Empowerment and Freedom Quotes
Top 40 Empowerment and Freedom Quotes
No 1 (Best quote!)
Power can be taken, but not given. The process of the taking is empowerment in itself.
- Gloria Steinem (1934- ), American feminist writer, pictured right.
So the German theologian, Dietrich
Bonhoeffer (1906-45), pictured right, says:
Action springs not from thought but from a readiness for responsibility.
Therefore the American management writer,Robert Greenleaf,
pictured right, says:
Responsibility is an attitude.
Most powerful is he who has himself in his own power.
- Seneca (4BC-65 AD), Greek
philosopher, pictured right.
If self-regulation worked, Moses would have come down Mount Sinai with the ten guidelines.
All power is trust.
- Benjamin Disraeli (1804-81) British prime
minister, pictured right.
Other thinkers agree:
Trust has to be earned, but in order to be earned it has first to be given
- Charles Handy, pictured right, in
The Age of Unreason, 1989
Few things can help an individual more than to place responsibility on him, and to let him know that you trust
- Booker T. Washington
(1856-1915), African American leader, pictured right,
Trust is the lubrication that makes it possible for organizations to work.
- Warren Bennis, pictured right, and Burt Nanus, pictured right
below, in Leaders
Trust men and they will be true to you; treat them greatly, and they will show themselves great.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882),
American writer and philosopher, pictured right below.
If you empower dummies, you get bad decisions quicker,
- Richard Teerlink, chief executive of Harley-Davidson 1989-97, pictured right.
There is only one way... to get anybody to do anything... that is by making the other person want to do it,
-Dale Carnegie, pictured right, in How to Win Friends and Influence
Liberty is power.
- Voltaire (1694-1778) French writer
and philosopher, pictured right.
Cicero (106-43 BC), the Roman
philosopher and politician, pictured right, puts it this way:
Freedom is participation in power
Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.
- Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), American
president, pictured right.
If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish,
- Sam Walton (1918-1992), American
founder of Wal-Mart stores, pictured right.
The most hateful torment for men is to have knowledge of everything but power over nothing.
- Herodotus (c.485–c.425), Greek historian, pictured right.
Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibilities and most people are frightened
- Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) Austrian
psychiatrist, pictured right.
The Czech writer, Franz Kafka (1883-1924), pictured right in his 1925 book The
It is often safer to be in chains than to be free.
To mature means to take responsibility for your life.
Fritz Perls (1893-1970)
German-born American psychotherapist, pictured right.
The difficulty we have in accepting responsibility for our behaviour lies in the desire to avoid the pain of the
consequences of that behaviour.
- M. Scott Peck (1936-2005)
American psychiatrist, pictured right.
With rights come responsibilities.
- Thomas (Tom) Paine (1737-1809),
English philosopher, pictured right.
Nelson Mandela (1918- ), the South African leader,
pictured right, also says
With freedom come responsibilities
Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936), the English writer, pictured right, also comments:
Power without responsibility: the prerogative of the harlot throughout the ages.
Power is the ability to fulfil purpose.
- Martin Luther King (1929-68), American civil
rights leader, pictured right.
He also says
Power at best is love implementing the demands of justice.
Real freedom is freedom from fear.
- Aung San Suu Kyi (1945- ), Burmese leader,
Acting responsibly is not a matter of strengthening our reason but of deepening our feelings for the welfare of
(Alberto in the 1991 novel Sophie’s World)
- Jostein Gaarder (1952- ), pictured right, Norwegian writer.
A company will get nowhere if all of the thinking is left to management.
- Akio Morita (1921-1999), co-founder of Sony,
Nothing so conclusively proves a man’s ability to lead others as what he does from day to day to lead
- Tom Watson Jr., 1914-93), boss
of IBM 1956-71, pictured right.
Empowerment is not abandonment.
Bartlett ,pictured right above, and Sumantra Ghoshal, pictured right, in
Individualized Corporation (1997)
A good leader should possess and infuse into those around him courage to accept responsibility.
- Henri Fayol, pictured right, General and Industrial Management
John Harvey-Jones (1924-2008), boss of ICI
1982-7, the British chemicals company, pictured right, agrees:
Problems can only be solved by the people who have them. You have to try and coax them...into seeing ways in
which they can help themselves.
Power corrupts, but lack of power corrupts absolutely.
- Adlai Stevenson (1900-65), American politician (pictured right).
Rosabeth Moss Kanter, pictured right, in her 1977 book
Men and Women of the Corporation says something similar:
Powerlessness corrupts. Absolute powerlessness corrupts absolutely.
Empowerment means feeling confident to act on your own authority.
- Ricardo Semler, pictured right, Maverick! (1993)
Give me liberty, or give me death!
- Patrick Henry (1736-99), American
revolutionary, pictured right.
There is no good and evil, there is only power and those too weak to see it.
(Professor Quirrell in the 1997 novel Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s
- J. K. Rowling (1965- ), pictured
right, English writer.
Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains.
Rousseau (1712-78), Swiss philosopher, pictured right.
Rousseau also says:
I prefer liberty with danger than peace with slavery.
Man is condemned to be free, because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does,
- Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-80), French
philosopher, pictured right.
Sartre also comments:
A man is what he wills himself to be.
The truth shall make you free,
(John 8:32 in the Bible)
- Jesus (c6 BC-c33 AD), founder
The only purpose for which power can be rightly exercised over any member of a civilized community against his
will is to prevent harm to others.
(known as John Stuart Mill’s “Harm Principle”).
- John Stuart Mill
(1806-73), pictured right, English philosopher
Mill also comments:
If all mankind, minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would
be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing
Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God,
- John Bradshaw (1602–59) English judge at the trial of Charles I, pictured right.
Knowledge is power.
- Francis Bacon
(1561-1626), English philosopher and politician, pictured right,
The more you free your people to think for themselves, the more they can help you.
- Richard Branson (1950- ), English founder of
Virgin, pictured right.
Freedom is the opportunity to act, not action itself.
- Isaiah Berlin (1909-1997),
Russian-born British philosopher, pictured right,
If you lead them with morality and guide them with li [social correctness], they will develop a sense of honour
and shame and will do good of their own accord.
- Confucius (551-479 BC), Chinese
philosopher, pictured right,
Freedom is always and exclusively freedom for the one who thinks differently.
- Rosa Luxemburg (1871-1919), Polish-born German philosopher and economist, pictured right.
What is the seal of liberation? - No longer being ashamed in front of oneself,
- Friedrich Nietzsche
(1844-1900), German philosopher, pictured right,
The measure of a man is what he does with power.
- Plato (427-347 BC), Greek philosopher,
To understand is to be free.
- Benedict (or Baruch)
Spinoza (1632-77), Dutch philosopher, pictured right,
The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion.
- Edmund Burke (1729-97), Irish-born
British Member of Parliament, pictured right,
He thinks too much: such men are dangerous,
(Julius Caesar in Julius
Caesar - talking about Cassius).
Shakespeare (1564-1616), English playwright, pictured right