93 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 and past situations we’ve been through, as well as to explore possibilities to do better in the future.

After all, the very definition of business coaching is to help your clients find solutions to their problems and reach their goals. Borrowing some wisdom from some of the biggest coaches and entrepreneurs might help them get those goals and solutions.

There are so many great uses for business coaching and leadership quotes, like…

  • Doing some personal reflection on them
  • Using them as content for your social media posts
  • Or quoting great words in your group workshops and one-on-one conversations with clients

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 mentoring. 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 93 quotes in total: the top 33 quotes about the power of business coaching and 60 inspirational quotes about leadership. 

The Best Quotes About Business Coaching

Business coaching is a tremendous asset to executives and leadership teams. Great leadership, after all, is usually a learned skill. These 21 business coaching and business mentoring quotes delve into the very definition of this highly valued profession and what it means to an organization in the 21st century.

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

Listening is such a simple act. It requires us to be present, and that takes practice, but we don’t have to do anything else. We don’t have to advise, or coach, or sound wise. We just have to be willing to sit there and listen.

Margaret J. Wheatley

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

Bill McCartney

When you are in any contest, you should work as if there were – to the very last minute – a chance to lose it. This is battle, this is politics, this is anything.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.

Steve Jobs

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

Harvard Business Review

I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better. I think that’s the single best piece of advice: constantly think about how you could be doing things better and questioning yourself.

Elon Musk

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’ve always known you could be.

Tom Landry

I’m a big believer in crafting your own philosophy in the world based on your experiences and based on how you want the world to work. I don’t believe in blindly accepting ideas or philosophies from generations past.

Vishen Lakhiani

An organization’s ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage.

Jack Welch

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

Tim Gallwey

My goal was never to just create a company. A lot of people misinterpret that, as if I don’t care about revenue or profit or any of those things. But what not being just a company means to me is not being just that – building something that actually makes a really big change in the world.

Mark Zuckerberg

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

Your mindset matters. It affects everything – from the business and investment decisions you make, to the way you raise your children, to your stress levels and overall well-being.

Peter Diamandis

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

When it comes to getting the best out of life – whether in your own life or from your team, there is no doubt that good coaching can play a pivotal role. Getting it right is about learning how to motivate yourself and others in a way that works. It means listening to yourself and others rather than just speaking at them. The good coach knows that they may not have all the answers.

Steve Gold

Everything in coaching hinges on listening because what we are listening for affects where we are speaking from and unfolds how we are being with and for each other.

Marilyn Atkinson

Coaching is about helping clients unlock the treasure-chest of their lives – worth bearing in mind then that diamonds are made from coal under pressure and it’s the grit in the oyster which creates the pearls.

Sarah Durrant

The Top Leadership Quotes

It has been famously 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

It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.

Nelson Mandela

Leadership is practiced not so much in words as in attitude and in actions.

Harold S. Geneen

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

John Quincy Adams

Leadership is not about a title or a designation. It’s about impact, influence, and inspiration. Impact involves getting results, influence is about spreading the passion you have for your work, and you have to inspire team-mates and customers.

Robin S. Sharma

There are three rules for being a good leader: 1. Don’t say you are one; 2. Show that you are one; and 3. Lead by example.

Georg W. F. Hegel

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-Exupéry

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 an 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.

business coaching quotes

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in March 2021 and has since been updated for accuracy.

By Kelsie Scully
August 2, 2023

Are You Undercharging?

Find Out In This Free Report

Ever wondered exactly what other coaches are offering, and ​for how much? Find out if you’re charging too much or too ​little by benchmarking your own rates with this free report.

Subscribe to our updates for instant access: