The 67 Best Leadership Quotes to Inspire Your CX Team

May 20, 2021
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In any company, organization, or team, people look towards leaders for answers in both times of crisis and through the mundane. Similarly, customers look towards your customer experience (CX) department for answers. In the post below, you will learn about both innate and learned leadership qualities that nearly all leaders have.

Many of these leadership qualities, such as strong communication skills and a high sense of awareness can help unify your CX team. The 67 included quotes on leadership will inspire your CX strategy, so you can have similar success to HelloFresh and other businesses that thrived during the pandemic. For quick leadership tips and tactics, see our visual below.

What it Means to Be a Leader

Anyone who has self-awareness and the propensity to help others can be a leader. You don’t have to be a politician or CEO to be a leader, although these types of people are oftentimes leaders. You can be a leader within your company, department, or team. Leaders are especially looked towards during times of growth, which often involve departmental or company-wide changes to keep up with demand and scaling opportunities.

Being a leader typically means wanting to achieve a singular goal or set of goals with others. Frequently, a leader motivates others by example —  he or she practices what they preach and expects from others. Most importantly, a leader allows team members to give feedback. Read the leadership quotes below to learn from those who have been where you are now or where you want to be in the future.

Business Leadership Quotes

  1. "One of the tests of leadership is the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency." — Arnold Glasow, United States Businessman
  2. “Strong teams won’t be told what to do. They work together to figure out what to do.” — Elon Musk, CEO, Tesla
  3. “Whatever you do, do it well. Do it so well that when people see you do it, they will want to come back and see you do it again, and they will want to bring others and show them how well you do what you do.” — Walt Disney, American Entrepreneur




  1. "You can't even call yourself a leader if you always change your mind." — Alex Perkins, CEO, All The Stuff
  2. "There exist limitless opportunities in every industry. Where there is an open mind, there will always be a frontier." — Charles F. Kettering, American inventor and businessman
  3. “Our emerging workforce is not interested in command and control leadership. They don’t want to do things because I said so, they want to do things because they want to do them.” — Irene Rosenfield, Chairman, Mondelēz International
  4. “I learned to always take on things I’d never done before. Growth and comfort do not coexist." — Ginni Rometty, Executive Chairman, IBM
  5. “If you're competitor-focused, you have to wait until there is a competitor doing something. Being customer-focused allows you to be more pioneering.” — Jeff Bezos, Founder, Amazon




  1. “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” — Warren Buffet, CEO, Berkshire Hathaway
  2. “Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results, not attributes.” — Peter Drucker, Austrian writer and management consultant

Servant Leadership Quotes

  1. “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” — Maya Angelou, American poet and civil rights activist
  2. "A person should have good communication skills in order to be a good leader. You must also be able to listen to and interact with a diverse group of people, regardless of their positions, social identities, or other factors." — Jake Smith, Managing Director for Absolute Reg
  3. "I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people." — Mahatma Gandhi, social activist and political ethicist
  4. “Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.” — General George Patton, United States Army
  5. “Strong leadership means treating others with respect and kindness, and building up everyone around you to be the best version of themselves.” — Monica Eaton, Co-Founder and COO, Chargebacks911
  6. “Leadership must be likable, affable, cordial, and above all emotional. The fashion of authoritarian leadership is gone. Football is about life. You can’t be angry all day.” — Vincente del Bosque, former Spanish fútbol coach and manager
  7. "Good leaders organize and align people around what the team needs to do. Great leaders motivate and inspire people with why they're doing it. That's purpose. And that's the key to achieving something truly transformational." — Marillyn Hewson, Executive Chairman, Lockheed Martin




  1. “Treat a person as he is, and he will remain as he is. Treat him as he could be, and he will become what he should be.” — Jimmy Johnson, former professional football coach and analyst
  2. “Leadership consists of nothing but taking responsibility for everything that goes wrong and giving your subordinates credit for everything that goes well.” — Dwight D. Eisenhower, former U.S. President
  3. “Leadership is possible in all different ways, and in all different areas of life. Whether it is with friends or family, I expect them to set a great example for me, and hopefully I will do the same for them. And that is all part of being a leader.” — Steve Nash, former professional basketball players and current NBA head coach
  4. "It is important for leaders to set the best example and role model how they want their teams to act and work. Everyone is watching your every move as you set the stage for your employees." — Adam Garcia, Founder and Owner, Stock Dork
  5. “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” – President Abraham Lincoln, former United States President
  6. “In leadership, there are no words more important than trust. In any organization, trust must be developed among every member of the team if success is going to be achieved.” — Mike Krzyzewski, college and Olympic basketball coach
  7. “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the water to create many ripples.” — Mother Teresa, Catholic Church Saint of Calcutta
  8. "The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things." — Ronald Reagan, former United States President
  9. “The nation will find it very hard to look up to the leaders who are keeping their ears to the ground.” — Sir Winston Churchill, former Prime Minister, United Kingdom
  10. “A leader. . .is like a shepherd. He stays behind the flock, letting the most nimble go out ahead, whereupon the others follow, not realizing that all along they are being directed from behind.” —  Nelson Mandela, former President and anti-apartheid revolutionary,  South Africa

Inspiring Leadership Quotes

  1. “Customers do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they’ll take care of your customers.” — Richard Branson, English business magnate and Founder, Virgin Group




  1. “Average leaders raise the bar on themselves; good leaders raise the bar for others; great leaders inspire others to raise their own bar.” — Orrin Woodward, American businessman and writer
  2. “Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” — Lao Tzu, Chinese philosopher and writer
  3. “Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.” — Farrah Gray, American businessman and investor
  4. “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” — Jack Welch, former CEO, General Electric
  5. “You don't lead by pointing and telling people someplace to go. You lead by going to that place and making a case.” — Ken Kesey, American novelist and essayist
  6. “I don’t think just trying to maximize profits is a very good long-term strategy for a business. It doesn’t inspire the people who work for you.” — John Mackey, CEO, Whole Foods Market




  1. "The task of the leader is to get their people from where they are to where they have not been." — Henry Kissinger, former United States Secretary of State
  2. “Leadership is a matter of having people look at you and gain confidence, seeing how you react. If you’re in control, they’re in control.” — Tom Landry, former Dallas Cowboys head coach and 2x Superbowl winner
  3. “Leadership is not about titles, positions, or flow charts. It is about one life influencing another.” — John C. Maxwell, American author, speaker, and pastor
  4. “Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.” — Michael Jordan, professional basketball player and Owner, Charlotte Hornets
  5. “Success isn’t about how much money you make; it’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.”— Michelle Obama, activist and former United States First Lady
  6. "There exist limitless opportunities in every industry. Where there is an open mind, there will always be a frontier." — Charles F. Kettering, American inventor and businessman
  7. “To be a leader, you have to make people want to follow you, and nobody wants to follow someone who doesn’t know where he is going.” — Joe Namath, former New York Jets quarterback and Super Bowl champion
  8. “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” — William Arthur Ward, American motivational writer.

Women Leadership Quotes

  1. "Ninety percent of leadership is the ability to communicate something people want.” — Dianne Feinstein, United States Senator
  2. “Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know. That can be your greatest strength and ensure that you do things differently from everyone else.” — Sara Blakely, American businesswomen, philanthropist, and Founder, Spanx
  3. “The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that hurt people hurt people, and kindness is just as contagious. So if you can focus your efforts on engineering kindness, it will prevail.” — Whitney Wolfe Herd, Founder and CEO, Bumble
  4. "A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don't necessarily want to go, but ought to be." — Rosalynn Carter, former First Lady, United States
  5. “Repeat business or behavior can be bribed. Loyalty has to be earned.” — Janet Robinson, former CEO, New York Times Company
  6. “The goal is to turn data into information, and information into insight.” – Carly Fiorina, former Executive, President, and Chair,  Hewlett-Packard Enterprise




  1. “We need to accept that we don’t always make the right decisions, that we’ll screw up royally sometimes. Understand that failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success.” — Arianna Huffington, Founder and CEO, Thrive Global
  2. "The best way to inspire others is to truthfully share your story with them; don't leave out the hard parts or the times you thought you may not succeed." — Stacy Caprio, Founder,
  3. “Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember, you can achieve.” — Mary Kay Ash, American businesswoman and Founder, Mary Kay Cosmetics
  4. “Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.” — Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook and Founder, Lean

Short Leadership Quotes

  1. “When people talk, listen completely.” — Ernest Hemingway, American author
  2. “When your work speaks for itself, don’t interrupt.” — Henry J. Kaiser, American Industrialist
  3. “Either you run the day, or the day runs you.” — Jim Rohn, American entrepreneur
  4. “To have long term success as a coach or in any position of leadership, you have to be obsessed in some way.” — Pat Riley, former professional basketball head coach
  5. “Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.” – Bill Gates, Co-Founder, Microsoft




  1. “If you’re afraid of failure, you don’t deserve to be successful.” — Charles Barkley, former professional basketball player and current NBA analyst
  2. “You are never too small to make a difference.” — Greta Thunberg, environmental activist
  3. “The only place that success comes before work is in the dictionary.” Vince Lombardi, former NFL head coach and Executive
  4. "To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart."— Eleanor Roosevelt,  diplomat, activist, and former United States First Lady
  5. “He who has never learned to obey cannot be a good commander.” — Aristotle, Greek philosopher
  6. “The little things matter as much, if not more, than the bigger things.” — Adrian Swinscoe, customer experience consultant




  1. “I don’t want yes-men around me. I want everyone to tell the truth, even if it costs them their jobs.” — Samuel Goldwyn, Polish-American film producer
  2. "Don't follow the crowd, let the crowd follow you." — Margaret Thatcher, former Prime Minister, U.K.
  3. “The only safe ship in a storm is leadership.” — Fay Wattleton, reproductive rights activist
  4. “A boss has a title, a leader has the people.” — Simon Sinek, British-American author and speaker




The advice and quotes above should inspire you as you aim to become a better leader yourself. Remember, an effective leader has a lot of qualities, but what is most important is to be aware of your strongest leadership qualities and use them to your advantage while also being keenly cognizant of who to rely on and support your shortcomings. Lastly, part of being a good leader is being an active listener. For more inspiration see our CX quotes article.

Sources: GetFeedback | McKinsey | Gallup

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