I recently offered my five most favorite leadership quotes. They are not from modern leaders, writers, or thinkers but from leaders, theologians, and philosophers whose writings and sayings have endured the times. This is not to say that only old, dead thinkers have the best quotes. And to prove it, here are six important and impactful quotes from more modern leaders. The reason I am drawn to these is that they are practical and actionable. I find myself quoting these often, and they have informed my thinking about the people I am responsible for and the roles I steward.
Culture eats strategy for breakfast. ~ Peter Drucker
Strategy is important, but culture is more so. A sound ministry strategy has no chance in an unhealthy church culture. A solid direction will not garner much support and enthusiasm in a culture that is apathetic.
Hire five to do the work of ten and pay them like eight. ~ Jim Collins
There are often two polarizing approaches to hiring and staffing. Approach one is to hire as many as possible and pay them a little. Approach two is to hire a few and pay them very well. Jim Collins advocates the second approach, and I believe it is most wise.
Behavior from important people in an organization, contrary to the vision, overwhelms all other forms of communication. ~ John Kotter
Vision statements, new logos, and values hanging on the wall can all be really helpful in reinforcing what is important. But if behavior from the leaders contradicts the visionary statements, the visionary statements are proven worthless.
The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do. ~ Michael Porter
Because there are sooooo many things leaders and teams and organizations and ministries can chase after, the essence of strategy is deciding what not to do so that energy and resources can be allocated to the most important. And you can tell what your strategy is by where you invest your resources. Which brings us to the next quote…
Strategy is simply resource allocation. ~ Jack Welch
A budget is a strategy statement.
Leaders don’t create followers; they create more leaders. ~ Tom Peters
As leaders, we are responsible for future leaders. Part of your role today, if you are a leader, is playing a part in someone else’s development.