Leadership Proverbs

When thinking about leadership, you can download 31 African Proverbs for Leaders, and we hope you find these proverbs helpful.

    • A canoe does not know who the leader is.  When it turns over, everyone gets wet. (-Madagascar)Line of African elephant (Loxodonta africana), Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa, Africa
    • A good leader was once a good follower. (-Africa)
    • A great leader is an ordinary person with extraordinary wisdom. (-Malawi)
    • A large chair does not make a king. (-Sudan)
    • A leader does not listen to rumors (-Ghana)
    • A leader who does not take advice is not a leader. (-Kenya)
    • A leader who understands proverbs reconciles difficulties. (-Nigeria)
    • Do not forget what it is to be a sailor when you become a captain yourself. (-Tanzania)
    • Ears that do not listen to advice, accompany the head when it is chopped off.  (-Africa)
    • Good behavior must start from the top. (-South Africa)
    • He who dictates separates himself from others. (-Somalia)
    • He who refuses to obey cannot command. (-Kenya)
    • He who thinks he is leading and has no one following him is only taking a walk. (-Malawi)
    • If you are kicked from behind, it means you are in front. (-Africa)
    • If you can’t resolve your problems in peace, you can’t solve them with war. (-Somalia)
    • Much talking does not make you a leader. (-Uganda)
    • Prefer the leader who comes to you. (-Uganda)
    • The poorest person in the world is not the one without money but one without vision. (-Ghana)
    • Threats and insults never rule a country. (-Zambia)
    • Two leaders do not fight in one house. (-Uganda)
    • When a king has good counselors, his reign is peaceful. (-Ghana)
    • When there is peace in the country, the chief does not carry a shield. (-Uganda)
    • Without a leader, black ants are confused. (-Uganda)
    • You don’t know a good manager till a bad manager come. (-Guyana)

For more African proverbs on leadership, please see 31 African Proverbs for Leaders, or browse Lifelines: The Black Book of Proverbs.

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