71 Leadership & Business Coaching Quotes to Inspire Your Clients

Whether you’re an executive or business coach looking to inspire yourself or your clients, quotes are a powerful tool. They are agents of change.

Quotes help achieve change in two meaningful ways. The first is the most obvious: quotes often provide motivation and inspiration. They are like a mental shot of espresso on a rainy Monday morning – invigorating excitement and sparking new-found enthusiasm.

But quotes can also invoke a bit of soul-searching. They can force us to reflect. To think about our own abilities, past situations, and explore possibilities to do better in the future.

From personal reflection, social media posts, and group workshops to one-on-one conversations with clients, there are so many uses for business coaching quotes and leadership quotes. But if you want a quote that has impact, any ol’ quote won’t do. You need the best.

So we’ve done the leg work for you and rounded up our favorite quotes about business coaching and leadership. Because, as we all know, the two go together like glue. Coaching is the secret sauce of great leadership!

In this post you’ll find 71 quotes in total. We’ve found the top 21 quotes about the power of business coaching and 57 inspirational quotes about leadership. 

The Best Quotes About Business Coaching

Business coaching is an art and a tremendous asset to executives and leadership teams. Great leadership, after all, is usually a learned skill. These 21 quotes delve into business coaching and what they mean to an organization in the 21st century. You really are invaluable!

Coaching is the universal language of change and learning.


Does coaching work? Yes. Good coaches provide a truly important service. They tell you the truth when no one else will.

Jack Welch

All coaching is, is taking a player where he can’t take himself.

Bill McCartney

The goal of coaching is good management: to make the most of an organization’s valuable resources.

Harvard Business Review

I absolutely believe that people, unless coached, never reach their maximum capabilities.

Bob Nardelli

I’ll bet most of the companies that are in life―or―death battles got into that kind of trouble because they didn’t pay enough attention to developing their leaders.

Wayne Calloway

Who, exactly, seeks out a coach? If you ask a coach the answer is usually the same: Winners who want even more out of life.

Chicago Tribune

A coach is someone who tells you what you don’t want to hear, who has to see what you don’t want to see, so you can be who you always known you could be.

Tom Landry

Coaching is unlocking a person’s potential to maximize their own performance. It’s helping them to learn rather than teaching them.

Tim Gallwey

The best coaches really care about people. They have a sincere interest in people.

Byron & Catherine Pulsifer

Executives and HR managers know coaching is the most potent tool for inducing positive personal change, ensuring better than average odds of success and making the change stick for  the long term.

The Ivy Business Journal

I never cease to be amazed at the power of the coaching process to draw out the skills or talent that was previously hidden within an individual, and which invariably finds a way to solve a problem previously thought unsolvable.

John Russell

The goal of coaching is the goal of good management: to make the most of an organization’s valuable resources.

Harvard Business Review

To create a high-performance team, we must replace typical management activities like supervising, checking, monitoring, and controlling with new behaviors like coaching and communicating.

Ray Smith

Coaches have to watch for what they don’t want to see and listen to what they don’t want to hear.

John Madden

Probably my best quality as a coach is I ask a lot of questions and let the person come up with the answers.

Phil Dixon

I believe that wherever there is mastery, coaching is occurring and whenever coaching is done, mastery will be the outcome.

Andrea J. Lee

Executive coaches often are brought in to help a star player navigate a new role or advance faster inside a company. Other businesses, however, hire a coach to fix a manager’s flaws, such as poor interpersonal skills. View an Executive Coach As an Aide, Not an Enemy.

The Wall Street Journal

Coaching is a profession of love. You can’t coach people unless you love them.

Eddie Robison

Even modest improvements can justify hiring a coach. An investment of $30,000 or so in an executive who has responsibility for tens of millions of dollars is a rounding error.

Jerome Abarbanel

The Top Leadership Quotes

It has famously been said that leadership is earned, but it must also be learned and developed (and that’s where you business coaches come in). The 57 leadership quotes below, highlight that. These quotes also make clear ethical leadership is about others, listening to them, fostering trust, and giving them the space to flourish. 

The art of communication is the language of leadership.

James Humes

A man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd.

Max Lucado

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. 

John Quincy Adams

It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change

Charles Darwin

To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.

Eleanor Roosevelt

The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.

Theodore Roosevelt

Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish. 

Sam Walton

A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.

John Maxwell

People buy into the leader before they buy into the vision. 

John Maxwell

Leadership is not about titles, positions, or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another.

John Maxwell

A good leader is a person who takes a little more than his share of the blame and a little less than his share of the credit. 

John Maxwell

A leader is a dealer in hope. 


If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

One of the tests of leadership is the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency. 

Arnold Glasow

A good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame, a little less than his share of the credit.

Arnold Glasow

A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his intent. 

Douglas MacArthur

To lead people, walk behind them.

Lao Tzu

A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.

Lao Tzu

If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then, you are an excellent leader.

Dolly Parton

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. 

General George Patton

Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it. 

Dwight Eisenhower

You don’t lead by hitting people over the head—that’s assault, not leadership.

Dwight Eisenhower

Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.

Warren Bennis

The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born-that there is a genetic factor to leadership. That’s nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. Leaders are made rather than born.

Warren Bennis

Management is about arranging and telling. Leadership is about nurturing and enhancing. 

Tom Peters

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

African proverb

Where there is no vision, the people perish.

Proverbs 29:18

Don’t find fault, find a remedy; anybody can complain.

Henry Ford

What you do has far greater impact than what you say. 

Stephen Covey

There are three essentials to leadership: humility, clarity and courage. 

Fuchan Yuan

To build a strong team, you must see someone else’s strength as a complement to your weakness, and not a threat to your position or authority.

Christine Caine

Growth and comfort do not coexist.

Ginny Rometty

Successful leaders see the opportunities in every difficulty rather than the difficulty in every opportunity.

Reed Markham

Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do. 

Mother Teresa

Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.

Mother Teresa

Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.

John F. Kennedy

A good leader inspires others with confidence in the leader. A great leader inspires others with confidence in themselves.


Leadership Is cause; everything else Is effect.


Coaching is releasing a person’s potential to maximize their own performance. It is helping them to learn rather than teaching them. 


Mountaintops inspire leaders but valleys mature them.

Winston Churchill

The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.

Kenneth Blanchard

Feedback is meant to address the problem, not the person.

Travis Bradberry

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

First rule of leadership: everything is your fault.

A Bug’s Life

For the great achiever, it’s all about me. For a great leader, it’s all about them. 

Alan Mulally

The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets people to do the greatest things.

Ronald Reagan

Great leaders are not defined by the absence of weakness, but rather by the presence of clear strengths.

John Zenger

Leadership is not about a title or a designation. It’s about impact, influence, and inspiration. 

Robin Sharma

Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile. 

Vince Lombardi

Toxic environments are not the result of spontaneous bad fortune. They are the result of toxic leaders.

Panos Mourdoukoutas and M.A. Soupios 

Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.

Jack Welch

Nobody rises to low expectations.

Calvin Lloyd

The task of leadership is not to put greatness into humanity, but to elicit it, for the greatness is already there. 

John Buchan

When a leader makes a promise he builds hope when he keeps it, he builds trust, and that is the game-changer.

Tushar Vakil

Great leaders harness personal courage, capture the hearts and minds of others and empower new leaders to make the world a better place. 

Maxine Driscoll

The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves. 

Ray Kroc

Leadership is action, not position.

Donald H. McGannon

It’s better to hang out with people better than you. Pick out associates whose behavior is better than yours and you’ll drift in that direction.

Warren Buffet

Some Final Words of Wisdom

This blog post is full of words of wisdom, but we also want to leave you with some parting thoughts to dig a bit deeper.

When you read these leadership and business coaching quotes, did you think about what kind of coach you want to be and the relationships you want to foster?

Just like leaders in their organizations, good relationships are key for your business coaching to have impact. 

Removing any friction or sticking points in the services you provide is so important, especially when dealing with clients who feel overwhelmed. And to achieve client transformation, you need coaching tools and models that are easy to follow and consistently deliver results. To help you with that, check out this blog post about the best coaching tools, to find out what works best for you and your clients.

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By Team Paperbell
March 18, 2021

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