What do Great Leaders Really Believe?

August 18, 2015 | By | Add a Comment

I am passionate about leadership. Leaders have a huge impact on the lives of so many people and yet anyone can be a “leader”. I find the responsibility enormous and the credentialing non-existent. I am also a pretty introspective guy – ideas and reflections seem to persistently pursue me. My latest internal dialogue led me to see what other visible leaders say about leadership.

As you read these quotations, consider if you could have said this or what part you could challenge based on your own experience. Then ask how often your behavior aligns with the values implied by a quote that inspires you – aligning with your values as a leader takes work and is often isolating. My fav is the Job’s quote.

“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” – Peter Drucker

“Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.” – Steve Jobs

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

“Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” – Warren Bennis

“If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.” – Henry Ford

“High expectations are the key to everything.” – Sam Walton

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

“When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier.” – Roy E. Disney

“Leadership is unlocking people’s potential to become better.” – Bill Bradley

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

“What helps people, helps business.” – Leo Burnett

The consistent theme is that of expectation – a leader has expectations of others and expects those he or she leads to respond positively to his or her expectations. When you look into the eyes of another and send an unequivocal message that says, “I expect greatness from you because I see the greatness in you, greatness you might not see in yourself.” You send a universally powerful message that increases the chances that someone will step into their greatness.

Do you have expectations of the team you lead? Or do you have judgments, self-fulfilling negative assumptions and beliefs? Let others know you expect great things from them. Make part of your inner dialogue setting high expectations of yourself and seeing the greatness that lives in you.

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About the Author (Author Profile)

Executive coach, top team facilitator, author and speaker. I work with individual leaders and their teams to help navigate personal and professional transitions and to increase leadership capacity and improve communication and relationship skills. I founded my coaching firm in 2001 following 12 years as a CEO. Check out more on me and my coaching process in my book "The Business of Wanting More: Why Some Executives Move from Success to Fulfillment and Others Don't"

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