Leaders arise at all different times, for all different reasons. Today, there are many self-help books available on “Steps to Effective Leadership” and “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” The phenomenon of leadership is a subject of much study and interest, especially in the corporate world. There does not seem to be one cookie-cutter model for how to be a good leader, and the styles can vary depending on role and personality type. Similarly, throughout history leaders have emerged onto the world stage for a variety of purposes, and no two are like. We remember some for their strength of character or moral courage, others for their perseverance in the midst of unexpected hardship, and still others for their insight into future events.
However, effective leaders all seem to have one thing in common: they are able to powerfully communicate their ideas. Through periods of civil unrest, economic hardship, and national uncertainty, men and women came to the forefront with strong ideas on how to make things better. These are the leaders that change history. It is oftentimes through speeches, campaign mottos, or taglines that these beliefs are encapsulated and preserved for future generations. We read their words and remember the actions and attitudes behind them that made their accomplishments so great.
Have you ever heard an inspiring quote but not been sure who said it or where it came from? It is easy to recognize a quote or phrase, and yet forget the context in which it was stated, the unique struggle that caused those words to be said. Below are some of the most recognizable quotes from world leaders throughout history. Do most of them sound familiar to you? Do you know the story behind these words?
10 “After me, the deluge.”--Louis XV
9 “Being powerful is like being a lady...if you have to tell people you are, you aren't.”--Margaret Thatcher
8 “Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God's side, for God is always right.”--Abraham Lincoln
7 “I will be good.”--Queen Victoria
6 “A leader is a dealer in hope.”--Napoleon Bonaparte
5 “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.”--Winston Churchill
4 “It always seems impossible until it's done."--Nelson Mandela
3 “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”--Martin Luther King, Jr.
2 “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”--Franklin Delano Roosevelt
1 “Be the change you want to see in the world.”--Mahatma Gandhi
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