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12 Leadership Nuggets

Nan S. Russell -- Need some inspiration? Consider these words of wisdom to lead or point you toward personal growth and success.

I started collecting quotations in 1981, and now have over 6,000. I add a quote when it brings me a spark. Some nudge me to consider a differing point of view; some inspire me to be a better person or try a little harder; some offer wisdom nuggets that stick with me; some make me laugh or cry; and some touch my soul.

So, in celebration of my new book, The Titleless Leader, I thought I’d share a few favorites quotations with you on leadership.

12 Leadership quotations

-- “The task of leadership is not to put greatness into humanity, but to elicit it, for the greatness is already there.” ~ John Buchan

-- “Leadership is action, not position.” ~ Donald H. McGannon

-- “Leadership is about calling people to do things beyond themselves.” ~ David Gergen

-- “Though leadership may be hard to define, the one characteristic common to all leaders is the ability to make things happen." ~ Ted W. Engstrom

-- “One of the true tests of leadership is the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency." ~ Arnold H. Glasgow

-- “The effective leader recognizes that she is more dependent on her people than they are on her. Walk softly.” ~ Brian Tracy

-- "Nothing so conclusively proves a man's ability to lead others as what he does from day to day to lead himself." ~ Thomas J. Watson

-- "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." ~ Winston Churchill

-- “One measure of leadership is the caliber of people who choose to follow you.” ~ Dennis A. Peer

-- “Accept that as you create your right life, you'll become a leader automatically; not because you'll want others to follow your rules, but because they'll want to follow your example.” ~ Martha Beck

-- “Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.” ~ Mother Teresa

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

Nan Russell is the award-winning author of Hitting Your Stride: Your Work, Your Way (Capital Books, January 2008), and nationally syndicated radio host of "Work Matters with Nan Russell" weekly on Nan has spent over twenty years in management, including as a Vice President with QVC. Today she is the founder and president of MountainWorks Communications, as well as an author, speaker and consultant. Visit or contact Nan at Take the opportunity to “test drive” The Titleless Leader by downloading a complimentary chapter, available at

© 2012 Nan Russell

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