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20 ways to become a better leader

From Walt Disney and Nelson Mandela to Catherine the Great and Michael Jordan, become inspired to lead your team to success.

Michael Jordan, Jacinda Ardern and Steve Jobs

With all the challenges the world has faced over the past few years, there is no better time to become an influential and empathetic leader than now.

From some of history’s greatest leaders to the inspiring people changing the world today, discover how to become a better leader with their insightful words of wisdom.

Leadership quotes from the world’s greatest minds

Jacinda Ardern

Known as: New Zealand’s youngest Prime Minister

“To me, leadership is not about necessarily being the loudest in the room, but instead being the bridge, or the thing that is missing in the discussion and trying to build a consensus from there.”

Bill Gates

Known for: co-founding Microsoft

“It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.”

Nelson Mandela

Known for: being the former President of South Africa

“A leader … is like a shepherd. He stays behind the flock, letting the most nimble go out ahead, whereupon the others follow, not realising that all along they are being directed from behind.”

Sanna Marin

Known for: being the world’s youngest Prime Minister

“You can only accomplish things with the cooperation of other people. This is the most valuable thing I’ve learned over the years.”

Henry Ford

Known for: founding Ford Motor Company

“You don’t have to hold a position in order to be a leader.”

Catherine the Great

Known as: the Empress of Russia, and the country’s longest-ruling female leader

“In my position, you have to read when you want to write, and talk when you would like to read.”

Barack Obama

Known for: being the former US President

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”

Sheryl Sandberg

Known for: being Facebook’s COO, and for being elected as the first female on the board of Facebook

“Taking initiative pays off. It is hard to visualise someone as a leader if she is always waiting to be told what to do.”

Tom Ford

Known for: founding eponymous label Tom Ford

“Your connections with other people are important, our connection to the earth.”

Warren Buffett

Known as: the Oracle of Omaha

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”

Miuccia Prada

Known as: the head designer at Prada

“You have to embrace the world if you want to live in it now.”

Ronald Reagan

Known for: being the former US President

“The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.”

Indra Nooyi

Known for: her role as former CEO of PepsiCo

“If you want to lift the performance of the organisation, you have to lift yourself … my message to my team was always meet my bar, and that bar would constantly be moved up.”

Steve Jobs

Known for: co-founding Apple

“The greatest people are self-managing – they don’t need to be managed. Once they know what to do, they’ll go figure out how to do it. What they need is a common vision. And that’s what leadership is: having a vision; being able to articulate that so the people around you can understand it; and getting a consensus on a common vision.”

Sam Walton

Known for: founding Walmart

“Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish.”

Amelia Earhart

Known for: being the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean

“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward.”

Bernard Arnault

Known as: the Chair and CEO of LVMH Moët Hennessy

“Money is just a consequence. I always say to my team, ‘Don’t worry too much about profitability. If you do your job well, the profitability will come.’”

Michael Jordan

Known for: being the ‘greatest basketball player of all time’

“To learn to succeed, you must first learn to fail.”

Malala Yousafzai

Known for: activism for female education, and as the world’s youngest Nobel Prize laureate

“When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.”

Walt Disney

Known for: founding Disney

“Of all the things I’ve done, the most vital is coordinating those who work with me and aiming their efforts at a certain goal.”

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