Friday Filosophy #2015-31

In Friday Filosophy #2015-31 we are taking a look at leadership.

The world has changed rapidly over the past three decades and continues to change rapidly. If anything it is changing even more rapidly than it appears to be. However, there are some constants. From the Chairman at VW to the leader of the House of Representatives, we are seeing in front of us the challenges and difficulties in the position of leadership. Without making too much of these two examples you can see the challenges of CEOs in a number of different areas and Industries. Here are some quotes to consider from business and political leaders over the past half century.

I hope you enjoy them.


The key to successful leadership is influence, not authority.

Ken Blanchard


Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.

Jack Welsh


Are YOU growing yourself? Do you continue to learn? Do you read business books?


Management is about arranging and telling. Leadership is about nurturing and enhancing.

Tom Peters


Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.

Winston Churchill


Leadership is not about titles, positions or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another.

John C. Maxwell


Don’t follow the crowd, let the crowd follow you.

Margaret Thatcher


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


Isn’t that rather different than “You didn’t build that?”


I never dreamed about success. I worked for it.

Estee Lauder


We are not interested in the possibilities of defeat; they do not exist.

Queen Victoria


My job is not to be easy on people. My job is to takes these great people we have and to push them and make them even better.

Steve Jobs


There are two kinds of stones, as everyone knows. One of which rolls.

Amelia Earhart


I was never the smartest guy in the room. From the first person I hired, I was never the smartest guy in the room. And that’s a big deal. And if you’re going to be a leader – if you’re the leader and the smartest guy in the world – in the room, you’ve got real problems.

Jack Welsh


It is delusional to consider yourself the answer to all things.

Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.

John F Kennedy


Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.

Peter Drucker


A leader is a dealer in hope.

Napoleon Bonaparte


Too many companies believe people are interchangeable. Truly gifted people never are. They have unique talents. Such people cannot be forced into roles they are not suited for, nor should they be. Effective leaders allow great people to do the work they were born to do.

Warren Bennis


Contrary to popular opinion, leadership is not a reserved position for a reserved group of people who were elected or appointed, ordained or enthroned. Leadership is self-made, self-retained, self-inculcated and then exposed through a faithful, sincere, and exemplary life.

Israelmore Avivor


Leadership is the art of giving people a platform for spreading ideas that work.

Seth Godin


Let me close with some quotes from Charles Handy. Influential to the business world like Peter Drucker was in the US, but from his perch in Great Britain.


  1. The moment will arrive when you are comfortable with who you are, and what you are – bald or old or fat or poor, successful or struggling – when you don’t feel the need to apologize for anything or to deny anything. To be comfortable in your own skin is the beginning of strength.
  2. We cannot wait for great visions from great people, for they are in short supply. It is up to us to light our own small fires in the darkness.
  3. Change is only another word for growth, another synonym for learning.
  4. Instead of a national curriculum for education, what is really needed is an individual curriculum for every child.
  5. Creativity needs a bit of untidiness. Make everything too neat and there is no room for experiment.


The time is now.