Pages Navigation Menu


Here some quotes and words from authors, colleagues, and friends that have struck a chord with me over the years. Occasionally in staff meetings or retreats or just conversations I would ask: “what’s your favorite quote and why?” Invariably this provided a good discussion and helped folk learn more about each other. Try it

Roger Ralph


“The definition of a good social worker is someone who has one foot in the street and one foot in the library.”

BAHRAM AKARDI, Chairman, Life Time Fitness:

“The critical thing about business culture is to know who you are and do that. You cannot talk out of both sides of your mouth at the same time.”

JOEL BARKER, Contemporary “Futurist”:

“Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes time. Vision with action can change the world.”


“What I hear I forget. What I see I remember. What I do I know.”

JIM COLLINS, Good to Great:

“Greatness comes about by a series of great decisions consistent with a simple coherent concept – a ‘hedgehog concept.’ The hedgehog concept is an operating model that reflects understanding of the three intersecting circles:

What you can be the best in the world at; What you are deeply passionate about; What best drives your economic or resource engine. “There is no single defining action, no grand program, no one killer innovation, no solitary lucky break, no miracle moment. Rather the process resembles relentlessly pushing a giant heavy fly wheel to turn upon turn building a momentum until a point.”

MARCUS BUCKINGHAM, Researcher and Author:

“Great managers present no sweeping new theories, no prefabricated formula. All they can offer you are insights into the nature of talent and their secrets for turning talent into lasting performance.”

DANIEL BURNHAM, Early 20th Century Prominent Chicago Based Architect:

“Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men’s blood.”


“The ability to establish, grow, extend, and restore trust with all stakeholders- customers, business partners, investors, and coworkers- is the key leadership competency of the new global economy.”


“Every great and commanding event in the annals of the world is a triumph of enthusiasm. Nothing great was ever achieved without it.”

JOHN FLEMING and JIM ASPLUND, Authors, Human Sigma, Gallup Press, 2007:

“The performance gains from Human Sigma improvements tend to come from innumerable small gains in everyday performance that accumulate at the local level, rather than in large, identifiable chunks. The myriad small improvements made by the engaged work teams result in an exponential increase in output.”

TONY HSIEH, ZAPPO’S CEO, from his Book “Delivering Happiness, A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose”:

“We believe that, in general, the best decisions are made from the bottom up, meaning by those on the front lines that are closest to the issues and/or the customers. The role of a manager is to remove obstacles and enable his/her direct reports to succeed. This means the best managers are servant- leaders. They serve those they lead. Ask yourself, “How do you encourage more teamwork?”

HANNAH KARASS, founder The Healthworks Foundation:

“As a leader you empower people with the chance to be part of the process.”

PATRICK LENCIONI, Management Consultant and Author:

“Not finance. Not strategy. Not technology. It is teamwork that remains the ultimate competitive advantage, both because it is so powerful and so rare.”


“The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.”

GEORGIA O’ KEEFE, American Painter:

“To create one’s world takes courage.”


“I bring you the gift of these four words: I believe in you.”

ROGER RALPH, founder Bel Air Athletic Club, Principal, Hockessin Athletic Club:

“As in life, success in business is all about relationships. Your success as a leader, manager, supervisor, and employee is almost always about the quality of your relationship with others and the respect you have earned. Effective leaders inspire others to continuously narrow the gap between their vision and their dreams and the day’s reality.”

TIM RHODE, President, Maryland Athletic Club:

“Next to what you are; where you are; who you are; caring is the most important value- all else follows.”

CAL RIPKEN, JR. 2007 Hall of Fame Induction Speech:

“While we all work to develop into productive people for our own happiness, it is also vital that we do so for the good of society as a whole. I truly believe that there are no endings, just points at which we begin again…As I experience another new beginning with this induction, I can only hope that all of us, whether we have played on the field or been fans in the stands, can reflect on how fortunate we are and can see our lives as new beginnings that allow us to leave the world a bit better than when we came into it.”

JAMES ROUSE, Shopping center developer & founder of Columbia, Md.:

“Profit is always a by product of value. It’s as hard to do a little thing well as a big thing- so why not do a big thing?”


“He who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love.”

HOWARD SCHULTZ, Starbucks Founder and CEO, Onward, Rodale Press, 2011:

“Unlike other brands, Starbucks was not built through marketing and traditional advertising. We succeed by creating an experience that comes to life, in large part, because of how we treat our people, how we treat our farmers, our customers, and how we give back to the community.”

MATTHEW STEVENS, CEO Spectrum Health Clubs:

“I am a people person. I want to meet 30 people if I am interviewing for 2 spots. I look for the intangibles that will make that person successful in our organization.”

SAM WALTON, Wal-Mart Founder:

“Somehow over the years folk have gotten the impression that Wal-Mart was something that I dreamed up out of the blue as a middle aged man, and that it was just this great idea that turned into an over-night success…like most “over-night successes”, it was about twenty years in the making.”

JACK WELCH, former CEO, GE, and former Coca-Cola Chairman, ROBERTO GOIZUETTA:

Now GE and Coca-Cola, were trying to change every day. The King of Coca-Cola and the King of GE are trying to change the thing every day because if we don’t change we’re going to be left behind. (Roberto Goizuetta) It’s the biggest challenge (change) we have. I’m always scared, okay? It’s true. And (Roberto) I think you are probably, I mean you’re always scared… (Jack Welch)

JOHN WHITNEY, Professor, Columbia University Business School:

“Mistrust doubles the cost of doing business.”


“You can have everything in life you want if you just help enough other people get what they want.”