Catalyst Quotes

Compiled by Alex Pena ~ ‘Catalyst’: “to spark, to ignite, energize, mobilize; something that accelerates a reaction (DDI)." Thought-provoking & motivational quotes and stories for you to read, reflect on and move forward in making creative and positive changes in your life.

“Leadership – Know, Tell, Inspire”

“Leading yourself in really weird times:

  • Be conscious in the Zen sense.  Think about what you are doing more than usual.  Think about how you project.
  • Meet daily, first thing, with your leadership team — to discuss whatever, check assumptions.  Perhaps meet again late afternoon.  Meetings max 30 minutes.
  • If you are a ‘big boss,’ use a private sounding board — check in daily.
  • Concoct scenarios by the bushel, test ’em, play with ’em, short-term, long-term, sane, insane.
  • MBWA.  Wander.  Sample attitudes.  Visible but not frenzied.
  • Work the phones, chat up experts, customers, vendors.  Seek enormous diversity of opinion.
  • “Over”communicate!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  •  Exercise — encourage your leadership team to double up on their exercise.
  • Underscore ‘excellence in every transaction.’”   (Tom Peters)



“Leadership is based on four E’s:

  • The personal Energy to welcome and deal with the speed of change.
  • The ability to create an atmosphere that Energizes others.
  • The Edge to make difficult decisions.
  • The ability to consistently Execute.”   (Jack Welch)


“Leadership is scarce because few people are willing to go through the discomfort required to lead.  This scarcity makes leadership valuable.  If everyone tries to lead all the time, not much happens.  It’s discomfort that creates the leverage that makes leadership worthwhile.  In other words, if everyone could do it, they would, and it wouldn’t be worth much.  It’s uncomfortable to propose an idea that might fail.  It’s uncomfortable to challenge the status quo. When you identify the discomfort, you’ve found the place where a leader is needed.  If you’re not uncomfortable in your work as a leader, it’s almost certain you’re not reaching your potential as a leader.”   (Seth Godin, Tribes – We Need YOU to Lead Us)



“It is sometimes said that the difference between ‘management’ and ‘leadership’ is ‘doing things right’ versus ‘doing the right thing.’   I think that’s nuts.  In fact, let’s assume there is a ‘doing things right’ and a ‘doing the right thing.’  Well, both are of equal importance, and if anything ‘doing things right’ takes precedence.   Another way to put it is that having an ‘excellent strategy’ is approximately worthless unless execution is equally ‘excellent.’  Far more things fail to come to fruition because of lousy execution than because of lousy strategy.  (‘Execution is strategy’ is the way a boss of mine, Fred Malek, put it waaaaaay back in the 1970s.)  Hence my ‘take no prisoners’ ‘bottom line’ is that ‘doing things right’ is as much a part of effective leadership as ‘doing the right thing.'”   (Tom Peters)


“To know how to do a job is the accomplishment of labor;

To be able to tell others is the accomplishment of the teacher;

To inspire others to do better work is the accomplishment of management;

To be able to do all three is the accomplishment of leadership.”     (Guy Furguson)


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