It’s the start of a fresh, New Year.

If you’re like many of us, you’ve maybe made a resolution or two that focuses on self improvement. I for one am always seeking to grow my leadership skills. That’s a year-long resolution that not only creates a positive impact for me, but also for my team, clients, fellow board members, and others that I serve.

To inspire continual leadership growth and development, it’s helpful to learn from great leaders of the past and present. In this post I share a few of my favorite quotes to spark your leadership flame.

  1. The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves. Ray Kroc
  2. Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower. Steve Jobs
  3. If the highest aim of a captain were to preserve his ship, he would keep it in port forever. Thomas Aquinas
  4. Leadership is not about a title or a designation. It’s about impact, influence and inspiration. Impact involves getting results, influence is about spreading the passion you have for your work, and you have to inspire team-mates and customers. Robin S. Sharma
  5. We need to accept that we won’t always make the right decisions, that we’ll screw up royally sometimes — understanding that failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success. Arianna Huffington
  6. The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office. Dwight D. Eisenhower
  7. Today a reader, tomorrow a leader. Margaret Fuller
  8. Ultimately, leadership is not about glorious crowning acts. It’s about keeping your team focused on a goal and motivated to do their best to achieve it, especially when the stakes are high and the consequences really matter. It is about laying the groundwork for others’ success, and then standing back and letting them shine. Chris Hadfield
  9. Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other. John F. Kennedy
  10. I learned to always take on things I’d never done before. Growth and comfort do not coexist. Virginia Rometty
  11. It is essential to employ, trust, and reward those whose perspective, ability, and judgment are radically different from yours. It is also rare, for it requires uncommon humility, tolerance, and wisdom. Dee Hock
  12. A good objective of leadership is to help those who are doing poorly to do well and to help those who are doing well to do even better. Jim Rohn
  13. Problems are only opportunities in work clothes. Henry J. Kaiser
  14. People buy into the leader before they buy into the vision. John C. Maxwell
  15. Right is right, even if no one else does. Juliette Gordon Low
  16. If you are successful, it is because somewhere, sometime, someone gave you a life or an idea that started you in the right direction. Remember also that you are indebted to life until you help some less fortunate person, just as you were helped. Melinda Gates

And one from me. (I couldn’t resist.)

17. It’s your opportunity and responsibility to chart your unique leadership path that creates a ripple effect of lasting impact, influence, and inspiration in the world. Amy Franko

You probably noticed some common threads here. Vision. Learning. Risk. Grit. Impact. Influence. What qualities would you add to the list? Which quotes really resonated with you, that could guide you along your leadership journey? What will you do in 2017 to further your leadership skills?

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