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Leadership quotes (by women) to live by

Updated: Mar 17, 2020

Quotes are one of the top viral pieces of content on Instagram. Fast Company created a article on why motivational quotes are so impactful. They explain that it's a combination of short phrasing, positive psychology, and self-selection (meaning that you see yourself in the quote, so therefore, it powerfully resonates with you) are the top reasons why people post and share quotes. In fact, there are even multiple websites and social media accounts dedicated entirely to quotations—some well-known and some simply stripped from interviews, lyrics, poetry, or other media, like books.

For digital entrepreneurs, some of the top quote categories include:

  • Leadership

  • Motivation

  • Confidence

  • Money

  • Mindset

These are some of my favorite quotes about leadership—by women—that have resonated with me after serving in the business world for over 20 years.

  • "Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen."–Brene Brown

  • "To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart." –Iyanla Vanzant

  • “I measure my own success as a leader by how well the people who work for me succeed.” –Maria Shi

  • "There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish." –Michelle Obama

  • "It’s important to know that you have the power to persist or retreat." –Melanie Dancer

  • "Whatever anybody says or does, assume positive intent. You will be amazed at how your whole approach to a person or problem becomes very different." –Indra Nooyi

  • "Surround yourself with a trusted and loyal team. It makes all the difference." –Alison Pincus

  • "Leaders should strive for authenticity over perfection." –Sheryl Sandberg

Sidenote: I believe that leadership is different than management. Anyone can be a leader, even if you are not supervising others. And I've had great leaders who were not my managers, and been stuck under managers who were terrible leaders. has an easy quiz you can take to see if you're a better manager or leader. (I got 31: Warren Buffet, not bad!)

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