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18 Leadership Quotes: the Collective Wisdom of 13 Amazing Women

As we head towards international Women’s day I have been thinking about and am grateful for how much I have learned from so many women across my life both in person and through books. These quotes are by women I admire and would someday love to meet!

On Motivation

“Keep your eyes Open. Listen. Follow your curiosity. Ideas are constantly trying to get our attention. Let them know you are available.” – Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic (2015)

“Motivation comes from working on things we care about. It also comes from working with people we care about.” – Sheryl Sandberg, Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead (2013)

On Failure

“Perfectionism is self destructive simply because there’s no such thing as perfect. Perfection is an unattainable goal.” – Brene Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let go of Who You Think You Are Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are (2010)

“The knowledge you have emerged wiser and stronger from setbacks means that you are, ever after, secure in your ability to survive”.  – JK Rowling’s commencement address at Harvard (2008)

On Vulnerability

“I want to be in the arena. I want to be brave with my life. And when we make the choice to dare greatly, we sign up to get our asses kicked. We can choose courage or we can choose comfort, but we can’t have both. Not at the same time. Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage.” – Brene Browm, Rising Strong (2015)

Our Inner World and Self-Leadership

“The way you tell your story to yourself matters” – Amy Cuddy, Presence: Brining Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges (2015)

“…you simply need to learn to live with the inner voice of self doubt but not be held back by it, to hear the voice and not take direction from it.” – Tara Mohr, Playing Big: Find Your Voice, Your Vision and Make Things Happen (2014)

“What you intend, you create”. – Laura Berman Fortgang, Take Yourself to the Top (2005)

“What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality” – Classics Greek author Plutarch via JK Rowling at her commencement address at Harvard (2008)

“The choices you make will determine how quickly you move toward the top and how quickly you get there.”

– Laura Berman Fortgang, Take Yourself to the Top (2005)

“We cannot change what we are not aware of, and once we are aware, we cannot help but change.”– Sheryl Sandberg, Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead (2013)

“Women who lead, read” – Laura Bates, Everyday Sexism (2014)

On Leading Others

“This is something I know for a fact: You have to work hardest for the things you love most.” – Carol Dweck, Mindset: How You Can Fulfill Your Potential (2006)

“In most cases being a good boss mans hiring talented people and then getting out of their way. “ – Tina Fey, Bossy Pants (2011)

“Treat people like family, and they will be loyal and give their all.” – Arianna Huffington, Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom and Wonder (2014)

“Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.” – Sheryl Sandberg, Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead (2013)

“Everyone shines, given the right lighting.” – Susan Cain, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking (2012)

“Lift as you climb” – Margie Warrell, Fearless, Sydney, December 2016


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