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Lead Your Team Leadership

7 Inspiring Leslie Knope Quotes Leaders Should Live By

7 Inspiring Leslie Knope Quotes Leaders Should Live By
Credit: NBC/Netflix

"Parks and Recreation" fans know the phrase, "be the Leslie Knope of whatever you do," and the sentiment is true. Knope, the Pawnee, Indiana, politician played by Amy Poehler, is an inspiration to anyone in any field, thanks to her sunny disposition and strong work ethic.

The self-described "yellow-haired female who likes waffles and news" is known for being somewhat naïve and stubborn, and often overly enthusiastic, but she makes a great leader. As a strong, ambitious woman in a town where people don't always believe in her, Leslie Knope sticks to her convictions and doesn't let anything stand in the way of getting her job done and helping her constituents. She knows how to motivate a crowd, is constantly supporting and empowering her friends and loved ones, and never gives up on her dreams and goals.

Knope may be a little goofy at times, but she can still teach you a thing or two about being successful. Here are seven helpful, hilarious and inspiring Leslie Knope quotes every leader should live by.

"I am big enough to admit that I am often inspired by myself."(Season 5, Episode 3)

No matter what you do, as a leader you need to have confidence in yourself and your work. Yes, humility is a good quality, but when you do a great job on a certain project or you handle a tough situation well, it's important to be proud of yourself. Leslie knew that she had every right to be as proud of her own accomplishments as she was of the people she looked up to, and you should be, too. 

"One person's annoying is another's inspiring and heroic."(Season 6, Episode 5)

This is a great reminder that you're only human and you can't please everyone, so you have to be willing to accept that. Take it from Knope — it's likely that for every person who thinks you're not good at your job, there are more people who respect you and look up to you. Don't let one person's opinion get you down. [7 Fictional TV Bosses We Wish Were Real ]

"What I hear when I'm being yelled at is people caring loudly at me."(Season 1, Episode 1)

Leslie's eternal optimism was always one of her character's best assets. No matter what was happening, she knew how to see the good in a bad situation, and how to find a solution. More specifically, if you're ever being yelled at or dealing with a frustrated employee, don't take it personally. Instead, try to pinpoint what really matters to that person and look for a way to solve the problem.

"We need to remember what's important in life: friends, waffles, work. Or waffles, friends, work. Doesn't matter, but work is third."(Season 3, Episode 13)

OK, so maybe waffles shouldn't come before your job or your friends (although, that's debatable). But in a way, Leslie was still right — being able to prioritize what matters to you as well as acknowledge that work shouldn't always be the number one thing in your life is important. Even when you're the boss, not everything has to be about your job.

"Hey, Leslie. It's Leslie. Hang in there. I love you. Bye."(Season 2, Episode 22)

When things get stressful in the office, it's easy to get so wrapped up in your work that you forget to take time out for your physical and mental health. When Leslie was overwhelmed working the Pawnee Cares telethon for 24 hours and things started going wrong, she left herself this phone message. It may seem a little silly, but it's also an important reminder to take time out to make sure you're OK when things get tough.

"I need you to text me every 30 seconds that everything is going to be OK."(Season 4, Episode 9)

Even when you're in charge, it's not always possible to handle everything on your own. Sometimes, you need a friend or colleague to give you support, or you need to ask employees to help you come up with a solution or complete a task, and that's OK. You probably shouldn't ask your best friend to check in on you every 30 seconds when you're stressed out, but the point is, Leslie wasn't afraid to ask for help. And if you're feeling that overwhelmed, you should be able to do so, too.

"Organizing my agenda. Wait, that doesn't sound fun … jammin' on my planner!" (Season 3, Episode 10)

Technically, Leslie doesn't find things like organizing her agenda boring — rather, she loves it so much she named it as one of her hobbies while her best friend Ann tried to help her set up a dating profile. But Leslie quickly found a way to make it sound more fun and appealing to others, and that's a talent all leaders can benefit from. Not every task you have to complete will be fun or interesting, but if you can find a way to spice things up even a little bit, it might just make you a better boss.

Brittney Helmrich
Brittney Helmrich

Brittney M. Helmrich graduated from Drew University in 2012 with a B.A. in History and Creative Writing. She joined the Business News Daily team in 2014 after working as the editor-in-chief of an online college life and advice publication for two years. Follow Brittney on Twitter at @brittneyplz, or contact her by email.

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