21 Marcus Aurelius Quotes Leadership That Are Actionable Lessons For Leaders Today

Marcus Aurelius was a famous Roman philosopher and emperor. He believed that wisdom is the true wealth of life, so it’s no surprise that he had many wise quotes on leadership. Marcus Aurelius quotes leadership is not only intelligent but also incredibly insightful.

Leadership is tricky, and it’s not always easy to tell who has what it takes. Some people might be great leaders in one context but not in another, while others are natural-born leaders who can lead with ease no matter the situation. But Marcus Aurelius believes there are three critical components to being a good leader: “Know thyself,” “remember death,” and “make thyself responsible for nothing.”

Marcus Aurelius was a Roman Emperor and the last of the “Five Good Emperors. His leadership skills were so admired. He shares many interesting insights on leadership in his writings. This blog post will explore Marcus Aurelius’ thoughts on leadership and provide you with some of his best quotes on this topic, hoping that they may provide you with guidance.

Marcus Aurelius Quotes Leadership

The Term Of Five Good Emperors

The Roman Empire was a powerful empire that lasted from 27 BC to 1453 AD. The Roman Emperors had much power and influence over the people they ruled, but not all were good leaders. In this blog post, we will look at five good emperors who helped shape Rome for the better. 

The term “Five Good Emperors” refers to the first five Roman emperors of the Flavian dynasty who brought peace and prosperity after years of war and civil unrest. The Five Good Emperors were Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius. 

The five good emperors

Marcus Cocceius Nerva:  

Marcus Nerva (30 – 98 AD) was a Roman senator who served as Emperor from 96 to 98 AD. He was the first emperor of Rome after overthrowing Emperor Domitian. Nerva was born into an aristocratic family with connections to both Nero and Vespasian.  As well as his short reign, he is remembered for supporting the arts and sciences. He is most famous for his role in the fall of Emperor Domitian, which Suetonius recounts.


Marcus Ulpius Traianus (53 – 117) was a Roman emperor who ruled from 98 to 117 AD. Trajan was born into a family that had been in power for generations. He is best known for his extensive building projects, which include the Coliseum in Rome. He was the first Roman emperor to be born outside Italy. He led a successful military campaign in Dacia, conquered by Rome’s archenemy, King Decebalus of Dacia.


Caesar Traianus Hadrianus (76 – 138) also known as Publius Aelius Hadrianus, was the Roman Emperor from 117 to 138 AD. He is considered one of the best emperors in history for his extensive building projects and social policies. His most famous construction project is arguably the Pantheon which remains standing today in Rome. 

Antoninus Pius:

Titus Aelius Hadrianus Antoninus Pius(86 – 161)  was the first Roman Emperor to have his reign last for more than 20 years and he is considered one of the best emperors in history. He ruled from 138-161 AD and during his rule, he made many reforms to help improve Rome’s economy. He was also known for being fair and merciful to those around him, which earned him respect among the citizens of Rome.

Marcus Aurelius: 

Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121 – 180)  was one of the most influential Roman Emperors. He ruled from 161 – 180 AD. He is famous for his Meditations, which are still read today by philosophers and people in positions of power. He is known for his philosophical writings on Stoicism. During his reign, he fought the Marcomanni and Sarmatian tribes in the north and Germanic warriors.

Top 21 Marcus Aurelius Quotes Leadership:


A man’s worth is no greater than the worth of his ambitions.

Marcus Aurelius


That which isn’t good for the hive, isn’t good for the bee.

Marcus Aurelius


What is your vocation? To be a good person.

Marcus Aurelius


Let men see, let them know, a real man, who lives as he was meant to live.

Marcus Aurelius
Let men see, let them know, a real man, who lives as he was meant to live


Misfortune nobly born is good fortune.

Marcus Aurelius


The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.

Marcus Aurelius


No matter what anyone says or does, my task is to be good.

Marcus Aurelius
No matter what anyone says or does, my task is to be good


“The best revenge is not to be like your enemy.

Marcus Aurelius


Do every act of your life as though it were the very last act of your life.” 

Marcus Aurelius


The secret of all victory lies in the organization of the non-obvious.

Marcus Aurelius
The secret of all victory lies in the organization of the non-obvious


Whenever you are about to find fault with someone, ask yourself the following question: What fault of mine most nearly resembles the one I am about to criticize?

Marcus Aurelius


No random actions, none not based on underlying principles.

Marcus Aurelius


A real man doesn’t give way to anger and discontent, and such a person has strength, courage, and endurance—unlike the angry and complaining. The nearer a man comes to a calm mind, the closer he is to strength.

Marcus Aurelius


It is the responsibility of leadership to work intelligently with what is given, and not waste time fantasizing about a world of flawless people and perfect choices.

Marcus Aurelius


Have i done something for the common good? Then i share in the benefits. To stay centered on that. Not to give up.

Marcus Aurelius


That no one could ever have felt patronized by him – or in a position to patronize him. A sense of humour.

Marcus Aurelius


Make sure you’re not made ‘Emperor,’ avoid that imperial stain. It can happen to you, so keep yourself simple, good, pure, saintly, plain, a friend of justice, god-fearing, gracious, affectionate, and strong for your proper work.

Marcus Aurelius


Whatever position you are equipped to fill, so long as you preserve the man of trust and integrity.

Marcus Aurelius


Perhaps there are none more lazy, or more truly ignorant, than your everlasting readers.

Marcus Aurelius


First, do nothing inconsiderately or without a purpose. Second, make your acts refer to nothing else but a social end.

Marcus Aurelius


To be feared is to fear: no one has been able to strike terror into others and at the same time enjoy peace of mind himself.

Marcus Aurelius

Who was the leader of Stoicism?

Emperor Marcus Aurelius (121 – 180)

What made Marcus Aurelius a good leader?

Wisdom about human behavior made Marcus Aurelius a good leader.

How was Marcus Aurelius a good emperor?

Marcus Aurelius was one the Five Good Emperors of Rome.

Who was the last emperor of Rome?

Romulus Augustulus (476-507 AD)

Who destroyed the Roman Empire?

Leader Odoacer (431 – 493 AD)

Marcus Aurelius quotes leadership to teach us how important it is to be mindful in all things we do. In order to lead others effectively, we must lead ourselves first with mindfulness. What do you think after reading Marcus Aurelius quotes leadership? Share your thoughts!

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