150 Inspiring Simon Sinek Quotes On Leadership


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These Simon Sinek quotes on leadership hold some of the most valuable advice in the world when it comes to being a great leader.

If you don’t know who Simon Sinek is, he’s an author and motivational speaker who, according to his website, believes in a world in which “the vast majority of people wake up every single morning inspired, feel safe wherever they are, and end the day fulfilled by the work they do.”

Simon Sinek has written various books about effective leaders, teamwork, and discovering a team’s or business’ purpose including Start With Why, Leaders Eat Last, and Finding Your Why.


Simon Sinek believes that great companies take care of their employees, and that is a big part of the reason why they are successful.

He also believes that great leaders have an ability to inspire their teams and that trust is incredibly important for a leader to have.

The cost of leadership, according to Simon, is one’s own self-interest. This means that it’s the leader’s job and the responsibility of leadership to put the needs of their employees above their own if they want to be successful.

Bad leaders, on the other hand, cause their employees or teams to feel immense stress and anxiety, which ultimately causes a company or team to perform poorly and lose talented individuals to other companies.


This post is all about 150 inspiring Simon Sinek quotes on Leadership.

Inspiring Simon Sinek Quotes On Leadership.
Simon Sinek. Image Credit: https://simonsinek.com/


150 Inspiring Simon Sinek Quotes On Leadership

Simon Sinek has studied leadership immensely over the course of his career. The following Simon Sinek quotes capture his advice when it comes to being a great leader and making a better today for all those you lead and are led.


1. “There are only two ways to influence human behavior: you can manipulate it or you can inspire it.”

2. “Being the leader means you hold the highest rank, either by earning it, good fortune or navigating internal politics. Leading, however, means that others willingly follow you – not because they have to, not because they are paid to, but because they want to.”

3. “Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress: Working hard for something we love is called passion.”

4. “The role of a leader is not to come up with all the great ideas. The role of a leader is to create an environment in which great ideas can happen.”

5. “As the Zen Buddhist saying goes, how you do anything is how you do everything.”

6. “The true price of leadership is the willingness to place the needs of others above your own.”

7. “You can run a company, you can manage an organization, but you can lead only people.”

8. “You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.”

9. “Stress and anxiety at work have less to do with the work we do and more to do with weak management and leadership.”

10. “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe.”

11. “Great leaders truly care about those they are privileged to lead and understand that the true cost of the leadership privilege comes at the expense of self-interest.”

12. “Happy employees ensure happy customers. And happy customers ensure happy shareholders—in that order.”

13. “You don’t hire for skills, you hire for attitude. You can always teach skills.”

14. “Great companies don’t hire skilled people and motivate them, they hire already motivated people and inspire them.”

15. “People are either motivated or they are not. Unless you give motivated people something to believe in, something bigger than their job to work toward, they will motivate themselves to find a new job and you’ll be stuck with whoever’s left.”

16. “All organizations start with WHY, but only the great ones keep their WHY clear year after year.”

17. “Trust is maintained when values and beliefs are actively managed. If companies do not actively work to keep clarity, discipline and consistency in balance, then trust starts to break down.”

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

19. “The greatest contribution of a leader is to make other leaders.”

20. “If you hire people just because they can do a job, they’ll work for your money. But if you hire people who believe what you believe, they’ll work for you with blood and sweat and tears.”

21. “When you compete against everyone else, no one wants to help you. But when you compete against yourself, everyone wants to help you.”

22. “Leadership requires two things: a vision of the world that does not yet exist and the ability to communicate it.”

23. “A star wants to see himself rise to the top. A leader wants to see those around him rise to the top.”

24. “All leaders must have two things: they must have a vision of the world that does not exist and they must have the ability to communicate it.”

25. “Returning from work feeling inspired, safe, fulfilled and grateful is a natural human right to which we are all entitled and not a modern luxury that only a few lucky ones are able to find.”


More Simon Sinek Quotes On Servant Leadership


26. “Let us all be the leaders we wish we had.”

27. “And when a leader embraces their responsibility to care for people instead of caring for numbers, then people will follow, solve problems and see to it that that leader’s vision comes to life the right way, a stable way and not the expedient way.”

28. “It is not the genius at the top giving directions that makes people great. It is great people that make the guy at the top look like a genius.”

29. “Henry Ford summed it up best. “If I had asked people what they wanted,” he said, “they would have said a faster horse.”

30. “Charisma has nothing to do with energy; it comes from a clarity of WHY.”

31. “Energy can excite. But only charisma can inspire. Charisma commands loyalty. Energy does not.”

32. “We are not victims of our situation. We are the architects of it.”

33. “Value is not determined by those who set the price. Value is determined by those who choose to pay it.”

34. “A boss wants to pay for results, an employee wants recognition for effort. If a boss recognizes effort, they will get even better results.”

35. “A leader must be inspired by the people before a leader can inspire the people.”

36. “Great leaders and great organizations are good at seeing what most of us can’t see. They are good at giving us things we would never think of asking for.”

37. “Children are better off having a parent who works into the night in a job they love than a parent who works shorter hours but comes home unhappy.”

38. “Leadership is about integrity, honesty and accountability. All components of trust.”

39. “The rank of office is not what makes someone a leader. Leadership is the choice to serve others with or without any formal rank.”

40. “Those who forget WHY they were founded show up to the race every day to outdo someone else instead of to outdo themselves. The pursuit, for those who lose sight of WHY they are running the race, is for the medal or to beat someone else.”

41. “Integrity is when our words and deeds are consistent with our intentions.”

42. “The goal is not simply for you to cross the finish line, but to see how many people you can inspire to run with you.”

43. “The best way to drive performance in an organization is to create an environment in which information can flow freely, mistakes can be highlighted and help can be offered and received.”

44. “Passion alone can’t cut it. For passion to survive it needs structure. A why without how has little probability of success.”

45. “Innovation is not born from the dream, innovation is born from the struggle.”

46. “Great leaders are those who trust their gut. They are those who understand the art before the science. They win hearts before minds. They are the ones who start with WHY.”

47. “The ability of a group of people to do remarkable things hinges on how well those people pull together as a team.”

48. “When we tell people to do their jobs, we get workers. When we trust people to get the job done, we get leaders.”

49. “Leadership is not a license to do less; it is a responsibility to do more.”

50. “Instead of asking, “WHAT should we do to compete?” the questions must be asked, “WHY did we start doing WHAT we’re doing in the first place, and WHAT can we do to bring our cause to life considering all the technologies and market opportunities available today?”


Women discussing their next steps of the project as leaders.


51. “To ask, “What’s best for me” is finite thinking. To ask, “What’s best for us” is infinite thinking.”

52. “Leadership takes work. It takes time and energy. The effects are not always easily measured and they are not always immediate. Leadership is always a commitment to human beings.”

53. “It is not the demands of the job that cause the most stress, but the degree of control workers feel they have throughout their day.”

54. “The effort required by a job is not in itself stressful, but rather the imbalance between the effort we give and the reward we feel.”

55. “Less control, more stress.”

56. “If the leader of the organization can’t clearly articulate WHY the organization exists in terms beyond its products or services, then how does he expect the employees to know WHY to come to work?”

57. “Leaps of greatness require the combined problem-solving ability of people who trust each other.”

58. “Average companies give their people something to work on. In contrast, the most innovative organizations give their people something to work toward.”

59. “People who love going to work are more productive and more creative. They go home happier and have happier families. They treat their colleagues and clients and customers better. Inspired employees make for stronger companies and stronger economies.”

60. “Those who truly lead are able to create a following of people who act not because they were swayed, but because they were inspired.”

61. “Those who are able to inspire will create a following of people—supporters, voters, customers, workers—who act for the good of the whole not because they have to, but because they want to.”

62. “Infinite-minded leaders understand that “best” is not a permanent state. Instead, they strive to be ‘better.’”

63. When trust and cooperation thrive internally, we pull together and the organization grows stronger as a result.”

64. “Most of us live our lives by accident—we live as it happens. Fulfillment comes when we live our lives on purpose.”

65. “Leadership is always about people.”

66. “Culture = Values + Behavior”

67. “Our visions are the world we imagine, the tangible results of what the world would look like if we spent every day in pursuit of our WHY.”

68. “When leaders are willing to prioritize trust over performance, performance almost always follows.”

69. “We are drawn to leaders and organizations that are good at communicating what they believe. Their ability to make us feel like we belong, to make us feel special, safe and not alone is part of what gives them the ability to inspire us.”

70. “There are many ways to motivate people to do things, but loyalty comes from the ability to inspire people.”

71. “When the people have to manage dangers from inside the organization, the organization itself becomes less able to face the dangers from outside.”

72. “The true value of an organization is measured by the desire others have to contribute to that organization’s ability to keep succeeding, not just during the time they are there, but well beyond their own tenure.”

73. “The only way people will know what you believe is by the things you say and do, and if you’re not consistent in the things you say and do, no one will know what you believe.”

74. “Those who have an opportunity to work in organizations that treat them like human beings to be protected rather than a resource to be exploited come home at the end of the day with an intense feeling of fulfillment and gratitude.”

75. “There is a difference between a group of people who work together and a group of people who trust each other.”


Even More Simon Sinek Leadership Wisdom


76. “And when we feel sure they will keep us safe, we will march behind them and work tirelessly to see their visions come to life and proudly call ourselves their followers.”

77. “Social interaction is also important for the leaders of an organization. Roaming the halls of the office and engaging with people beyond meetings really matters.”

78. “Leaders are the ones who are willing to give up something of their own for us. Their time, their energy, their money, maybe even the food off their plate. When it matters, leaders choose to eat last.”

79. “August 5, 1981. That’s the date it became official. It’s rare that we can point to an exact date when a business theory or idea becomes an accepted practice. But in the case of mass layoffs, we can. August 5, 1981, was the day President Ronald Reagan fired more than 11,000 air traffic controllers.”

80. “The lack of a clear set of values and beliefs, along with the weak culture that resulted, created the conditions for an every-man-for-himself environment, the long-term impact of which could yield little else than disaster. This is caveman stuff.”

81. “What makes a good leader is that they eschew the spotlight in favor of spending time and energy to do what they need to do to support and protect their people.”

82. “Exhibiting the qualities of leadership is what makes someone an effective leader. Qualities like honesty, integrity, courage, resiliency, perseverance, judgment and decisiveness.”

83. “It’s not Bill Gates’s passion for computers that inspires us, it’s his undying optimism that even the most complicated problems can be solved.”

84. “It is important to celebrate our victories, but we cannot linger on them.”

85. “Greatness is not born from one success. Greatness is born from persevering through the countless failed attempts that preceded.”

86. “Strong relationships are the foundation of high-performing teams. And all high-performing teams start with trust.”

87. “Don’t quit. Never give up trying to build the world you can see, even if others can’t see it. Listen to your drum and your drum only. It’s the one that makes the sweetest sound.”

88. “Those only doing as they are told, always forced to follow the rules, are the ones who suffer the most.”

89. “When we are closed to ideas, what we hear is criticism. When we are open to criticism, what we get is advice.”


Women chatting in a leadership meeting.


90. “Good leadership is like exercise. We do not see any improvement to our bodies with day-to-day comparisons.”

91. “You have to be careful what you think you know.”

92. “How do I create an environment in which my people can work to their natural best?”

93. “Those who lead are able to do so because those who follow trust that the decisions made at the top have the best interest of the group at heart.”

94. “Before we can stand out, we must first get clear on what we stand for.”

95. “Our struggles are the short-term steps we must take on our way to long-term success.”

96. “Just because we become accustomed, just because it becomes normal, doesn’t mean it’s acceptable.”

97. “A small group of inspired and engaged employees can have a positive impact on the entire organization.”

98. “People will trust their leaders when their leaders do the things that make them feel psychologically safe.”

99. “No one wakes up in the morning to go to work with the hope that someone will manage us. We wake up in the morning and go to work with the hope that someone will lead us.”

100. “Communication is not about speaking, it’s about listening.”

101. “A business that makes nothing but money is a poor kind of business.”

102. “As Herb Kelleher famously said, “You don’t hire for skills, you hire for attitude. You can always teach skills.”

103. “A mentor is not someone who walks ahead of us and tells us how they did it. A mentor is someone who walks alongside us to guide us on what we can do.”

104. “A 2011 study conducted by a team of social scientists at the University of Canberra in Australia concluded that having a job we hate is as bad for our health and sometimes worse than not having a job at all.”

105. “Don’t complain, contribute.”

106. “This is one of the hardest lessons to learn when we get promoted to a position of leadership – that we are no longer responsible for doing the job, we are now responsible for the people who do the job.”

107. “Leadership is the ability to rally people not for a single event, but for years.”

108. “It doesn’t matter when we start. It doesn’t matter where we start. All that matters is that we start!”

109. “What is a work-life imbalance? It’s: I feel safe at home, I don’t feel safe at work. That’s the imbalance.”

110. “In short, professional competence is not enough to be a good leader; good leaders must truly care about those entrusted to their care.”


A group of women at a business meeting.


Brilliant Leadership Quotes To Help You Succeed As A Leader


111. “Good leaders know that their people will only truly thrive, not when they are pushed to be perfect, but when they are encouraged to be their natural best.”

112. “There is a huge difference between aspiring to be our best selves and claiming to be perfect. One is a journey of fulfillment, the other is a lie we tell ourselves and others.”

113. “Trust must be continuously and actively cultivated.”

114. “Bottom line is when we focus on our strengths and lean in to the strengths of others, we can make the impossible possible.”

115. “Words matter. They give direction and meaning to things. Pick the wrong words, intentions change and things won’t necessarily go as hoped or expected.”

116. “It can’t be a good thing when the captain of the ship, who is supposed to be on deck navigating toward the horizon, is now in the ship tinkering with the engine trying to make it go faster.”

117. “And no matter how much money we make, no matter how much power we accumulate, no matter how many promotions we’re given, none of us will ever be declared the winner of life.”

118. “The most loyal employees feel their leaders genuinely care about them… because their leaders genuinely care about them. In return, they offer their best ideas, act freely and responsibly and work to solve problems for the benefit of the company.”

119. “There is no decision that we can make that doesn’t come with some sort of balance or sacrifice.”

120. “If every member of a team doesn’t grow together they will grow apart.”

121. “When we work on a Trusting Team we feel safe to express vulnerability. We feel safe to raise our hands and admit we made a mistake, be honest about shortfalls in performance, take responsibility for our behavior and ask for help. Asking for help is an example of an act that reveals vulnerability.”

122. “But no matter how inspiring a dream may be, a dream that cannot come to life stays a dream.”

123. “When we are able to physically see the positive impact of the decisions we make or the work we do, not only do we feel that our work was worth it, but it also inspires us to work harder and do more.”

124. “Indeed, leaping from goal to goal can be fun for a while, but if that’s all there is, over time the thrill of each achievement becomes less, well, thrilling.”

125. “The more we give of ourselves to see others succeed, the greater our value to the group and the more respect they offer us. The more respect and recognition we receive, the higher our status in the group and the more incentive we have to continue to give to the group.”


Simon Sinek Quotes On Leadership
Simon Sinek. Image Credit: https://simonsinek.com/


126. “Ethical fading is a condition in a culture that allows people to act in unethical ways in order to advance their own interests, often at the expense of others, while falsely believing that they have not compromised their own moral principles.”

127. “I have no data to say exactly how long it takes to feel like we trust someone. I know it takes more than seven days and I know it takes fewer than seven years. I know it is quicker for some and slower for others. No one knows exactly how long it takes, but it takes patience.”

128. “The goal is not simply to ‘work hard, play hard.’ The goal is to make our work and our play indistinguishable.”

129. “Leadership is a choice. It is not a rank.”

130. “It turns out, even when offered big titles and bigger salaries, people would rather work at a place in which they feel like they belong. People would rather feel safe among their colleagues, have the opportunity to grow and feel a part of something bigger than themselves, than work in a place that simply makes them rich.”

131. “If we are able to physically see what we are setting out to accomplish or clearly imagine it, then we are indeed, thanks to the powers of dopamine, more likely to accomplish that goal.”

132. “The art of leading is about following your heart.”

133. “The drive to win is not, per se, a bad thing. Problems arise, however, when the metric becomes the only measure of success, when what you achieve is no longer tied to WHY you set out to achieve it in the first place.”

134. “It is not logic or facts but our hopes and dreams, our hearts and our guts, that drive us to try new things.”

135. “Inspiration only starts the process; you need something more to drive a movement.”

136. “It is the feeling of “we’re in this together,” shared between customer and company, voter and candidate, boss and employee, that defines great leaders.”

137. “The bigger the goal, the more effort it requires.”

138. “Simply stated, it is not enough to know “the Why” of your organization; you must know your people and realize that they are much more than an expendable resource.”


A group of people working together at a table.


139. “Great leaders are those who trust their gut. They are those who understand the art before the science. They win hearts before minds.”

140. “Great organizations don’t just drive profits, they lead people, and they change the course of industries and sometimes our lives in the process.”

141. “What a company says and does are the means by which the company speaks.”

142. “How we feel about something or someone is more powerful than what we think about it or them.”

143. “In weak organizations, without oversight, too many people will break the rules for personal gain. That’s what makes the organizations weak. In strong organizations, people will break the rules because it is the right thing to do for others.”

144. “A WHY provides the clear filter for decision-making.”

145. “Telling people to have integrity doesn’t guarantee that their decisions will always keep customers’ or clients’ best interest in mind; telling them to always do the right thing does.”

146. “If certain conditions are met and the people inside an organization feel safe among each other, they will work together to achieve things none of them could have ever achieved alone.”

147. “Your vision is only actionable if you say it out loud. If you keep it to yourself, it will remain a figment of your imagination.”

148. “Success comes when we wake up every day in that never-ending pursuit of WHY we do WHAT we do.”

149. “It is the combination of what we value and how we act that sets the culture of the company.”

150. “Great leaders and great organizations are good at seeing what most of us can’t see.”


Simon Sinek’s Books On Leadership

If you are interested in learning more from Simon Sinek, I highly recommend checking out his books on leadership. Each of these books gives practical advice on what it means to be a leader and how to go about being the best leader you can possibly be.


Leaders Eat Last

Leaders Eat Last is my favorite Simon Sinek leadership book. I was worried it was going to be a bit dry, but it ended up blowing me away.


clear idea

Buy on Amazon.


Start With Why

Start With Why is Simon Sinek’s first and most famous book. It’s all about keeping your “why” for starting a business as your main focus, and how all the best and most influential companies have always operated this way.


Start With Why By Simon Sinek

Buy on Amazon.


Find Your Why

A follow-up book to Start With Why, Find Your Why is all about how to find your “why” for business or for what you do in the first place.


Find Your Why by Simon Sinek.

Buy on Amazon.


Here is one of my favorite Simon Sinek quotes on leadership: “We achieve more when we chase the dream instead of the competition.”

What is yours? Let me know in the comments section below!


This post was all about 150 inspiring Simon Sinek Quotes On Leadership.


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A few years after graduating college, Taylor made it her mission to become debt free. After paying off all $60k of debt, she began to blog about what she's really passionate about: personal development. Nowadays, Taylor blogs about the topics of Mindset, Money, Health, and Career for women. Read more about Taylor here.

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