Classic Leadership Quotes

Leadership is the often forgotten key to excellence in most facets of business and life. Formal and informal leaders in business need to be trained in Safety Leadership.

Classic Leadership quotes (pictured Eleanor Roosevelt)

  • You can only lead others where you yourself are willing to go.eleanor roosevelt
  • Nothing is so potent as the silent influence of a good example.
  • The best leader is the one who has enough sense to pick good people to do the job and self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it.
  • What is important as a leader is not what happens when you are there but what happens when you are NOT there.
  • The very essence of leadership is that you have to have a vision. It has to be a vision you articulate clearly and forcefully on every occasion.
  • Leaders must behave the way they wish their followers would behave.
  • Every now and then leaders should look back to see if anyone is following.
  • A leader takes people where they want to go, a great leader takes people where they ought to be.
  • The first basic ingredient of leadership is a guiding vision. The leader has a clear idea of what he wants to do professionally and personally and the strength to persist in the face of setbacks, even failures.
  • As a leader you set the tone for your entire team. If you have a positive attitude, your team will achieve much more.
  • A sense of humour is part of the art of leadership, of getting along with people and getting things done.
  • Make heroes out of the employees who personify what you want to be seen in the organisation.
  • You do not know what you can get away with until you try.
  • Lead, follow or get out of the way.
  • If you are truly a leader, you will help others to not just see themselves as they are, but also what they can become.
  • A real leader faces the music even when he does not like the tune-Anon.
  • A good leader inspires people to have confidence in the leader, a great leader inspires people to have confidence in themselves-Elenor Roosevelt
  • It is the nature of man to rise to greatness if greatness is expected of him-John Steinbeck
  • Successful leaders see the opportunity in every difficulty rather than the difficulty in every opportunity-Reed Markham
  • The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help them or have concluded you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership-Colin Powell
  • A leaders role is to raise peoples aspirations for what they can become and release their energies so they will try to get there-David R Gergen
  • If you obey all the rules, you will miss all the fun-Katherine Hepburn
  • Hell, there are no rules here, we are trying to accomplish something-Thomas A Edison
  • The supreme quality of leadership is unquestionably integrity-Dwight D Eisenhower
  • A good objective of leadership is to help those that are doing poorly do well and to help those that are doing well to do even better. –Jim Rohn

For further information put Leadership Quotes into Google. Laurie Lawrence’s web site is particularly good. Refer also to the paper on Safety Leadership on

George Robotham

George Robotham

George was a Legend in the Safety World who passed away in Sept 2013 but left us with a great legacy
George Robotham
I have worked in OHS for most of my working life, many years in the mining industry including over 10 years in a corporate OHS role with BHP. Since leaving the mining industry I have worked in a variety of safety roles with a variety of employers, large & small, in a variety of industries. I was associated with my first workplace fatality at age 21, the girl involved was young, intelligent, vivacious and friendly. Such a waste! I was the first on the scene and tried to comfort her and tend to her injuries. She said to me “George, please do not let me die” We put her on the aerial ambulance to Rockhampton base hospital where she died the next day. I do not mind telling you that knocked me around for awhile. Since then I have helped my employers cope with the aftermath of 12 fatalities and 2 other life-altering events. The section "Why do Occupational Health & Safety" provides further detail but in summary, poor safety is simply very expensive and also has a massive humanitarian cost. My qualifications include a certificate I.V. in Workplace Training and Assessment, a Diploma in Frontline Management, a Diploma in Training & Assessment Systems, a Bachelor of Education (Adult & Workplace Education) , a Grad. Cert. in Management of Organisational Change and a Graduate Diploma in Occupational Hazard Management. I am currently studying towards a Masters in Business Leadership. Up until recently I had been a Chartered Fellow of the Safety Institute of Australia for 10 years and a member for about 30 years. My interest is in non-traditional methods of driving organisational change in OHS and I have what I believe is a healthy dis-respect for many common approaches to OHS Management and OHS Training. I hold what I believe is a well-founded perception that many of the things safety people and management do in safety are “displacement activities” (Displacement activities are things we do, things we put a lot of energy into, but which when we examine them closely there is no valid reason for doing them). My managerial and leadership roles in OHS have exposed me to a range of management techniques that are relevant to Business Improvement. In particular I am a strong supporter of continuous improvement and quality management approaches to business. I believe leadership is the often forgotten key to excellence in most aspects of life. I hold the Australian Defence Medal and am a J.P.(Qualified). I have many fond memories of my time playing Rugby Union when I was a young bloke.

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