Famous Quotes on Courage and Leadership

By Whitney Hopler, Communications Coordinator

What would you like to accomplish the most as a leader? Achieving any worthwhile goal requires taking risks – so courage is essential. Famous people have had a lot to say about overcoming fear and developing courage. Here are some motivational quotes on courage and leadership:

“Courage is the main quality of leadership, in my opinion, no matter where it is exercised.” – Walt Disney

“Courage is essential to leadership.” – Andy Stanley

“If there is ever a time crying out for courageous leadership, it’s now.” – Bill Hybels

“A great deal of talent is lost to the world for the want of a little courage.” – Sydney Smith

“We need leaders who can meet and adapt to new challenges, build strategic partnerships, build and sustain human capital in their organizations, and have the courage to act and react to the challenges.” – Thomas Narofsky

“Time is neutral and does not change things. With courage and initiative, leaders change things.” – Jesse Jackson

“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”- Marie Curie

“The biggest risk is not taking any risk. … In a world that’s changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” – Mark Zuckerberg

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you stop to look fear in the face. … The danger lies in refusing to face the fear, in not daring to come to grips with it. If you fail anywhere along the line, it will take away your confidence. You must make yourself succeed every time. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

“Never let the fear of striking out get in your way.” – Babe Ruth

“Courage is not limited to the battlefield or the Indianapolis 500 or bravely catching a thief in your house. The real tests of courage are much quieter. They are the inner tests, like remaining faithful when nobody’s looking, like enduring pain when the room is empty, like standing alone when you’re misunderstood.” – Charles Swindoll

“Courageous leaders embrace difficult challenges.” – Reed Markham

“Courage is being scared to death – but saddling up anyway.” – John Wayne

“To see what is right and not do it, is the want of courage.” – Confucius

“It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare.” – Mark Twain

“To uncover your true potential you must first find your own limits and then you have to have the courage to blow past them.” – Picabo Street

“Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.” – George Addair

“A true leader has confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and patience to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader but becomes one by the quality of his actions and integrity of his intention.” – Anil Sinha

“If you don’t have the courage to walk, alone others will not have the courage to walk with you.” – Apoorve Dubey

“A great leader’s courage to fulfill his vision comes from passion, not position.” – John Maxwell

“Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.” – Steve Jobs

“Being a leader for me is about having the courage to speak the truth, and live the truth, despite attempts to silence our thoughts, feelings, and past experiences.” – Zainab Salbi

“Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better.” – Harry Truman

“Leadership experts and the public alike extol the virtues of transformational leaders – those who set out bold objectives and take risks to change the world. We tend to downplay ‘transactional’ leaders, whose goals are more modest, as mere managers.” – Joseph Nye

“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” – Anais Nin

“Entrepreneurialism, to me, means being able to fail. And I believe that kind of leadership is not necessary only in business, but it’s necessary for running countries, too. You’ve got to be able to believe in something strongly enough that you want to do it even if there’s a risk of failure.” – Bernard L. Schwartz

“We need fresh, new leadership with bold ideas and a new approach.” – Scott Howell

“We teach calculus in schools, but I believe the most important formula is courage plus dreams equals success.” – Marlee Matlin

“We don’t develop courage by being happy every day. We develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity.” – Barbara De Angelis

“Leadership requires the courage to make decisions that will benefit the next generation.” – Alan Autry

“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” – Winston Churchill

“Be humble in your confidence yet courageous in your character.” – Melanie Koulouris

“Successful leaders have the courage to take action while others hesitate.” – John Maxwell

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