A person always doing his or her best becomes a natural leader, just by example.
No reproof or denunciation is so potent as the silent influence of a good example.
HOSEA BALLOU, Treasury of Thought
A good example is the best sermon.
If our words are not consistent with our actions, they will never be heard above the thunder of our deeds.
H. BURKE PETERSON, "Prepare the Heart of Your Son," Ensign, Nov. 1982
Example has more followers than reason.
CHRISTIAN NESTELL BOVEE, Intuitions and Summaries of Thought
Example is a dangerous lure: where the wasp got through the gnat sticks fast.
JEAN DE LA FONTAINE, Fables
Thus the brave and aspiring life of one man lights a flame in the minds of others of like faculties and impulse; and where there is equally vigorous effort, like distinction and success will almost surely follow. Thus the chain of example is carried down through time in an endless succession of links--admiration exciting imitation, and perpetuating the true aristocracy of genius.
Example is the softest and least invidious way of commanding.
PLINY, attributed, Day's Collacon
To bring up a child in the way he should go, travel that way yourself once in a while.
JOSH BILLINGS, Josh Billings' Farmers Allminax for the Year 1871
A bad example is the best sermon.
If thou desire to see thy child virtuous, let him not see his father's vices: thou canst not rebuke that in them, that they behold practised in thee; till reason be ripe, examples direct more than precepts: such as thy behaviour is before thy children's faces, such commonly is theirs behind their parents' backs.
FRANCIS QUARLES, Enchiridon
Nothing is so contagious as example; never was there any considerable good or ill done, that did not produce its like.
ROCHEFOUCAULD, Moral Reflections
A prudent man will always try to follow in the footsteps of great men and imitate those who have been truly outstanding, so that, if he is not quite as skillful as they, at least some of their ability may rub off on him.
NICCOLO MACHIAVELLI, The Prince
For, now it may be said, I build with good reason, since I follow your example.
PLINY THE YOUNGER, letter to Voconius Romanus, The Letters of Pliny the Younger
Precept is instruction written in the sand; the tide flows over it and the record is gone; example is graven on the rock, and the lesson is not soon lost.
WILLIAM ELLERY CHANNING, attributed, Day's Collacon
Much more profitable and gracious is doctrine by example than by rule.
E. SPENSER, attributed, Day's Collacon
Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.
MARK TWAIN, The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson
Yes, we need to make examples. But examples to follow. What we need ... are heroes.
JEAN-JACQUES ANNAUD & ALAIN GODARD, Enemy at the Gates
What the world wants is good examples, not so much advice; advice may be wrong, but examples prove themselves.
H. W. SHAW, attributed, Day's Collacon
Though "the words of the wise be as nails fastened by the masters of the assemblies," yet sure their examples are the hammer to drive them in to take the deeper hold.
THOMAS FULLER, The Holy and Profane States
Whatever parent gives his children good instruction, and sets them at the same time a bad example, may be considered as bringing them food in one hand and poison in the other.
No man is so insignificant as to be sure his example can do no hurt.
LORD CLARENDON, attributed, Day's Collacon
- Since truth and constancy are vain,
- Since neither love, nor sense of pain,
- Nor force of reason, can persuade,
- Then let example be obey'd.
GEORGE GRANVILLE, To Myra
A good example is a better legacy for children than wealth or honor.
CHARLES SIMMONS, A Laconic Manual and Brief Remarker
Whatever is committed from a bad example, is displeasing even to its author.
JUVENAL, attributed, Mental Recreation; or, Select Maxims
Rules and discourses are dead pictures, but a good example is virtue itself, alive and in motion : we may say a good example is virtue personified.
MOX, The Railway Conductor, vol. 27
The crime of a bad example is the same whether men follow it or not, because he that gives bad example to others, does what in him lies to draw them into sin; and if they do not follow it, that is no mitigation of his fault.
JOHN TILLOTSON, The Works of the Most Reverend John Tillotson
An ounce of example is better than a ton of precept.
Example is one of the most potent instructors, though it teaches without a tongue; it is the practical school of mankind, working by action, which is always more forcible than words. Precept may point us the way, but it is silent, continuous example, conveyed to us by habits, and living with us in fact, that carries us along.
SMILES, attributed, Day's Collacon
He that gives good precepts, and follows them by a bad example, is like a foolish man who should take great pains to kindle a fire, and when it is kindled, throw cold water upon it to quench it.
T. SEEKER, attributed, Day's Collacon
There is a transcendent power in example; we reform others unconsciously when we walk uprightly.
MADAME SWETCHINE, "Airelles," The Writings of Madame Swetchine
Precepts guide, but examples drag along.