Your Catalyst for Higher Levels of Success

Food For Thought

Our Collection of Insights and Inspiration

“Three things cannot be long hidden, the sun, the moon, and the truth.” – Buddha

“Never mistake activity for achievement.” –John Wooden

There are three barriers to growth common among all growing firms:

  1. The need for the executive team to grow as leaders in their abilities to delegate and predict;
  2. The need for systems and structures to handle the complexity of that comes with growth; and
  3. the need to navigate the increasingly tricky market dynamics that mark arrival in a larger marketplace.

Verne Harnish

“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” – Wayne Dyer

A friend of mine, the founder of a company that grew to a billion dollars in annual revenue, best expressed the power of teamwork when he once told me: “If you could get all of the people in your organization rowing in the same direction, you could dominate any industry, any market against any competition.”
Patrick Lencioni Patrick’s friend is Robert Epstein, co-founder of Sybase,Inc. and three other information technology companies: GetActive Software, Zight, and Britton-Lee

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit. – Aristotle

One of the secrets to life is to figure out what you’re not good at and stop doing it. – Alf

Whys turn tasks into causes – Tom Lemanski

Our lives are not determined by what happens to us but by how we react to what happens, not by what life brings to us, but by the attitude we bring to life. A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events, and outcomes. It is a catalyst, a spark that creates extraordinary results.

If we take a risk we might fail. If we don’t take a risk we surely will fail. The greatest risk of all is to do nothing.

Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime.


Around the globe, we currently face… a deepening leadership crisis in organizations. Unlike the possibility of plague or nuclear holocaust, the leadership crisis will probably not become the basis for a best seller or a blockbuster movie, but in many ways it is the most dangerous of all the threats we face today, if only because it is insufficiently recognized and little understood.

Warren Bennis – Managing People is Like Herding Cats

Good is the enemy of great. And that is one of the reasons that we have so little that becomes great. – Jim Collins from Good to Great

Because it’s purpose is to create a customer, the business has two – and only- two functions, marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results, all the rest are costs.

The leader of the past knew how to tell, the leader of the future will know how to ask.

Peter Drucker

To eat the sweet fruit of success, tend to the roots of the tree of your life. – Kevin W. McCarthy

You can take my factories, burn my buildings, but give me my people and I will build the business right back again.

Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you are right.

– Henry Ford

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. –  Benjamin Franklin

People’s minds are like parachutes – they only function when they are open.
Leanne Hastie

There are risks and costs to a program of action. But they are far less than the long range risks and costs of comfortable inaction. – John F. Kennedy

Never Doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. – Margaret Mead

If you think you are beaten, you are;
If you think you dare not, you don’t;
If you like to win, but you think you can’t,
It is almost certain you won’t
If you think you’ll lose, you’ve lost.
For out in the world we find
Success begins with a fellow’s will-
It’s all in the state of mind.
If you think you are outclassed, you are-
You’ve got to think high to rise.
You’ve got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.
Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man:
But soon or late the man who wins
Is the man who thinks he can.

Napoleon Hill from Law of Success

Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.

Persistence: Fall down seven times; Stand up eight.

Japanese Proverbs

The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.
Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.

Albert Einstein

The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems.” – Gandhi

If there is an overarching reason for Southwest Airline’s success, it is that the company has spent far more time since 1971 focused on loving people than on the development of new management techniques. The tragedy of our time is that we’ve got it backwards. We’ve learned to love techniques and use people. –Kevin & Jackie Freiberg from Nuts!

You can have everything in life you want if you’ll just help enough other people to get what they want!

Efficiency is doing things right. Effectiveness is doing the right thing.

Zig Ziglar

I not only use all the brains I have but all that I can borrow. – Woodrow Wilson

We have met the enemy and he is us. – Walt Kelly: From his comic strip: Pogo

From Abraham Lincoln: On Value Driven Leadership…

When he brought in the Emancipation Proclamation, President Abraham Lincoln polled his Cabinet. The Secretary of State stood and uttered his “Nay” unmistakably. The Secretary of the Interior followed suit. The Treasury Secretary and so forth: all against.
Lincoln heard them each in turn. Then Lincoln raised his hand and said…

“The Ayes have it.”

On Modern Leadership…

Everyone looks at the wrong end of the telescope, as if profits drive the business. Financial reporting doesn’t get to the real stuff – employee morale, turnover, customer satisfaction, on-time delivery, consumer attitudes, perceptions of the brand, purchase intentions – they drive the results. I believe that if you create an environment that your people identify with, that is responsive to their sense of values, justice, fairness, ethics, compassion, and appreciation, they will help you be successful. There’s no guarantee-but I will stake all my chips on it. – Robert Haas, CEO, Levi Strauss.

Ray Overdorff’s Six Truths of the Workplace

  1. Most people want to do a good job.
  2. Most people, given the same information, will come very close to the same conclusions.
  3. Everybody wants to be somebody.
  4. People are willing to embrace change if they can see the value.
  5. It’s hard to look good in a bad system.
  6. Everybody needs a coach. Be one. Get one!

Nothing so conclusively proves a man’s ability to lead others as what he does from day to day to lead himself.

The way to succeed is to double your error rate.

All the problems of the world could be settled easily if men were only willing to think. The trouble is that men very often resort to all sorts of devices in order not to think, because thinking is such hard work.

Whenever an individual or a business decides that success has been attained, progress stops.

Thomas J. Watson of IBM

There are no shortcuts to anyplace worth going. – Beverly Sills

On Bad Consultants

In the beginning there was Peter Drucker, quietly dishing out sound management advise. As Intel’s Andy Grove put it, “Drucker is a hero of mine. He writes and thinks with exquisite clarity -a standout amongst a bunch of muddled fadmongers.”

Then in the 1980s, Tom Peters exploded on the scene with his book about excellence. That was the dawning of an era of Tom Peters wannabes whom one could safely call modern day Robin Hoods. They rob from the rich and keep it. But instead of using bows and arrows, this crowd is armed with complex buzzwords and ideas that they use to nail their prey.
and later…

You should realize that complexity is a the heart of a bad consultant’s business. Their view of such a consultant, and it may be an accurate one, is that companies won’t pay a lot for simplicity. In fact, it would sometimes appear that the less a company understands about the process, the more it will pay.

Jack Trout from The Power of Simplicity

I hope this page has helped to stimulate your thinking. Be sure to re-visit as we continue to enhance the content. Your contributions, suggestions and encouragement are welcomed.

Tom Lemanski