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.

Archive for the category “Coaching”

“Come to the Edge – It’s Fun to Do the Impossible”


Does life suck sometimes?  Absolutely!

Nonetheless, you and only you own your attitude.

Realistically, things may stink to high heaven.

Still, the day is yours to embrace with vigor and good cheer – or not.

Your call.  100%.  Period.

Remember, if you will, the annoying, persistent TPR (Tom Peters Rant):  ‘Excellence. Always.’

If not excellence, what?   If not excellence now, when?”   (Tom Peters)



What, exactly, should you do now? 

You can choose to lead, or not. 

You can choose to have faith, or not. 

Are there thousands of reasons why you, of all people, aren’t the right one to lead? 

Why you don’t have the resources or the authority or the genes or the momentum to lead? 


So what?

You still get to make the choice. 

But once you choose to lead, you’ll discover that it’s not so difficult.”   (Tribes – We Need YOU to Lead Us, Seth Godin)



“You have brains in your head.

You have feet in your shoes.

You can steer yourself any direction you choose.

You’re on our own.

And you know what you know.

And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go.”   (Dr. Seuss)



“You can choose beliefs that limit you, or you can choose beliefs that support you.”   (Anthony Robbins)



“Whatever you think you can do or believe you can do, begin it.

Boldness has magic, grace, and power in it.”   (Goethe)



“’Come to the edge,’ he said.

They said, ‘We are afraid.’

‘Come to the edge,’ he said.

They came.

He pushed them.

And they flew!”   (Guillaume Apollinaire)



“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.”   (Walt Disney)



“We Are the Champions / We Can Make the World a Better Place”

“I believe you make your day.  You make your life.  So much of it is all perception, and this is the form that I built for myself.  I have to accept it and work within those compounds, and it’s up to me.”   (Brad Pitt)



“There are countless ways of achieving greatness, but any road to achieving one’s maximum potential must be built on a bedrock of respect for the individual, a commitment to excellence, and a rejection of mediocrity.”   (Buck Rogers)



“Winners take time to relish their work, knowing that scaling the mountain is what makes the view from the top so exhilarating.”   (Denis Waitley)



“Champions aren’t made in gyms.  Champions are made from something they have deep inside them-a desire, a dream, a vision.  They have to have the skill, and the will.  But the will must be stronger than the skill.”   (Muhammad Ali)



“I hated every minute of training, but I said, don’t quit.  Suffer now and live the rest of your life a champion.”   (Muhammad Ali)



“The reason most people never reach their goals is that they don’t define them, learn about them, or even seriously consider them as believable or achievable.  Winners can tell you where they are going, what they plan to do along the way, and who will be sharing the adventure with them.”   (Denis Waitley)



“Respect your efforts, respect yourself.  Self-respect leads to self-discipline.  When you have both firmly under your belt, that’s real power.”   (Clint Eastwood)



‘We Are the Champions’

“I’ve paid my dues

Time after time

I’ve done my sentence

But committed no crime

And bad mistakes

I’ve made a few

I’ve had my share of sand kicked to my face

But I’ve come through

And I need to go on, and on, and on, and on

We are the champions, my friends

And we’ll keep on fighting till the end

We are the champions

We are the champions

No time for losers

‘Cause we are the champions

Of the world

I’ve taken my bows

And my curtain calls

You brought me fame and fortune

And everything that goes with it

I thank you all

But it’s been no bed of roses

No pleasure cruise

I consider it a challenge before the whole human race

And I’d never lose

And I need to go on, and on, and on, and on…”  (‘We Are the Champions’ song lyrics by Queen)



“After the cheers have died down and the stadium is empty, after the headlines have been written and after you are back in the quiet of your room and the championship ring has been placed on the dresser and all the pomp and fanfare has faded, the enduring things that are left are:  the dedication to excellence, the dedication to victory, and the dedication to doing with our lives the very best we can to make the world a better place in which to live.”   (Vince Lombardi)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~  

“Leaders – Possibilities and Results”

“At the beginning of the day, it’s all about possibilities.

At the end of the day, it’s all about results.”   (Bob Prosen)



“To manage or to coach?  People will manage the work.  By attempting to manage people you are limiting their potential.  A manager is a title, it does not guarantee success.  Coaching is an action, not a title and actions will result in successes!”      (Catherine Pulsifer)



“A true Master is not the one with the most students, but one who creates the most Masters. 

A true leader is not the one with the most followers, but one who creates the most leaders.”    (Neal Donald Walsch)



“Example is not the main thing in influencing others, it is the only thing.”    (Albert Schweitzer)



Every person you meet has a ‘sign’ around his or her neck that says –

                         ‘MAKE ME FEEL IMPORTANT’

If you can do that, you’ll be a success, not only in business but in life as well.”    (Mary Kay Ash)



“The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.”    (Ken Blanchard)



“What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say.”    (Emerson)


“Leader, Boss, Manage”


“My completely random thought for today has been about the features of the best and worst bosses I had during my long … career.

My best bosses:

▪  inspired confidence

▪  were humble

▪  had integrity

▪   knew what they were talking about

▪  let me get on with things

▪  were always there when I needed help

▪  usually said ‘yes, try it’


My worst bosses:

▪  never seemed to be around when I needed them

▪  always asked me to justify what I wanted to do

▪  always wanted to know what I was doing

▪  often said ‘no, we can’t do that’

▪  gave the impression of being distrustful

▪  didn’t smile much

▪  talked about themselves a lot”   (Trevor Gay, Simplicity Blog)



“The boss drives people; the leader coaches them.  The boss depends on authority; the leader on good will.  The boss inspires fear; the leader inspires enthusiasm.  The boss says ‘I’; the leader says ‘WE’.  The boss fixes the blame for the breakdown; the leader fixes the breakdown. The boss says, ‘GO’; the leader says ‘LET’S GO!’    (H. Gordon Selfridge)



“A boss creates fear, a leader confidence.  A boss fixes blame, a leader corrects mistakes.  A boss knows all, a leader asks questions.  A boss makes work drudgery, a leader makes it interesting.  A boss is interested in himself or herself; a leader is interested in the group.”   (Russell H. Ewing)



“People ask the difference between a leader and a boss.  The leader works in the open, and the boss in covert. The leader leads, and the boss drives.”    (Theodore Roosevelt)



“You manage things; you lead people.”    (Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper)


“It Only Matters What You Do”

“I was giving up.  I would have given up — if a voice hadn’t made itself heard in my heart.  The voice said “I will not die.  I refuse it.  I will make it through this nightmare.  I will beat the odds, as great as they are.  I have survived so far, miraculously.  Now I will turn miracle into routine. The amazing will be seen everyday.  I will put in all the hard work necessary.  Yes, so long as God is with me, I will not die.  Amen.”    (Yann Martel, Life of Pi)


 “Remember, Red.  Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.  Get busy living or get busy dying.”     (The Shawshank Redemption)


“Every person passing through this life will unknowingly leave something and take something away.  Most of this “something” cannot be seen or heard or numbered or scientifically detected or counted.  It’s what we leave in the minds of other people and what they leave in ours.  Memory.  The census doesn’t count it. Nothing counts without it.”    (Robert Fulghum, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten)


“It doesn’t matter what you say you believe – it only matters what you do.”      (Robert Fulghum, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten)


“Don’t Think You Cannot”


“Urgent, please read ASAP.

That’s what gets done, of course.  The urgent.

Not the article you haven’t gotten around to writing, the trip to the gym that will pay off in the long run, the planning for your upcoming birthday party, dinner with your parents (who would love to see you), ten minutes to sit quietly, saying thank you to a friend for no real reason … no, we do the urgent first.

The problem, of course, is that the queue of urgent never ends; it merely changes its volume as it gets longer. 

Yes, we’ve heard it said that it’s the important, not the urgent, that deserves attention.  But it understates just how much we’ve been manipulated by those that would make their important into our urgent.     (Seth Godin)



“Don’t try to make life a mathematics problem with yourself in the center and everything coming out equal.  When you’re good, bad things can still happen.  And if you’re bad, you can still be lucky.”   (Barbara Kingsolver, The Poisonwood Bible)



“‘But what if I make a mistake?’  Will asked.

Gilan threw back his head and laughed.  ‘A mistake?  One mistake?  You should be so lucky. You’ll make dozens!  I made four or five on my first day alone!  Of course you’ll make mistakes. Just don’t make any of them twice.  If you do mess things up, don’t try to hide it.  Don’t try to rationalize it.  Recognize it and admit it and learn from it.  We never stop learning, none of us.”    (John Flanagan, Erak’s Ransom)



“People know what they do; frequently they know why they do what they do; but what they don’t know is what what they do does.”    (Michael Foucault, Madness and Civilization:  A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason)



“There are no limitations in what you can do except the limitation of your own mind as to what you cannot do.  Don’t think you cannot.  Think that you can.”     (Darwin P. Kingsley)


“Joy and Inner Energy”

“Life is a series of collisions with the future. It is not the sum of what we have been, but what we yearn to be.” (José Ortega y Gasset)

“Ancient Egyptians believed that upon death they would be asked two questions and their answers would determine whether they could continue their journey in the afterlife. The first question was, ‘Did you bring joy?’ The second was, ‘Did you find joy?” (Leo Buscaglia)

“The most important thing in life is your inner energy. If you’re always tired and never enthused, then life is no fun. But if you’re always inspired and filled with energy then every minute of every day is an exciting experience. Learn to work with these things. Through meditation, through awareness and willful efforts, you can learn to keep your centers open. You do this by just RELAXING and RELEASING. You do this by not buying into the concept that there is anything worth closing over. Remember if you love life, nothing is worth closing over. Nothing ever is worth closing your heart. (The Untethered Soul, the journey beyond yourself by Michael Singer, New Harbinger Publications)

“You have a wellspring of beautiful energy inside of you. When you are open you feel it; when you are closed you don’t. This flow of energy comes from the depth of your being. It’s been called by many names. In ancient Chinese medicine, it is called Chi. In yoga, it is called Shakti. In the West, it is called Spirit.” (The Untethered Soul, the journey beyond yourself by Michael Singer, New Harbinger Publications)

“A Leader is Best When …”

“There are five practices common to most extraordinary leadership achievements.  When leaders do their best, they challenge, inspire, enable, model, and encourage.”     (Kouses & Posner, The Leadership Challenge)



“The key elements in the art of working together are how to deal with change, how to deal with conflict, and how to reach our potential … the needs of the team are best met when we meet the needs of individual persons.”     (Max DePree)



“The so-called … boss should become the humble servant leader who ‘runs alongside,’ asking questions such as:

  • How is it going?
  • What are you learning?
  • What are your goals?
  • How can I help you?
  • How am I doing as a helper?

It is when the spirit of servant leadership takes hold in a team, and between a manager or team and an associate, that … trust fully blossoms.”     (The 8th Habit, From Effectiveness to Greatness, Stephen R. Covey)



“A leader is best when people barely know he exists.

Not so good when people obey and acclaim him.

Worse when they despise him.

But of a good leader who talks little,

When his work is done, his aim fulfilled,

They will say “We did it ourselves.”     (Lao Tzu)



“The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been.”     (Henry Kissinger)



“To lead the people, walk beside them.”     (Lao Tzu)


“Be A Change Catalyst; It Is An Attitude”

“Leadership is not so much about technique and method as it is about opening the heart.  Leadership is about inspiration — of oneself and of others.  Great leadership is about human experiences, not processes.  Leadership is not a formula or a program, it is a human activity that comes from the heart and considers the hearts of others.  It is an attitude, not a routine.”     (Lance Secretan)



“It’s not always easy to do the right thing.  But, doing the right thing makes you strong, it builds character, it forces you to make decisions based upon your beliefs and not what other people think.  In life, and in business, you have to stand for what you believe in and sometimes you have to stand alone.  But, what makes you a leader is having the courage of your convictions.”    (Queen Latifah)



“Do not follow where the path may lead.  Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”     (Ralph Waldo Emerson)



“I am personally convinced that one person can be a change catalyst, a ‘transformer’ in any situation, any organization.  Such an individual is yeast that can leaven an entire loaf.  It requires vision, initiative, patience, respect, persistence, courage, and faith to be a transforming leader.”      (Stephen R. Covey)



“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.”     (Unknown Author)



“Our duty as men is to proceed as if limits to our ability did not exist.  We are collaborators in creation.”     (Pierre Teilhard de Chardin)


“What Are You Going to Do?


“An old man was asked what had robbed him of joy in his life.  His reply was, ‘Things that never happened.’”     (Dale Carnegie)



“If ifs were gifts, every day would be Christmas.”     (Charles Barkley)



“You can’t build a reputation on what you are GOING to do.”     (Henry Ford)



“The presence of fear does not mean you have no faith.  Fear visits everyone.  But make your fear a visitor and not a resident.”     (Max Lucado)



“There are those of us who are always ‘about’ to live.  We’re waiting until things change, until there is more time, until we are less tired, until we get a promotion, until we settle down – until until, until.  It always seems that there is some major event that must occur in our lives before we begin living.”       (George Sheehan)



“You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take.”     (Wayne Gretzky)



“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”    (James Baldwin)


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