50 John C. Maxwell Quotes on Leadership & Growth

John Calvin Maxwell is an American speaker and author, who’s primary focus is leadership.

John’s written a great collection of books, majorly focusing on helping others become better leaders, and improving their communication with their teams.

There are so many incredible books that have been published by John, but here’s a few that stand out:

  • The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership
  • How Successful People Grow
  • The 21 Indispensable Qualities of A Leader
  • Here’s our collection of John C. Maxwell quotes, all focusing on leadership:


    50 John C. Maxwell Quotes

    1. “A lack of realism in the vision today costs credibility tomorrow.” – John C. Maxwell

    2. “All of the people in my life whom I consider to be close friends or colleagues are good thinkers.” – John C. Maxwell

    3. “Everyone has the potential to become an encourager. You don’t have to be rich. You don’t have to be a genius. You don’t have to have it all together. All you have to do is care about people and initiate. ” – John C. Maxwell

    4. “Growth demands a temporary surrender of security. It may mean giving up familiar but limiting patterns, safe but unrewarding work, values no longer believed in, and relationships that have lost their meaning.” – John C. Maxwell

    5. “If you are a parent, you have probably already realized that your children are always watching what you do. And just as children watch their parents and emulate their behavior, so do employees who are watching their bosses.” – John C. Maxwell

    6. “Life can be boring unless you put some effort into it.” – John C. Maxwell

    7. “People who use time wisely spend it on activities that advance their overall purpose in life.” – John C. Maxwell

    8. “Teamwork makes the dream work, but a vision becomes a nightmare when the leader has a big dream and a bad team.” – John C. Maxwell

    9. “The greatest day in your life and mine is when we take total responsibility for our attitudes. That’s the day we truly grow up.” – John C. Maxwell


    10th of 50 John C. Maxwell Quotes

    “Time is more valuable than money, because time is irreplaceable. ” – John C. Maxwell


    11. “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” – John C. Maxwell

    12. “As a leader, the first person I need to lead is me. The first person that I should try to change is me.” – John C. Maxwell

    13. “Exceptionally hard decisions can deplete your energy to the point at which you finally cave in. If you mentally crumble and degenerate into negative thinking, you’ll magnify the problem to the point where it can haunt you. ” – John C. Maxwell

    14. “Growth is the great separator between those who succeed and those who do not. When I see a person beginning to separate themselves from the pack, it’s almost always due to personal growth.” – John C. Maxwell

    15. “Inability to make decisions is one of the principal reasons executives fail. Deficiency in decision-making ranks much higher than lack of specific knowledge or technical know-how as an indicator of leadership failure.” – John C. Maxwell

    16. “Look at our society. Everyone wants to be thin, but nobody wants to diet. Everyone wants to live long, but few will exercise. Everybody wants money, yet seldom will anyone budget or control their spending.” John C. Maxwell

    17. “Pride deafens us to the advice or warnings of those around us.” – John C. Maxwell

    18. “The best way a mentor can prepare another leader is to expose him or her to other great people.” – John C. Maxwell

    19. “The greatest mistake we make is living in constant fear that we will make one.” – John C. Maxwell

    20. “Time management is an oxymoron. Time is beyond our control, and the clock keeps ticking regardless of how we lead our lives. Priority management is the answer to maximizing the time we have.” – John C. Maxwell

    21. “A man must be big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them.” – John C. Maxwell


    22nd of 50 John C. Maxwell Quotes

    “Educators take something simple and make it complicated. Communicators take something complicated and make it simple.” – John C. Maxwell


    23. “Failed plans should not be interpreted as a failed vision. Visions don’t change, they are only refined. Plans rarely stay the same, and are scrapped or adjusted as needed. Be stubborn about the vision, but flexible with your plan.” – John C. Maxwell

    24. “Have the humility to learn from those around you.” – John C. Maxwell

    25. “Leaders must be close enough to relate to others, but far enough ahead to motivate them.” – John C. Maxwell

    26. “People buy into the leader before they buy into the vision.” – John C. Maxwell

    27. “Self-centered leaders manipulate when they move people for personal benefit. Mature leaders motivate by moving people for mutual benefit.” – John C. Maxwell

    28. “The difference between average people and achieving people is their perception of and response to failure.” – John C. Maxwell

    29. “The secret of your success is determined by your daily agenda.” – John C. Maxwell

    30. “When a person starts to talk about their dreams, it’s as if something bubbles up from within. Their eyes brighten, their face glows, and you can feel the excitement in their words.” – John C. Maxwell

    31. “A word of encouragement from a teacher to a child can change a life. A word of encouragement from a spouse can save a marriage. A word of encouragement from a leader can inspire a person to reach her potential.” – John C. Maxwell

    32. “Enjoyment is an incredible energizer to the human spirit.” – John C. Maxwell

    33. “Family and friendships are two of the greatest facilitators of happiness.” – John C. Maxwell

    34. “I vividly remember a conversation I had many years ago in 1974, which marked a turning point in my leadership journey. I was sitting at a Holiday Inn with my friend, Kurt Campmeyer, when he asked me if I had a personal growth plan. I didn’t. In fact, I didn’t even know you were supposed to have one.” – John C. Maxwell

    35. “Leadership is influence.” – John C. Maxwell


    36th of 50 John C. Maxwell Quotes

    “People may hear your words, but they feel your attitude.” – John C. Maxwell


    37. “Success comes to those who have an entire mountain of gold that they continually mine, not those who find one nugget and try to live on it for fifty years.” – John C. Maxwell

    38. “The dreams and passions stored within hearts are powerful keys which can unlock a wealth of potential.” – John C. Maxwell

    39. “The unsuccessful person is burdened by learning, and prefers to walk down familiar paths. Their distaste for learning stunts their growth and limits their influence.” – John C. Maxwell

    40. “When you are full of pride on the inside, it makes you stiff, stubborn, and creates strife with others.” – John C. Maxwell

    41. “All good leaders are connectors. They relate well and make people feel confident about themselves and their leader.” – John C. Maxwell

    42. “Every person has a longing to be significant; to make a contribution; to be a part of something noble and purposeful.” – John C. Maxwell

    43. “Good leaders must communicate vision clearly, creatively, and continually. However, the vision doesn’t come alive until the leader models it.” – John C. Maxwell

    44. “If you are a leader, you should never forget that everyone needs encouragement. And everyone who receives it – young or old, successful or less-than-successful, unknown or famous – is changed by it.” – John C. Maxwell

    45. “Learn to say ‘no’ to the good so you can say ‘yes’ to the best.” – John C. Maxwell

    46. “People who add value to others do so intentionally. I say that because to add value, leaders must give of themselves, and that rarely occurs by accident.” – John C. Maxwell


    47th of 50 John C. Maxwell Quotes

    “Success is due to our stretching to the challenges of life. Failure comes when we shrink from them.” – John C. Maxwell


    48. “The experience of pain or loss can be a formidably motivating force.” – John C. Maxwell

    49. “There are two kinds of pride, both good and bad. ‘Good pride’ represents our dignity and self-respect. ‘Bad pride’ is the deadly sin of superiority that reeks of conceit and arrogance.” – John C. Maxwell

    50. “Without failure there is no achievement.” – John C. Maxwell


    Which are your favorite John C. Maxwell quotes? Leave a comment below.

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