Leadership Quotes, Tips, and Anecdotes

Leadership Quotes and Anecdotes
  • "Leadership: The art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it." - Dwight Eisenhower
  • "A good leader is a person who takes a little more than his share of the blame and a little less than his share of the credit." - Anonymous
  • "Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity." - Gen. George S. Patton
  • "To lead people walk behind them." - Anonymous
  • "People support what they help to create." - Anonymous
  • "The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind in other people the convictions and the will to carry on." - Anonymous
  • "Leaders walk the talk." - John Maxwell
  • "If you see a snake, just kill it. Don't appoint a committee on snakes." - H. Ross Perot
  • "Good leaders must first become good servants." - Robert Greenleaf
Why Leadership Fails
  • Fear of failure
  • Inability to complete tasks
  • Inability to translate thought into action
  • Indecision
  • Lack of concentration
  • Lack of impulse control
  • Lack of motivation
  • Lack of perseverance
  • Procrastination
  • Too little or too much self-confidence
From "Taking Charge" by Perry M. Smith
The Mouse
A humorous story is told of Jimmy Carter's presidency, which illustrates that even the most powerful individual in the world may face limits to power.

This incident involved a mouse that had died after it had gotten inside a wall of the Oval Office. The dead mouse's odor became intolerable just about the time President Carter was about to greet foreign dignitary. A hurried call was made to the General Service Administration (which oversees federal property), but the agency refused to act; it insisted it already had exterminated all the mice in the White House. GSA officials argued that the dead mouse must have entered from outside the White House, and therefore was actually the responsibility of the Department of the Interior. Officials at the Department of the Interior, however, were unwilling to provide any assistance, arguing that the mouse was now inside the White House.

Exasperated that the President of the United States could not get a dead mouse removed from the White House, Carter demanded to see officials from both agencies in his office. Facing them both in a room where world-changing decisions are made, he complained, "I can't even get a damn mouse out of my office!" A special task force including personnel from both agencies was created to solve the problem.