92 Essential John Maxwell Quotes on Great Leadership

92 Essential John Maxwell Quotes on Great Leadership

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John Maxwell quotes on leadership
Image Credit: John C. Maxwell

John C Maxwell is an American speaker, pastor, leadership guru and author of multiple books including the famous, “21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership”, “The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth” and more.

He is widely regarded as the top leadership expert in the world seen by his organizations that create leaders year after year particularly through one of his organizations, EQUIP.

His works have had a tremendous impact
on my leadership development by helping me to become a better leader myself. As
a result of his teachings I’ve had the courage to reach out and touch others
people’s lives.

Here are 92 of John Maxwell’s classic leadership quotes:

  1. “Leadership ability determines a person’s level of effectiveness.” ~ John C Maxwell
  2. “The higher you want to climb, the more you need great leadership. The greater the impact you want to make, the greater your influence needs to be.” ~ John C Maxwell
  3. “Personal and organizational effectiveness is proportional to the strength of leadership.” ~ John C Maxwell
  4. “You can find smart, talented, successful people who are able to go only so far because of the limitations of their leadership.” ~ John C Maxwell
  5. “The true measure of leadership is influence- nothing more, nothing less.” ~ John C Maxwell
  6. “The only thing a title can buy is a little time –either to increase your level of influence with others or to erase it.” ~ John C Maxwell
  7. “Leadership develops daily, not in a day.” ~ John C Maxwell
  8. “Becoming a leader is a lot like investing successfully in the stock market. If your hope is to make a fortune in a day, you’re not going to be successful.” ~ John C Maxwell
  9. “As long as a person doesn’t know what he doesn’t know, he doesn’t grow.” ~ John C Maxwell
  10. “If you want to see where someone develops into a champion, look at his daily routine.” ~ John C Maxwell

  11. “Anyone can steer the ship, but it takes a leader to chart the course.” ~ John C Maxwell
  12. “No matter how much you learn from the past, it will never tell you all you need to know for the present.” ~ John C Maxwell
  13. “It’s difficult balancing optimism and realism, intuition and planning, faith and fact. But that’s what it takes to be effective as a leader.” ~ John C Maxwell
  14. “If the leader can’t navigate the people through rough waters, he is liable to sink the ship.” ~ John C Maxwell
  15. “Major barriers to successful planning are fear of change, ignorance, uncertainty about the future, and lack of imagination.” ~ John C Maxwell
  16. “The secret of the Law of Navigation is preparation.” ~ John C Maxwell
  17. “It’s not the size of the project that determines its acceptance, support and success. It’s the size of the leader.” ~ John C Maxwell
  18. “When the real leader speaks, people listen.” ~ John C Maxwell
  19. “The real leader holds the power, not just the position.” ~ John C Maxwell
  20. “If you see a disparity between who’s leading the meeting and who’s leading the people, then the person running the meeting is not the real leader.” ~ John C Maxwell

  21. “The real test of leadership isn’t where you start. It’s where you end up.” ~ John C Maxwell
  22. “The proof of leadership is found in the followers.” ~ John C Maxwell
  23. “People listen not necessarily because of the truth being communicated in the message, but because of their respect for the speaker.” ~ John C Maxwell
  24. “Trust is the foundation of leadership.” ~ John C Maxwell
  25. “When it comes to leadership, you just can’t take shortcuts, no matter how long you’ve been leading your people.” ~ John C Maxwell
  26. “To build trust, a leader must exemplify competence, connection, and character.” ~ John C Maxwell
  27. “Character makes trust possible. And trust makes leadership possible. That is the Law of Solid Ground.” ~ John C Maxwell
  28. “How do leaders earn respect? By making sound decisions, admitting their mistakes, and putting what’s best for their followers and the organization ahead of their personal agendas.” ~ John C Maxwell
  29. “People naturally follow leaders stronger than themselves.” ~ John C Maxwell
  30. “When people respect someone as a person, they admire her. When they respect her as a friend, they love her, when they respect her as a leader, they follow her.” ~ John C Maxwell
  31. “The more leadership ability a person has, the more quickly he recognizes leadership – or its lack – in others.” ~ John C Maxwell
  32. “The greatest test of respect comes when a leader creates major change in an organization.” ~ John C Maxwell

  33. “Leaders evaluate everything with a leadership bias.” ~ John C Maxwell
  34. “A leader has to read the situation and know instinctively what play to call.” ~ John C Maxwell
  35. “People need a goal to galvanize them.” ~ John C Maxwell
  36. “Natural ability and learned skills create an informed intuition that makes leadership issues jump out at leaders.” ~ John C Maxwell
  37. “Leaders who want to succeed maximize every asset and resource they have for the benefit of their organization.” ~ John C. Maxwell
  38. “Who you are dictates what you see.” ~ John C. Maxwell
  39. “Whenever leaders find themselves facing a problem, they automatically measure it- and begin solving it- using the Law of Intuition.” ~ John C. Maxwell
  40. “Improvement is impossible without a change in leadership.” ~ John C. Maxwell
  41. “Leadership is more art than science.” ~ John C. Maxwell
  42. “Who you are is who you attract.” ~ John C. Maxwell
  43. “Who you get is not determined by what you want. It’s determined by you who you are.” ~ John C. Maxwell
  44. “It is possible for a leader to go out and recruit people unlike himself, but those are not the people he will naturally attract.” ~ John C. Maxwell
  45. “If you think your people are negative, then you better check your attitude.” ~ John C. Maxwell

  46. “The better leader you are, the better leaders you will attract.” ~ John C. Maxwell
  47. “If you think the people you attract could be better, then it’s time to improve yourself.” ~ John C. Maxwell
  48. “Leaders touch a heart before they ask for a hand.” ~ John C. Maxwell
  49. “You can’t move people to action unless you first move them with emotion. The heart comes before the head.” ~ John C. Maxwell
  50. “The stronger the relationship and connection between individuals, the more likely the follower will want to help the leader.” ~ John C. Maxwell
  51. “To connect with people in a group, relate to them as individuals.” ~ John C. Maxwell
  52. “It’s the leader’s job to initiate connection with the people.” ~ John C. Maxwell
  53. “It may sound corny, but it’s really true: People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” ~ John C. Maxwell
  54. “To lead yourself, use your head; to lead others, use your heart.” ~ John C. Maxwell
  55. “A leader’s potential is determined by those closest to him.” ~ John C. Maxwell

  56. “When you have the right staff, potential skyrockets.” ~ John C. Maxwell
  57. “Hire the best staff you can find, develop them as much as you can, and hand off everything you possibly can to them.” ~ John C. Maxwell
  58. “Only secure leaders give power to others.” ~ John C. Maxwell
  59. “The people’s capacity to achieve is determined by their leader’s ability to empower.” ~ John C. Maxwell
  60. “The only way to make yourself indispensable is to make yourself dispensable.” ~ John C. Maxwell
  61. “The greatest things happen when you give others the credit.” ~ John C Maxwell
  62. “To push people down, you have to go down with them.” ~ John C. Maxwell
  63. “It takes a leader to raise up a leader.” ~ John C. Maxwell
  64. “People cannot give to others what they themselves do not possess. Followers simply cannot develop leaders.” ~ John C. Maxwell
  65. “Just as it takes a giant killer to produce other giant killers, it takes a leader to raise up other leaders.” ~ John C. Maxwell
  66. “People buy into the leader, then the vision.” ~ John C. Maxwell
  67. “The leader finds the dream and then the people. The people find the leader and then the dream.” ~ John C. Maxwell
  68. “People don’t at first follow worthy causes. They follow worthy leaders who promote worthwhile causes.” ~ John C. Maxwell

  69. “People want to go along with people they get along with.” ~ John C. Maxwell
  70. “Leaders find a way for the team to win.” ~ John C. Maxwell
  71. “Victorious leaders feel the alternative to winning is totally unacceptable, so they figure out what must be done to achieve victory, and then they go after it with everything at their disposal.” ~ John C. Maxwell
  72. “When the pressure is on, great leaders are at their best. Whatever is inside them comes to the surface.” ~ John C. Maxwell
  73. “A team doesn’t win the championship if its players have different agendas.” ~ John C. Maxwell
  74. “Leaders who practice the Law of Victory believe that anything less than success is unacceptable. And they have no plan B. That keeps them fighting.” ~ John C. Maxwell
  75. “Momentum is a leader’s best friend.” ~ John C. Maxwell
  76. “Leaders always find a way to make things happen.” ~ John C. Maxwell
  77. “If you can’t make some heat, get out of the kitchen.” ~ John C. Maxwell
  78. “With enough momentum, nearly any kind of change is possible.” ~ John C. Maxwell

  79. “Leaders understand that activity is not necessarily accomplishment.” ~ John C. Maxwell
  80. “A leader must give up to go up.” ~ John C. Maxwell
  81. “The Law of Sacrifice maintains that one sacrifice seldom brings success.” ~ John C. Maxwell
  82. “Sacrifice is an ongoing process, not a one-time payment.” ~ John C. Maxwell
  83. “If leaders have to give up to go up, then they have to give up a lot more to stay up.” ~ John C. Maxwell
  84. “The higher the level of leadership people want to reach, the greater the sacrifices they will have to make.” ~ John C. Maxwell
  85. “When to lead is as important as what to do and where to go.” ~ John C. Maxwell
  86. “If a leader repeatedly shows poor judgment, even in little things, people start to think that having him as the leader is the real mistake.” ~ John C. Maxwell
  87. “To add growth, lead followers- to multiply, lead leaders.” ~ John C. Maxwell

  88. “Any leader who practices the Law of Growth makes the shift from follower’s math to leader’s math.” ~ John C. Maxwell
  89. “The only way to experience an explosive level of growth is to do the math- leader’s math.” ~ John C. Maxwell
  90. “A leader’s lasting value is measured by succession.” ~ John C. Maxwell
  91. “Just as in sports a coach needs a team of good players to win, an organization needs a team of good leaders to succeed.” ~ John C. Maxwell
  92. “A legacy is created only when a person puts his organization into the position to do great things without him.” ~ John C. Maxwell

On or off this list, what is your favorite John Maxwell quote? Leave your comments below!

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