What Makes a Great Leader? 10 Inspiring Thoughts

What makes an effective, visionary leader? In celebration of International Women’s Day (March 8th), we are sharing encouraging words from 10 trailblazing women that inspire us all to show up, take risks, embrace failure and be the best leader you can be.

On working hard:

 “Work harder than everybody. You’re not going to get it by whining, and you’re not going to get it by shouting, and you’re not going to get it by quitting. You’re going to get it by being there.” ―Barbara Walters, Broadcaster and Journalist

“Whatever the problem, be part of the solution. Don’t just sit around raising questions and pointing out obstacles.” —Tina Fey, Comedian, Actress, Writer, and Producer

On taking risks:

“Rarely are opportunities presented to you in a perfect way. In a nice little box with a yellow bow on top. ‘Here, open it, it’s perfect. You’ll love it.’ Opportunities–the good ones–are messy, confusing and hard to recognize. They’re risky. They challenge you.”—Susan Wojcicki, Former CEO of YouTube

 “I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow. When there’s that moment of ‘Wow, I’m not really sure I can do this,’ and you push through those moments, that’s when you have a breakthrough.” —Marissa Mayer, Former CEO of Yahoo, Co-Founder of Sunshine

On learning from failure:

“Every problem, every dilemma, every dead end we find ourselves facing in life, only appears unsolvable inside a particular frame or point of view. Enlarge the box, or create another frame around the data, and problems vanish, while new opportunities appear.” —Rosamund Stone Zander, Author

“So often in life, things that you regard as an impediment turn out to be great good fortune.” —Ruth Bader Ginsburg, U.S. Supreme Court Justice

On managing a team:

“Make sure you’re working for someone confident who is willing to take risks on you, gives you stretch opportunities, and is there to back you if things get tough. And do the same for people on your team.” —Ruth Porat, President & CIO of Alphabet

“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, American writer, activist and first lady

On finding balance:

“We think, mistakenly, that success is the result of the amount of time we put in at work, instead of the quality of time we put in.” ―Arianna Huffington, Author and Founder of Thrive Global

“Balance is not better time management, but better boundary management. Balance means making choices and enjoying those choices.” ―Betsy Jacobson, Executive Director at United Jewish Council of the East Side, Inc.

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