Leadership qualities are as varied as the skills and styles of great leaders now and throughout history. Leadership is said to require good character, smart strategy and the ability to inspire. At least that's among the advice found in quotes by some of the world's best and most interesting leaders, from Abraham Lincoln to Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein to Henry Kissinger.
"As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others."
-- Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft<p>
"A leader takes people where they want to go. A <a href=http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/2020-leadership-skills.html target=”_blank”>great leader</a> takes people where they don't necessarily want to go, but ought to be."
-- Rosalynn Carter, former First Lady<p>
"You cannot <a href=http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/1212-small-business-charismatic-leadership.html target=”_blank”>be a leader</a>, and ask other people to follow you, unless you know how to follow, too."
-- Sam Rayburn, former speaker of the house<p>
"Leadership is the capacity to transform vision into reality."
-- Warren G. Bennis, university professor and founding chairman of the Leadership Institute at the University of Southern California
"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."
-- President Abraham Lincoln<p>
"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader."
-- President John Quincy Adams<p>
“<a href=http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/1768-humble-bosses.html target=”_blank”>A good leader</a> takes a little more than his share of the blame, a little less than his share of the credit.”
-- Arnold Glasow, humorist and author<p>
“In the simplest terms, a leader is one who knows where she wants and gets up and goes.”
-- John Erskine, author<p>
"High sentiments always win in the end, The leaders who offer blood, toil, tears and sweat always get more out of their followers than those who offer safety and a good time. When it comes to the pinch, human beings are heroic."
-- George Orwell, author
"The led must not be compelled; they must be able to choose their own leader."
-- Albert Einstein, physicist <p>
"Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity."
-- General George S. Patton<p>
"Leadership is a combination of strategy and character. If you must be without one, be without the strategy."
-- U.S. General H. Norman Schwarzkopf<p>
"A leader is one who sees more than others see, who sees farther than others see, and who sees before others see."
-- Leroy Eimes, author and leadership expert<p>
"Leadership involves finding a parade and getting in front of it."
-- John Naisbitt, author
"Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower."
-- Steve Jobs, co-founder and CEO of Apple<p>
"The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind him in other men the conviction and the will to carry on."
- Walter Lippmann, writer, reporter and political commentator<p>
"If you think you are leading and turn around to see no one following, then you are just taking a walk."
-- Benjamin Hooks, retired Director of the NAACP<p>
"You do not lead by hitting people over the head - that's assault, not leadership."
-- President Dwight D. Eisenhower<p>
"The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been."
-- Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger
"Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate, and doubt to offer a solution everybody can understand."
-- General Colin Powell<p>
"People ask the difference between a leader and a boss. The leader leads, and the boss drives."
-- President Theodore Roosevelt<p>
"Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson, American essayist, poet, and philosopher<p>
"Those who try to lead the people can only do so by following the mob."
-- Oscar Wilde, writer and poet<p>
"The task of leadership is not to put greatness into humanity, but to elicit it, for the greatness is already there."
-- John Buchan, Scottish novelist, historian and politician<p>
"To lead people, walk beside them ... As for the best leaders, the people do not notice their existence. The next best, the people honor and praise. The next, the people fear; and the next, the people hate ... When the best leader's work is done the people say, 'We did it ourselves!'"
-- Lao-tsu, Chinese philosopher <br><br>
<i>Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance business and technology writer who has worked in public relations and spent 10 years as a newspaper reporter. You can reach him at <a href=mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>email@example.com</a> or follow him on Twitter @<a href=http://twitter.com/cbrooks76 target=”_blank”>cbrooks76</a>.</i