Forbes Coaches Council Member

The 8 Seuss-isms of Great Leadership

I can’t remember a time when a Dr. Seuss book wasn’t sitting in the center of my bookshelf, whether I was 8 or…38. I mean, who didn’t receive “Oh the Places You’ll Go” as a graduation gift?

The sing-songy words made for a great read when I was a kid; and the nuanced meanings, even more so as an adult. His books are great reminders of life’s simplicity and their messages transcend time.

Today is Dr. Seuss’s birthday, so naturally he’s top of mind. I stumbled upon a USA Today article that listed some of his best quotes. They go beyond inspiring individuality, confidence and compassion in kids. They encapsulate the must-have behaviors and traits that the best leaders embody. So in honor of Dr. Seuss’s birthday, here are some inspiring quotes on leadership:

  1. “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And you are the one who’ll decide where to go.” [Self-Confidence, Vision, Decisiveness, Optimism]
  2. “Why fit in when you were born to stand out?” [Courage, Authenticity]
  3. “Be who you are and say what you feel because the ones who mind don’t matter, and the ones who matter don’t mind.” [Influence, Communication]
  4. “So be sure when you step, step with care and great tact. And remember that life’s a great balancing act. And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed!” [Compassion, Empathy, Humility]
  5. “Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the things you can think up if only you try!” [Risk-Assessment, Perseverance, Tenacity]
  6. “Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.” [Transparency]
  7. “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” [Motivation, Engagement]
  8. “Think and wonder, wonder and think.” [Curiosity]

And my favorite…

“So the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads.” [‘nuf said]

 Thank you for your wisdom, Dr. Seuss.


Watch my latest CEO Forum coverage on 2016 Employee Engagement Trends with advice from David Niu, CEO of TINYpulse, Henry Albrecht, CEO of Limeade and Mike Metzger, CEO of PayScale. Thank you to our sponsor, Ryan Swanson Law.

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