For many of the most successful women leaders in the world, it is no secret that learning from leadership quotes by great female leaders can be a major facet of success. Whether you aspire to great things as a writer, entrepreneur, actor, or model, there is a good chance that a great leader once struggled with the same challenges that you now face.


Indeed, because leadership quotes empower us by demonstrating the values and experiences of some of the most accomplished women in history, they can often serve as reminders of how much integrity and grit matter in the marathon of life. That is a life lesson that everyone can benefit from!

Here are just a few great quotes by women who have succeeded in fields ranging from literature to business, and why their notions of success may just guide you on your own personal path to new achievements. Above all else, enjoy the journey!


leadership quotes

1. “I think that if I am smart in business, it’s just that I’m smart about who I am. I know what I can, can’t, will and won’t do, and if I have to be strict about that, I will.” –Dolly Parton, Performer, Songwriter, and Business Leader

2. “Mama exhorted her children at every opportunity to ‘jump at the sun.’ We might not land on the sun, but at least we would get off the ground.” –Zora Neale Hurston, Author

3. “I know of no single formula for success. But over the years I have observed that some attributes of leadership are universal and are often about finding ways of encouraging people to combine their efforts, their talents, their insights, their enthusiasm and their inspiration to work together.” –Queen Elizabeth II, English Monarch

4. “Determination, energy, and courage appear spontaneously when we care deeply about something. We take risks that are unimaginable in any other context.” –Margaret J. Wheatley, Management Consultant and Writer


5. “Women have begun to see that if I go through that doorway, I take everybody through it.” –Dianne Feinstein, US Senator

6. “Practice self-awareness, self-evaluation, and self-improvement. If we are aware that our manners — language, behavior, and actions — are measured against our values and principles, we are able to more easily embody the philosophy, leadership is a matter of how to be, not how to do.” –Frances Hesselbein, Former CEO of the Girl Scouts of the United States of America

7. “As a woman leader, I thought I brought a different kind of leadership. I was interested in women’s issues, in bringing down the population growth rate… as a woman, I entered politics with an additional dimension — that of a mother.” –Benazir Bhutto, Political Leader

8. “I know that millions of Americans from all walks of life agree with me that leadership does not mean putting the ear to the ground to follow public opinion, but to have the vision of what is necessary and the courage to make it possible.” –Shirley Chisholm, Educator and Politician

9. “I think the most important leadership lessons I’ve learned have to do with understanding the context in which you are leading. Universities are places with enormously distributed authority and many different sorts of constituencies, all of whom have a stake in that institution.” —Drew Gilpin Faust, President Emeritus of Harvard University


10. “Leadership is hard to define and good leadership even harder. But if you can get people to follow you to the ends of the earth, you are a great leader.” –Indra Nooyi, Business Executive

11. “Doing good is a simple and universal vision. A vision to which each and every one of us can connect and contribute to its realization. A vision based on the belief that by doing good deeds, positive thinking and affirmative choice of words, feelings and actions, we can enhance goodness in the world.” –Shari Arison, Philanthropist and Business Leader

12. “Empowering those around you to be heard and valued makes the difference between a leader who simply instructs and one who inspires.” –Adena Friedman, Nasdaq CEO

13. “Sometimes leadership is planting trees under whose shade you’ll never sit. It may not happen fully till after I’m gone. But I know that the steps we’re taking are the right steps.” –Jennifer Granholm, Politician and Educator

14. “Leadership is loud. It is quiet. It is thoughtful and emotional and cerebral and nerdy and goofy and joyful and motivating.” –Julie Foudy, Women’s World Cup Champion

15. “I learned that leadership is about falling in love with the people and the people falling in love with you. It is about serving the people with selflessness, with sacrifice, and with the need to put the common good ahead of personal interests.” –Joyce Banda, Political Leader

leadership quotes


16. “My mother was in the Army Reserve for six years. She taught me the importance of following rules, finishing what I start, never giving up, leadership skills, teamwork, staying positive, motivated and how to pack the military way when I’m traveling!” –Laurie Hernandez, Olympic Gymnast

17. “I told you in the course of this paper that Shakespeare had a sister; but do not look for her in Sir Sidney Lee’s life of the poet. She died young — alas, she never wrote a word… Now my belief is that this poet who never wrote a word and was buried at the cross-roads still lives. She lives in you and in me, and in many other women who are not here tonight, for they are washing up the dishes and putting the children to bed. But she lives; for great poets do not die; they are continuing presences; they need only the opportunity to walk among us in the flesh.” –Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own


18. “I think I lead with empathy and connection to our people. I find that the most effective leadership style for me is to just talk and listen. It sounds simple, but it’s so effective.” –Julia Hartz, CEO of Eventbrite

19. “Optimism is the ultimate definition of a leader. A leader has to look optimistically at what is ahead while not ignoring the challenges that must be overcome. Those challenges are in government, politics, world leadership, and even in community life.” –Linda McMahon, Former Executive and 25th Administrator of the Small Business Administration

20. “By telling you anything at all I’m at least believing in you, I believe you’re there, I believe you into being. Because I’m telling you this story I will your existence. I tell, therefore you are.” —Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale

21. “The darkest night that ever fell upon the earth never hid the light, never put out the stars. It only made the stars more keenly, kindly glancing, as if in protest against the darkness.” –George Eliot (pen name of author Mary Ann Evans), Author


22. “Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.” –Maya Angelou, Author

23. “I remember a very important lesson that my father gave me when I was twelve or thirteen. He said, ‘You know, today I welded a perfect seam and I signed my name to it.’ And I said, ‘But, Daddy, no one’s going to see it!’ And he said, ‘Yeah, but I know it’s there.’ So when I was working in kitchens, I did good work.” –Toni Morrison, Author


24. “You don’t get the good without the bad, but you really do have to see it all in order to make progress.” –Margot Lee Shetterly, Author and Businessperson

25. “It is a curious thing, Harry, but perhaps those who are best suited to power are those who have never sought it. Those who, like you, have leadership thrust upon them, and take up the mantle because they must, and find to their own surprise that they wear it well.” –J.K. Rowling, Author

26. “To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.” –Eleanor Roosevelt, Former First Lady

27. “Don’t follow the crowd, let the crowd follow you.” –Margaret Thatcher, Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

28. “Don’t waste your energy trying to educate or change opinions; go over, under, through, and opinions will change organically when you’re the boss. Or they won’t. Who cares? Do your thing, and don’t care if they like it.” –Tina Fey, Comedian


29. “We’re here for a reason. I believe a bit of the reason is to throw little torches out to lead people through the dark.” –Whoopi Goldberg, Comedian

leadership quotes

30. “Don’t spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door.”
–Coco Chanel, Fashion Icon

31. “I’ve come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that’s as unique as a fingerprint – and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you.” –Oprah Winfrey, Actress, and Entrepreneur


For these reasons, finding inspiration in leadership quotes can be a great way to understand the nature of success. Indeed, by allowing us to learn from the experiences of some of the world’s most successful people, leadership quotes can truly change our lives for the better.

With the leadership quotes above, you may just find the inspiration to reach for the stars. As you learn about some of history’s greatest figures overcame roadblocks

their path through life, you might also discover something new within yourself. Truly, that is learning from leadership quotes at its best!