than is the nature of the person or the basics of the leadership process.”

– James Kouzes and Barry Posner

“Wise leaders generally have wise counselors because it takes a wise person themselves to distinguish them.”

– Diogenes
Quotes on leadership and continuous improvement. "Becoming a leader is synonymous with becoming yourself.  It is precisely that simple and it is also that difficult." - Warren Bennis

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