Last Updated on December 9, 2022
Jordan Peterson, the renowned clinical psychologist and professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, is known for his deep insights and thought-provoking quotes on a wide range of topics. In the realm of leadership, Peterson’s words are particularly illuminating, providing valuable guidance and wisdom for those seeking to develop their skills and abilities in this area.
In this article, we will explore some of the most noteworthy quotes from Peterson on leadership, and examine the valuable lessons and insights they offer.
What Jordan Peterson Thinks About Leadership?
As a leading authority on psychology and human behavior, Jordan Peterson has much to say about the qualities and characteristics that make for effective leadership. In his lectures, interviews, and writing, Peterson has offered a wealth of insights and wisdom on this important topic. In his words, “A leader gives articulation of the imagination of the population.”
One of the key themes in Peterson’s thinking on leadership is the idea that effective leaders are those who are able to inspire and motivate others to achieve their goals and aspirations.
In addition to these insights, Peterson also offers valuable guidance on how to develop and hone one’s leadership skills, which you will read in his own words in these quotes.
Jordan Peterson Leadership Quotes
1. “If you aren’t moving forward in your life there is some idea, mode of action, or habit you’re so in love with you won’t let go of it.” – Jordan Peterson
2. “Well, what’s the fundamental characteristic of a leader? Here’s one: A leader is someone who knows where he or she is going. Well that would be the first thing, is like, how are you going to lead unless you have a destination?” – Jordan Peterson
3. “No one is perfect. People make their mistakes as they stumble uphill.” – Jordan Peterson
3. “The problem on the right is…once the hierarchy is established, those who dominate the top have every right to overstate the moral virtue of the hierarchy because it privilidges them in particular. On the left, the problem is is that it’s not easy to distinguish between care for the dispossessed and hatred for those who occupy positions of well, you could say authority.” – Jordan Peterson
4. “A great athlete is a competetive person, that aggression is driving them forward like it’s a primordial moving force. But, it’s not haphazard and scattered, it’s disciplined and focused.” – Jordan Peterson
5. “Accept the terrible responsibility of life with eyes wide open.” – Jordan Peterson
6. “There’s a personality trait known as agreeableness. Agreeable people are compassionate and polite. And agreeable people get paid less than disagreeable people for the same job. Women are more agreeable than men.” – Jordan Peterson
7. “Power is competence.” – Jordan Peterson
8. “If you’re a leader, well first of all you have that established, but the second is that you can communicate that, okay, and you communicate that in a manner that also appeals to other people’s sense of purpose. And so you’d say to someone, like if I wanted to move forward with you on an enterprise, I would have to say, “Well here’s the purpose of the enterprise and here’s the reasons that it’s not only eminently justifiable but more justifiable than anything else we could be doing at the same time.” And then I’d have to say, “Well here’s what’s in it for me, and here’s what’s in it for you. And here’s why the two of us together can further the enterprise and further what’s in it for you and further what’s in it for me.”” – Jordan Peterson
9. “Now if you’re going to set up an organization, you can set it up on authoritarian lines. But then you’re basically compelling people to perform with punishment and fear. It’s better to motivate them positively, and the way you do that is say, “Look, here’s the goal, here’s your role. Here’s what this will add to your life, practically and in terms of, say, significant engagement and involvement.”” – Jordan Peterson
10. “Don’t underestimate the power of vision and direction. These are irresistible forces, able to transform what might appear to be unconquerable obstacles into traversable pathways and expanding opportunities. Strengthen the individual. Start with yourself. Take care with yourself. Define who you are. Refine your personality. Choose your destination and articulate your Being. As the great nineteenth-century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche so brilliantly noted, ‘He whose life has a why can bear almost any how.’” – Jordan Peterson
11. “If you fulfill your obligations every day you don’t need to worry about the future.”
12. “The people who formulate the plan for their life. They’re ten percent more productive. So you can gain a ten percent increment in corporate-level productivity by having your people write out a plan for their life.” – Jordan Peterson
13. “To stand up straight with your shoulders back is to accept the terrible responsibility of life, with eyes wide open. It means deciding to voluntarily transform the chaos of potential into the realities of habitable order. It means adopting the burden of self-conscious vulnerability, and accepting the end of the unconscious paradise of childhood, where finitude and mortality are only dimly comprehended. It means willingly undertaking the sacrifices necessary to generate a productive and meaningful reality (it means acting to please God, in the ancient language).” – Jordan Peterson
14. “If you’re going to be successful you need to be smart, conscientious, and tough.” – Jordan Peterson on Leadership
15. “If your job is running at cross purposes with your life, how the hell are you going to be motivated? You’re not. At least you’re going to be stymied constantly by the internal contradiction. So imagine what you’re trying to do is you’re trying to get everyone pointing in the same direction. But I don’t mean by eliminating all diversity of opinion or anything like that. It’s like the overall organization has a point, and then everyone within that organization has their point but they’re integrated within that overarching coherent narrative. That’s the purpose of leadership.” – Jordan Peterson
16. “When you have something to say, silence is a lie.” – Jordan Peterson
17. “A leader gives articulation of the imagination of the population.” – Jordan Peterson
18. “You might be winning but you’re not growing, and growing might be the most important form of winning.” – Jordan Peterson
19. “Not everyone who is failing is a victim, and not everyone at the bottom wishes to rise, although many do, and many manage it.” – Jordan Peterson
20. “If you cannot understand why someone did something, look at the consequences—and infer the motivation.” – Jordan Peterson