Leadership Quotes

Different perspectives on leadership

Leadership quotes can sound trite - but sometimes they can trigger a shift in awareness that leads to a new insight.

In that context, here is a selection of leadership quotes that I find interesting. They are all related to the general theme of change, and are not in any order of priority, or significance.

The rate of change is not going to slow down anytime soon. If anything, competition in most industries will probably speed up even more in the next few decades.

[John P. Kotter]

Change is hard because people overestimate the value of what they have - and underestimate the value of what they may gain by giving that up.

[James Belasco and Ralph Stayer]

Unless you are prepared to give up something valuable you will never be able to truly change at all, because you'll be forever in the control of things you can't give up.

[Andy Law]

Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change.


People don't resist change. They resist being changed!

[Peter Senge]

It is a bad plan that admits of no modification.

[Publilius Syrus]

Even those who fancy themselves the most progressive will fight against other kinds of progress, for each of us is convinced that our way is the best way.

[Louis L'Amour]

All is connected ... no one thing can change by itself.

[Paul Hawken]

We would rather be ruined than changed,
We would rather die in our dread
Than climb the cross of the moment
And let our illusions die.

[W. H. Auden]

Your success in life isn't based on your ability to simply change. It is based on your ability to change faster than your competition, customers and business.

[Mark Sanborn]

Everybody has accepted by now that change is unavoidable. But that still implies that change is like death and taxes - it should be postponed as long as possible and no change would be vastly preferable. But in a period of upheaval, such as the one we are living in, change is the norm.

[Peter Drucker]

Culture does not change because we desire to change it. Culture changes when the organization is transformed; the culture reflects the realities of people working together every day.

[Frances Hesselbein]

If you want to make enemies, try to change something.

[Woodrow Wilson]

The most successful businessman is the man who holds onto the old just as long as it is good, and grabs the new just as soon as it is better.

[Robert P. Vanderpoel]

I'll go anywhere as long as it's forward.

[David Livingstone]

Change is the law of life and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.

[John F. Kennedy]

An important scientific innovation rarely makes its way rapidly winning over and converting its opponents; it rarely happens that Saul becomes Paul. What does happen is that its opponents gradually die out and that the growing generation is familiarized with the idea from the beginning.

[Max Planck]

Most of our assumptions have outlived their uselessness.

[Marshall McLuhan]

He that will not apply new remedies must expect new evils; for time is the greatest innovator.

[Francis Bacon]

Everything is in a process of change, nothing endures; we do not seek permanence.

[Masatoshi Naito]

Faced with the choice between changing one's mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof.

[John Kenneth Galbraith]

Whosoever desires constant success must change his conduct with the times.

[Niccolo Machiavelli]

The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence; it is to act with yesterday's logic.

[Peter Drucker]

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