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”

“It Comes Down to People. Believe in Them.”


“Once we rid ourselves of traditional thinking, we can get on with creating the future.”    (James Bertrand)




“When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but creatures of emotion.”    (Ralph Waldo Emerson)




“If you wish others to believe in you, you must convince them that you believe in them.”    (Harvey McKay)




“The deepest principle of human nature is a craving to be appreciated.”    (William James)




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




“They call it coaching, but it is teaching.  You do not just tell them … you show them the reasons.”    (Vince Lombardi)




“Everything in business comes down to PEOPLE.  Where in business can we escape the impact of human care, human creativity, human commitment, human frustration, and human despair?  There is no reason for anything in business to exist if it does not serve the needs of people.”    (Bruce Cryer)




Short Course in Leadership:

1. Make a list of things done to you that you abhorred.  Don’t do them to others, ever.
2. Make another list of things done for you that you loved. Do them for others, always.”    (Dee Hock)




“The best way to predict the future is to create it.”    (Peter Drucker)




“Let’s make a dent in the universe.”    (Steve Jobs)



“The Future Starts Today / Autograph Your Work”


“Leadership is not magnetic personality – that can just as well be a glib tongue.  It is not making friends and influencing people – that is flattery.  Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to higher sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.  (Peter Drucker)




“The very essence of leadership is that you have to have vision.  You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet.”    (Theodore M. Hesburgh)




There are only 3 colors, 10 digits, and 7 notes; it’s what we do with them that’s important.”    (Ruth Ross)




“What we think or what we believe is, in the end, of little consequence.  The only thing of consequence is what we do.”    (John Ruskin)




“Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it.  Autograph your work with excellence.”    (Unknown)




“If you can dream it, you can do it.”    (Walt Disney)




“I didn’t get where I am by thinking about it or dreaming about it.  I got there by doing it.”    (Estée Lauder)




“The future starts today, not tomorrow.”    (Pope John Paul II)



“Leadership / Be Afraid and Do It Anyway”


“A monumental question for leaders in any organization to consider is:  How much greatness are we willing to grant people?”     (The Art of Possibility, Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander)




“Leaders focus on the soft stuff. People.  Values.  Character.  Commitment.  A Cause.
All of the stuff that was supposed to be too ‘goo-goo’ to count in business.  Yet, it’s the stuff that real leaders take care of first.  And forever.
That’s why leadership is an art, not a science.  If leadership were just about hitting your numbers, about driving the troops to meet their quotas, then leadership would just be a math problem.  But leadership is a human mystery.”    (Tom Peters)




“The most effective way to teach anyone what we would like them to know is through behavior, not words. …  People of action, those who make a difference in life, those whom we most admire, all seem to know the truth of the ancient wisdom (of Emerson),  ‘What you do speaks so loud, I can’t hear what you say.’

Be a doer.  And in the process, you will do more to teach others ….”    (Wayne W. Dyer, Wisdom of the Ages)




We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us something is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch. Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit.”    (e. e. cummings)




Zig Ziglar used to tell a story about a baseball team on a losing streak.  On the road for a doubleheader, the team visited a town that was home to a famous faith healer. While the guys were warming up, the manager disappeared.  He came back an hour later with a big handful of bats.  ‘Guys, these bats were blessed and healed by the guru.  Our problems are over.’

According to the story, the team snapped out of their streak and won a bunch of games.  Some people wonder, ‘Did the faith healer really touch the bats, or was the manager making it up?’  Huh?   Does it matter?     (Seth Godin)




We all have possibilities we don’t know about.  We can do things we don’t even dream we can do.”    (Dale Carnegie)




“Trust yourself.   You know more than you think you do.”    (Dr. Spock)




“Be afraid and do it anyway.”    (Rachel Muir)



“We Did it Ourselves”


“You don’t have to say everything to be a light.  Sometimes a fire built on a hill will bring interested people to your campfire.”    (Shannon L. Alder)



“The true alchemists do not change lead into gold; they change the world into words.”    (William H. Gass, A Temple of Texts)



“Heretics must believe. More than anyone else in an organization, it’s the person who’s challenging the status quo, the one who is daring to be great, who is truly present and not just punching a clock who must have confidence in her beliefs.
Can you imagine Steve Jobs showing up for the paycheck?  It’s nice to get paid.  It’s essential to believe.”    (Seth Godin, Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us)



“Never follow somebody else’s path; it doesn’t work the same way twice for anyone… the path follows you and rolls up behind you as you walk, forcing the next person to find their own way. … If you do not choose to lead, you will forever be led by others.  Find what scares you, and do it.  And you can make a difference, if you choose to do so.”    (J. Michael Straczynski)



“It’s hard to lead a cavalry charge if you think you look funny on a horse.”    (Adlai E. Stevenson II)



“If you’re not reaching back to help anyone then you’re not building a legacy.”   (Germany Kent)



“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”    (Helen Keller)



“Don’t walk in front of me…
I may not follow
Don’t walk behind me…
I may not lead
Walk beside me… just be my friend.”    (Albert Camus)



How often in life we complete a task that was beyond the capability of the person we were when we started it.”    (Robert Brault, Round Up the Usual Subjects)



“To lead people, walk beside them …
As for the best leaders, the people do not notice their existence.
The next best, the people honor and praise.
The next, the people fear; and the next, the people hate …
When the best leader’s work is done the people say,
We did it ourselves!”    (Lao Tzu)




“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)


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