Uncommon Quotes for Leadership and Life

Share this »
I keep a folder on interesting quotes that I come across that either add some humor, shed some light, or provoke ideas.  Here are some of the more uncommon quotes I thought you might enjoy or find useful.

“Nobody forgets where they buried the hatchet.”  – Hubbard

“Distrust all those who love you extremely upon a very slight acquaintance and without any visible reason.” – Lord Chesterfield

“It is the nature of all greatness not to be too exact.” – Edmund Burke

“Adversity introduces a man to himself.” – Anonymous

“With someone who hold nothing but trumps, it is impossible to play cards.” – Hebbel

“One never dives into the water to save a drowning man more eagerly than when there are others present who dare not take the risk.” – Nietzsche

“A man with a career can have no time to ease upon his wife and friends, he as to devote it wholly to his enemies.”  – Hobbs

“An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.” – Churchill

“As if you could kill time without injuring eternity.” – Thoreau

“What is originality? Undetected plagiarism.” – Inge

“I am more afraid of an army of one hundred sheep led by a lion than a hundred lion lead by a sheep.”  – Maurice

“The fire which seems extinguished often slumbers beneath the ashes.” –  Corneille

“Living well is the best revenge.” – Herbert

“When the mouse laughs at the cat, there is a whole nearby.” – Nigerian Proverb

“Trust everyone, but cut the cards.” – Dunne

“Though boys throw stones at frogs in sport, the frogs don’t die in sport, but in earnest.”  – Bion

“We grow weary of those things (and perhaps soonest) which we most desire.” – Butler

“If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bit you. This is the principle difference between Dog and Man.”  – Twain

“A fool always finds a greater fool to admire him.” – Boileau-Despreaux

“You saw his weakness, and he will never forgive you.” – Von Shiller

“Never contend with a man who has nothing to lose.”  – Gracian

“Men despise great projects when they do not feel themselves capable of success.” – de Vauvenargues

“We are inclined to believe those we do not know because they have never deceived us.”   – Johnson

“Nothing is truer in a sense than a funeral oration; it tells precisely what the dead man should have been.” – Vapereau

“Crafty men deal in generalizations.” – Anonymous

“Men hate those too whom they have to lie.”  – Hugo

“We rarely confide in those who are better than we are.” – Camus

“So long as men praise you, you can only be sure that you are not yet on your own true path but someone else’s.”  – Nietzsch

“The longer he talked on his honor, the faster we counted our spoons.” – Emerson

“A bore is a man who deprives you of solitude without providing you with company.”- Gravina

“To do all the talking and not be willing to listen is a form of greed.”  – Abdera

“One should never trust a woman who tells one her real age. A woman who would tell one that, would tell one anything.”  – Wilde

“He that flatters you more than you desire either has deceived you or wishes to deceive.” – Italian Proverb

“We recent criticism which denies us anything that lies in our line of advance.” – Emerson

“Praise undeserved is satire in disguise.” – Broadhurst

“Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative.” – Wilde

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”  – Gandhi

“Almost every man wastes part of his life in attempts to display qualities which he does not possess, and to gain applause which he cannot keep.”  – Johnson

“To act from pure benevolence is not possible for finite beings. Human benevolence is mingled with vanity, interest, or some other motive.”  – Johnson

“If we escape punishment for our vices, why should we complain if we are not rewarded of for our virtues?” – Collins

“In our ideals we unwittingly reveal our vices.” – Rostrand

“You cannot think me necessarily foolish because I am facetious, nor will I consider you wise because you are grave.”  – Smith

“Mediocre minds usually dismiss anything which reaches beyond their own understanding.” – De La Rochefoucauld

“Discovery is seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what no one has thought.” – von-Szent-Gyorgyi

“A wise man’s questions contain half the answer.” – Chartier

“Nothing is more dangerous than an idea, when it’s the only one we have.” – Chartier

“Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome.” – Johnson

“Little minds are interested in the extraordinary, great minds  the commonplace.” – Hubbard

“Wherever I sit is the head of the table.” – Mencken

“Why not? is a slogan for an interesting life.” – Cooley

“Wherever we look upon this earth, the opportunities take shape within the problems.” – Rockefeller

“Courage is doing what you’re afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you’re scared.” – Rickenbacker

“Only the brave know how to forgive… A coward never forgave; it is not in his nature.” – Sterne

“The man who can’t dance thinks the band is no good.” – Polish Proverb

“Nobody speaks the truth when there’s something they must have.” – Bowen

“Everyone is a prisoner of his own experiences. No one can eliminate prejudices – just recognize them.” – Murrow

“A committee is a cul-de-sac down which ideas are lured and then quietly strangled.” – Cocks

“Language most shows a man; speak that I may see thee.” – Jonson

“The original writer is not one who imitates nobody, but one whom nobody can imitate.”  –  Chateaubriand

“The act of writing is discovering what you believe.” – Hare

“Nearly all man can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”  – Lincoln

“Every entrepreneur dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature onto the fabric of his company.”  – Murray

Frodo: I cannot do this alone.

Galadrieal: You are a Ring-bearer, Frodo. To bear a Ring of Power is to be alone.

[pulls out her hand]

Galadrieal: This is Nenya, the Ring of Adament. And I am it’s keeper. This task was appointed to you, and if you do not find a way, no one will.

Frodo: I know what I must do, it’s just that… I’m afraid to do it.

Galadrieal: Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.”

– Dialog from Lord Of The Rings

“Control is not leadership; management is not leadership; leadership is leadership. If you seek to lead, invest at least 50% of your time in leading yourself—your own purpose, ethics, principles, motivation, conduct. Invest at least 20% leading those with authority over you and 15% leading your peers.” — Dee Hock, Founder and CEO Emeritus, Visa

“I did not wish to take a cabin passage, but rather to go before the mast and on the deck of the world, for there I could best see the moonlight amid the mountains. I do not wish to go below now.” – Thoreau

Best Quotes From John Wooden, legendary coach of UCLA and NCAA Basketball Teams:

  • “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”
  • “You can’t let praise or criticism get to you. It’s a weakness to get caught up in either one.”
  • “Adversity is the state in which man most easily becomes acquainted with himself, being especially free of admirers then.”
  • “Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.”
  • “Never mistake activity for achievement.”
  • “I would spend almost as much time planning a practice as conducting it. Everything was planned out each day.”
  • “If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?”
  • “A coach is someone who can give correction without causing resentment.”
  • “If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything. I’m positive that a doer makes mistakes.”
  • “It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.”
  • “You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.”

“Men of integrity, by their very existence, rekindle the belief that as a people we can live above the level of moral squalor. We need that belief; a cynical community is a corrupt community.”  – Gardner

“If I am buying the horse I am buying the jockey too.”  – Buffet

“When it feels like the wild west every now and then the Sheriff must ride into town and just shoot his gun in the air.” – Anonymous

“We shed blood together today, we’ll be brothers forever.”   – Shakespeare.

Share this »
  • David Schrock

    All great quotes. Haven’t heard some of these before.
    I liked what Dwight D. Eisenhower said – “Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.”
    There some more leadership competencies here http://hardquotes.com/life-quotes/can-learn-leadership-quotes