200+ Motivational Quotes to Turbo Charge Your Thinking

Superhero business man flying with jet pack rocket above the cit

The Power of Words

Words have remarkable power.  Choosing to fill your life with positive, inspirational words is like fueling the engine of your mind.  I believe that our circumstances can change based on what words we read, hear, and speak.  That’s why in every blog post I try to pull out quotes that will spur new thoughts and actions.

Share a few of your favorites or stop by anytime to add one to your social media streams.  You never know when a few words will be just the fuel someone needs.

“Success is something you attract by the person you become.” –Jim Rohn

“Tread softly; breathe peacefully; laugh hysterically.” –Nelson Mandela

“Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” -Helen Keller

“Why fit in when you were born to stand out?” –Dr. Seuss

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” –Jim Rohn

“One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.” -Arthur Ashe

“Argue for your limitations and they’re yours.” -Richard Bach

“To know how to wait is the great secret of success.” –De Maistre

“It is our attitude toward life that determines life’s attitude toward us. We get back what we put out.” –Earl Nightingale.

“If you run around with 9 losers pretty soon you’ll be the 10th loser.” -Les Brown

“The more you talk about negative things in your life, the more you call them in. Speak victory not defeat.” –Joel Osteen

“Hope is the beacon which points to prosperity.” –Edward Counsel

“You can change what you are and where you are by changing what goes into your mind.” -Zig Ziglar

“Things work out best for those who make the best of how things work out.” -John Wooden

“Vision without execution is just hallucination.” -Henry Ford

“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” -Walt Disney

“Patience and fortitude conquer all things.” -Emerson

“Strive not to be of success, but rather to be of value. -Einstein

“Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.” –Jim Rohn

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” -Eleanor Roosevelt

“Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” -Winston Churchill

“The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.” -Bruce Lee

“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.” -Michael Jordan

“The speed of the boss is the speed of the team.” -Lee Iacocca

“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” -Henry Ford

“Teamwork makes the dream work.” -Bang Gae

“If you want to be a leader who attracts quality people, the key is to become a person of quality.” – Jim Rohn

“Never say anything about yourself you do not want to come true.” –Brian Tracy

“Don’t count the days. Make the days count.” -Muhammad Ali

“To endure is greater than to dare.” -Thackeray

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” -Helen Keller

“The strength of the team is each member. The strength of each member is the team.” -Phil Jackson

“Only you have the power to determine whether your future mimics your past.” -Skip Prichard

“Don’t wish it was easier, wish you were better. Don’t wish for less problems, wish for more skills. Don’t wish for less challenge, wish for more wisdom” –Jim Rohn

“Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.” –Zig Ziglar

“A successful team is a group of many hands and one mind.” -Bill Bethel

“Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.” –Nelson Mandela

“Good teams incorporate teamwork into their culture creating the building blocks for success.” -Ted Sundquist

“Circumstances will never determine your amount of happiness. Circumstances only highlight who you already are.” –Dan Miller

“None of us is as smart as all of us.” -Ken Blanchard

“No individual can win a game by himself.” -Pele

“You are not a true success unless you are helping others be successful.” –Jon Gordon

“The whole secret of a successful life is to find out what is one’s destiny to do, and then do it.” -Henry Ford

“Negative thoughts are the nails that build a prison of failure.” –Jon Gordon

“Simplicity, of all things, is the hardest to be copied.” -Steele

“Confidence is a habit that can be developed by acting as if you already had the confidence you desire to have.” -Brian Tracy

“A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.” -David Brinkley

“Humility is the light of understanding.” -Bunyan

“Make sure your worst enemy doesn’t live between your own two ears.”– Laird Hamilton

“Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.” -Zig Ziglar

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” -Eleanor Roosevelt

“We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret.” –Jim Rohn

“If you’re going through hell keep going.” -Winston Churchill

“Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.” -Epicurus

“What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise.” -Oscar Wilde

“Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” -John D. Rockefeller

“Peace rules the day where reason rules the mind.” –Wilkie Collins

“If I fail, it will be for lack of ability, and not of purpose.” -Lincoln

“Every minute you spend in planning saves 10 minutes in execution.” -Brian Tracy

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” -Albert Einstein

“If you go out and make some things happen, you will fill the world with hope.” –Barack Obama

“It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.” Sir Edmund Hillary

“A goal properly set is halfway reached.” -Zig Ziglar

“Anyone who attempts to build great things will face challenges.” –Jon Gordon

“I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.” -Thomas Jefferson

“The starting point of all achievement is desire.” -Napoleon Hill

“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” –Tony Robbins

“Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.” – Picasso

“Passion is more developed than discovered.” –Dan Miller

“Whatever you believe with feeling becomes your reality.” –Brian Tracy

Anticipate: The Art of Leading by Looking Ahead

Empty curved road,Yorkshire,uk

Navigating Change

Studies show that the companies that navigate change well last the longest.

Why do some corporate leaders navigate through massive change while others seem oblivious to it?

How do you position your organization ahead of the trends?

Is it possible to learn to anticipate and prepare for the future?

 

Rob-Jan De Jong is a speaker, consultant and faculty member at Wharton’s executive program on Global Strategic Leadership. His new book, Anticipate: The Art of Leading by Looking Ahead, outlines what it takes to become a visionary leader. Sharing examples and principles from his research, Rob-Jan’s mission is to increase your personal visionary capacity.  I recently had the opportunity to ask him about vision and the art of looking ahead.

 

“Anyone can grow their visionary capacity.” –Rob-Jan De Jong

 

3 Keys to Unleashing Vision at All Levels

As a CEO, I just loved this sentence:  “Vision is not an exclusive for those in top ranked positions.”  It’s really something for everyone, not only those with a title.  How do corporate leaders unleash creativity and vision at all levels of the organization?

  1. Empowerment and trust. 

An important success factor is around empowerment and trust.  A directive company culture is detrimental for people’s engagement.  Having a sense of influence is a prerequisite for getting people to become involved in the hard work of engaging with uncertainty and anticipating the future.

 

“Vision is not an exclusive for those in top ranked positions.” –Rob-Jan De Jong

 

  1. Fault Tolerance.

A second critical factor is fault tolerance. This naturally goes with empowerment – people will get it right and every so often they will get it wrong. These are the important moments of truth for you as the leader, as your response will set the standard for the culture that shapes from these moments. People will be on the lookout about how serious you are about empowerment. My simple suggestion is to not focus on what went wrong but to focus on what the person has learned.

 

“Visioning, future engagement, anticipation is a skill set and a mindset.” –Rob-Jan De Jong

 

  1. Enabling Others.

And a third factor that should not be underestimated is that you will also need to enable your people to do this. Visioning, future engagement, anticipation is a skill set and a mindset. And it is often a step aside from the environment people have grown accustomed to, so you will need to enable your people to strengthen themselves in this area.

That might sound like blatant promotion for my work and my book, but I’m absolutely convinced that this has been a gap in management theory.  Despite the widely acknowledged importance of ‘vision’ in leadership, little – if any – systematic support has been provided in terms of developing your visionary side as a leader in a responsible way.  Scholars, business schools and strategy textbooks agree that a vision is one of the most powerful instruments a leader can have.  And how you go about developing this side of your leadership has been met with tremendous silence.

It was my intention to fill part of this gap by offering a comprehensive perspective on the topic, original ideas, a developmental framework, various practices, and many stories and anecdotes to draw lessons from.

 

“Vision, the hallmark of leadership, is less a derivative of spreadsheets and more a product of the mind called imagination.” –Abraham Zaleznik

 

Learning to Be Visionary

How to Overcome Wasted Authority When You are Not the Leader

Bored Panel Of Judges Or Interviewers
This is a guest post by friend and mentor Bruce Rhoades, who retired after having run several companies. He reluctantly leaves his sail boat to help me with strategy. After convincing him to write here once, I am now hoping he becomes a regular contributor.

Wasted Authority – A Review

Some time ago, I wrote about poor leadership resulting from Wasted Authority.   In that post, I described wasted authority as a result of weak leadership that exhibits one or more of the following traits:

  • Indecisiveness when it is clear that a decision should be made;
  • Failure to take action when cultural expectations are violated or associates misbehave;
  • Inability to provide timely feedback to teach individuals and the organization;
  • Failure to frame an issue, articulate priorities and delegate to others;
  • Ignoring customer issues that the organization simply takes for granted;
  • Failure to address large, well-known issues openly and directly.

These traits result in an environment where:

  • Decisions are delayed by over-analyzing or waiting for consensus to emerge;
  • Poor behavior is overlooked; exceptional efforts and good performance are unrecognized;
  • Meeting topics wander off the agenda into excruciating detail;
  • Customers issues are ignored or met with half measures;
  • Important, uncomfortable topics are not openly discussed.

Working in an environment with wasted authority is very frustrating, wastes the time and talent of the organization and drains the energy of the organization.

 

 

What if You Are Not The Leader?

If you are a leader and recognize your behavior in any of these traits, it is time to adjust your style to be more decisive, open, focused and action-oriented. There is a lot a leader can easily do to stop his/her own wasted authority behavior.

But what if you are not the leader and are subjected to wasted authority by one or more of the leaders of your organization? What can you do to help change the environment? How can you lead when you are not the one who should? Even though you are not the one in charge, there are several actions you and others can take to improve specific situations and change the environment. Consider the following actions to overcome wasted authority.

 

“Wasted authority results in weak organizations.” -Bruce Rhoades

 

Indecisiveness

Agree on the Alternatives

When confronted with indecisiveness from the leader, start by making sure everyone agrees to options or alternatives for the decision. For example, say, “Can we simply list the alternatives for this decision?” and then start the list – write it down on a flip chart or whiteboard for the leader or group. You should make the list of alternatives as short as possible, ideally just 2 or 3, and prioritize them.

Define What is Needed and Schedule Closure

The next step is to ask, “If we cannot choose one of these options, what additional information do we need to decide?” List what is required. Then determine who is responsible to get the information. Agree who is going to do what and make assignments. Finally, ask when the group can reconvene to review the structured options and make a decision.

Many times with this approach, a group will be able to make a decision at the time. But if not, this process will structure the alternatives, establish concrete actions and decide when to decide! Another term I like to use is “scheduled closure.”

Orchestrate Support of Others

If you know ahead of time that there will be a tendency to delay a decision, then meet with others who will attend the meeting to structure alternatives before the meeting. If an indecisive leader sees several people on the same page, it will help make the decision.

Develop an Offline Decision

Alternatively, once a list of options for the decision is created, see if a smaller group of individuals can be assigned to return with a decision or recommendation. Indecisive leaders sometimes will let others decide if options are clear and several agree.

 

Leadership Tip: Confront indecisiveness by listing and agreeing on the possible options.

 

Ignored Performance – Good and Bad

When a leader does not recognize good employee performance or ignores poor performance or behavior, the wrong culture is set for the entire organization by lack of action. The attitude spreads rapidly.

If you are not the leader, what can you do?

Leading with Intention: Every Moment is a Choice

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Leading with Intention

When you meet someone, it doesn’t take long to know if they are living a life with intention, with purpose, with a design. Many people float through life waiting to see what will happen, going with the flow, and allowing others to decide the future. It’s the people who shape the future that stand out.

Living life with intention requires you to choose your actions and discipline your life in every moment. Mindy Hall, Ph.D. is the President and CEO of Peak Development Consulting, LLC. She has worked with clients around the world to strengthen leaders and help them live with intention. I had the opportunity to talk with her about her experience, her research, and her new book, Leading With Intention: Every Moment is a Choice.

 

“Every moment is a choice.” –Mindy Hall

 

 

The Importance of Being Intentional

Leading With Intention is a challenge for today’s leaders.  Why is intention critical to leading today?

Leading with IntentionLet me illustrate with a story from the book.  A vice president of human resources worked in a company where the corporate offices were set up with two entrances: the front door from the lobby, which visitors were encouraged to use, and a side entrance marked “Employees Only,” which staff were required to use. The company’s senior-most executives could choose either door, and it was about the same distance from their parking spaces to their offices no matter which route they chose. Going through the side door took them past many other offices and common areas, allowing them to interact with other people in the company. Many of the executives, however, used the front door of the building, as they felt it provided quicker access to their offices, and therefore made better use of their time. What they failed to realize, however, was the gap between their intent and their impact.

The perception the executives created among employees was that they thought of themselves as separate—that they didn’t care to interact with the employees and did not have to follow the same rules. This behavior, although seemingly innocent, contributed to an “us-versus-them” feeling that began to impact the organization in very real ways—lack of belief in the espoused values of the company, lack of trust in the executives, and lack of engagement—all of which impact performance: Unintended consequences, but ones that show how easily actions send messages and how small behaviors can have a tangible impact.

These kinds of stories play out thousands of times a day at companies around the world. So much of our organizations’ potential is tied to a completely controllable variable: a leader’s awareness of their impact and their ability to choose behavior that intentionally shapes that impact.

 

“A leader’s currency is in his interactions.” –Mindy Hall

 

How Others Perceive You Depends on How Present You Are

Compare and contrast with me two executives.  One is leading with intention and the other clearly isn’t.  What would you observe immediately that distinguishes the two?

You can see it most easily in how aware they are of their impact: the tone they set and how they are “showing up” to the organization.  The most tangible dimension of this awareness takes shape in their communication skills—how present they are with others. What verbal and non-verbal cues are they sending to signal their engagement or lack thereof?  Are they able to connect with their audiences in both informal and formal communications?

A leader’s currency is in his interactions, so the ability to inspire everyone from front line employees to senior executives and board members shouldn’t be taken for granted.

 

“Every action has an impact; choose wisely the impact you want to have.” –Mindy Hall

 

3 Phases to Become Consistently Intentional