Great Leadership Quote Part 3

i am a leader poem


The leaders I met, whatever walk of life they were from, whatever institutions they were presiding over, always referred back to the same failure something that happened to them that was personally difficult, even traumatic, something that made them feel that desperate sense of hitting bottom–as something they thought was almost a necessity. It’s as if at that moment the iron entered their soul; that moment created the resilience that leaders need. Warren G. Bennis

Leaders are visionaries with a poorly developed sense of fear and no concept of the odds against them. They make the impossible happen. – Dr. Robert Jarvik

Managers help people see themselves as they are; Leaders help people to see themselves better than they are. Jim Rohn

Learn to help people with more than just their jobs: help them with their lives. Jim Rohn

The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not a bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly. Jim Rohn

Loyalty to the invisible leader gives us the strongest possible bond of union. Mary Parker Follett, 1941

Great leadership quotes Part 2

Hello my name is leader



A good objective of leadership is to help those who are doing poorly to do well and to help those who are doing well to do even better.  Jim Rohn

Leaders, whether in the family, in business, in government, or in education, must not allow themselves to mistake intentions for accomplishments.  Jim Rohn

As a leader you should always start with where people are before you try to take them to where you want them to go. Jim Rohn

The more excited and committed you are to your work, the more excited and committed will be the people around you. The leader always sets the tone for the department or organization. Brian Tracy

The heart of a leader is the heartbeat of a group… is your group on success life support?  Doug Firebaugh

It doesn’t take much talent to issue orders. It does take continued discipline to study the variety of people you are leading in order to understand what it takes to motivate them – and to inspire them to do their very best to make the company and themselves a success. Fred Bucy

Great quotes on leadership Part 1

you are a leader for facebookLeadership is only one thing…creation. Leaders are creationists that create things that were not there before, and create the reasons that everyone else accomplished it. – Doug Firebaugh

The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves. Ray Kroc

A person in authority is not necessarily a saint, an artist, a philosopher or a hero, but he respects truth, appreciates what is beautiful, knows how to behave himself and is courageous in meeting his obligations. – Earl Nightingale

Become the kind of leader that people would follow voluntarily, even if you had no title or position. – Brian Tracy

Leadership is only one thing…creation. Leaders are creationists that create things that were not there before, and create the reasons that everyone else accomplished it. – Doug Firebaugh


Culture versus Cult



What is culture? defines culture as “the behaviors and beliefs characteristic of a particular group.” John Kotter in Leading Change defines it as “norms of behaviors and shared values among a group of people.” In Rapport’s Leadership Breakthrough One, culture is simply defined as “the way we do things around here; it’s the hearts and minds of the people; it’s the living, breathing part of an organization.”

While culture may seem like an intangible, the signs of a company’s culture are everywhere. It’s in how people dress, it’s in how they treat each other, and it’s in how they ask or do not ask questions. Each of these signs sends a signal of exactly what a company’s culture is.

Let’s say I am a new employee in a company and I am told to be at a meeting at 9 AM. Being the new person, I show up to the meeting room at 8:59. At 9:03 the next person walks in. At 9:07, three more people are in the room, and at 9:10, the meeting finally gets started. Did I just learn something about that company’s culture in the first 10 minutes of my first day? Absolutely!

Let’s compare that example with my first day at Intel Corporation. Not only was I told to be on time to my meetings, I was also instructed to come prepared with “foils” and an update on my “A.R.s”. “Foils,” “A.R.s,” I asked, dumbfounded, “What are foils and A.R.s?” Clearly, at Intel they had a culture of punctuality and they also had a culture of preparedness. Furthermore, they had their own language, as well! (BTW: The year was 1987, and “foils” are transparencies and “A.R” means “Action Required.”)

While we may have difficulty defining exactly what culture is, many businesses have even more difficulty defining how their training investment impacts the development of their cultures. While most agree that training is a “good idea,” not all agree on how it improves top line or bottom line results, and even fewer agree on how it impacts “the way we do things around here.”

The answer lies in an organization’s approach to training. If training is approached as simply a “good idea” and has no connection to the work and outcomes of the organization, its value and relevance to a culture is limited. Yet, when training is aligned and integrated into a company’s growth strategy, there is a unifying link between the classroom and the boardroom.

Many of Rapport Leadership’s clients have found success by simply linking their expected outcomes (results) to performance actions (what people do) to leadership competencies (what is learned in training) to optimize their training investment and improve their organization’s results.

There are several benefits to using training as a strategic initiative. Training creates a common language, a common set of behaviors, and a common experience that aligns people’s actions. Thus, a company’s culture and results flow out of the new actions each person takes, every day. Training provides a consistent message about what results are expected and how people are expected to achieve them. When training is aligned strategically within an organization, it is a tremendous opportunity to reinforce a company’s mission, direction, and values.


For example, in Leadership Breakthrough One, participants experience teamwork, support, and accountability at a whole new level. The team supports the individual and pushes each to give the others more. This standard of performance is maintained throughout the course and individuals will “get to do it again” with the encouragement of their team should they fail to meet the standard the first time. From that common experience comes a common language of “no sympathy voting” or “change your approach to get different results” and, of course, “Just Focus and Do It (JFDI)!”

 In just 2 ½ days, each class creates its own culture of accountability and high performance which leads to the behavior of personal responsibility. Some naysayers liken this to “a cult”. When participants come back into their organizations, they will have the ability to apply that same level of support, teamwork, and accountability to their daily work. When a company has many employees applying their training in a similar manner, then the organization begins to cultivate its own culture of accountability and teamwork. Thus, performance improves.

The purpose of any training is to enhance performance. When a company takes the time to understand how a new skill or competency affects how an employee performs his/her job, this single action enhances the employee’s opportunity to use the new skills. And when managers take the time to communicate and share how the training will impact the overall results of the organization, the engagement of the individuals being trained will increase. Finally, as these new skills become norms and as the increase in accountability and engagement spreads, a company has just begun taking their culture to another level!

Cultures are a living, breathing part of the organization. All companies have some type of culture. Every company has the choice to be intentional about the type of culture it wants to create. The question is, is your organization’s culture on purpose – or on accident? An aligned training initiative helps to insure the programs and skills being taught support and reinforce those elements of a company’s culture that are paramount to its success!

What being On-Team at Rapport (re)taught me

By Sonja Johnson


“We are here not to see through people, but to see people through” Author Unknown

What a powerful statement. Simple. Yet true. A couple of weeks ago, I had my first “On Team” experience. The class? Rapport Leadership’s Leadership Breakthrough One.

I found myself at the end of the two-and-a-half days and little did I realize, those short days, the time spent with 21 strangers, would be life changing and those strangers became friends with a bond that seemed surreal. Now, I was on the other side of the table. Mind you, having to play such a serious face I found challenging. I would have to look over at my “team partner in crime”, just to get re-focused! I then looked at the faces as they arrived into the room. The look in their faces, I knew too well, for them, it was also the unknown of what was to lie ahead.

However, I sat quietly (hard for me to do I know; another challenge overcome!), stoic, and knew that I would again, through the eyes of others, become instantaneously reminded of the fact that this would be a rejuvenation. I knew that everything I had gone through would again come full speed. However, this time, I would merely be an observer. Nonetheless, it would impact me the same.

As I sat and listened to a class who became a team, they were so full of energy, passion and most of all enthusiasm! Sitting there silently watching, often up at the ceiling and down to the floor, as they began to share stories, tears, laughs and giggles, I was immediately captivated by the fact that I was feeling that same energy, that same passion and the same enthusiasm that for one reason or another, I may have let fall by the wayside … if even an inkling of a moment, I realized being back on Team that I had. Commitments I had made I found falling to the left and right of me.

Yet, this team, so inspirational and they didn’t even realize how they impacted me, opened up my eyes once again to what I had begun to close them too. What I found so amazing though, was although I did not talk, join in, become emotional and the ceilings seemed to become a more familiar focal point, I found myself indirectly being that individual seeing them through these processes. Simply by being there. They would smile at me, would stare at me, and sometimes it was when they wanted to most likely concentrate or focus on something or someone else other than what they were being faced with. I felt that I truly did have an impact, and that I was part of a team that saw them through.

I was reminded, as subtle as could be - my career is what I DO, it is NOT who I AM. Who I am is first, a mother, to a beautiful son who needs his mom home; a woman in a loving relationship, a daughter to an amazing woman who has done so much for me throughout my life. I had that passion in having the ability to differentiate the two; then somehow, I could feel myself twisting it back around … until being On-Team. And I have since untwisted that back to where it needs to be. I have realized that commitments made are commitments kept and yet, avoid overcommiting – otherwise said, don’t let promises sit empty, fill them if you are going to commit to promise to keep them.

I gained back that passion, enthusiasm and energy in a short time. I was reminded just how this class impacted my life, not only through the eyes of others, also by having the opportunity to be a part of something so powerful, so amazing – and most importantly, I was reminded of just how powerful, strong and independent I am as a woman, as a mother, a loved one, a daughter – and with those amazing abilities, to do the best in my career. In that order.

Why Leadership Training Pays Off

financialwalkingBusiness executives are always asking training professionals to justify investing in internal and external training. These decision makers want to understand the return on investment (ROI) as they might with a new software program or a marketing campaign. Many also ask why leadership training? There is enough data available on training, including data on Rapport Leadership’s training, to justify an executive’s investment in their most valuable asset …their people.

To answer these questions, it is important to understand the current global economy. One of the greatest challenges that organizations face in their quest to thrive, is the ability to change. Thousands of companies have failed while others are thriving. The difference is those that are thriving have the ability to adapt and meet the new market realities. The quicker an organization can change, the sooner they are able to thrive. What allows companies to adapt and change is a culture of leadership.

Emeritus Professor of Leadership at Harvard Business School, worldwide speaker, and the author of seven bestselling business books, John P. Kotter states: “Powerful macroeconomic forces are at work here, and these forces may grow even stronger over the next few decades. As a result, more and more organizations will be pushed to reduce costs, improve the quality of products and services, locate new opportunities for growth and increase productivity…..Leadership…creates organizations…and adapts them to significantly changing circumstances.”

In 2008, IBM came to a similar conclusion in its Global Human Capital Study: “More than ever, today’s global organizations are focusing their time and attention on maximizing the value of their workforces. As corporations, nonprofits and government entities are becoming more globally integrated, and as traditional geographic and competitive boundaries disappear, the need to identify, develop and connect talent has never been more critical.”

The study surveyed senior HR executives from 400 companies in 40 different countries. The executives identified the importance of an adaptable workforce that can rapidly respond to changes in the outside market and leadership to guide individuals through change and deliver results. These companies also cited a lack of leadership capability as one of their top workforce challenges.
Successful organizations are acutely aware of the need for leadership development and the numerous benefits of leadership training:

“The goal of leadership is to help people find their voice, where needs in the organization and marketplace overlap with talent, passion and conscience. When people truly find their voice, they don’t need to be supervised; they manage themselves because their motivation is internal rather than external.” ~Stephen Covey

Improved morale: People need to have the feeling they are learning, growing and developing new skills. This keeps them engaged.

Training helps people get connected to their company. To develop and share common goals. They believe more in their company and want it to succeed. When people start moving in the same direction with a common goal, they create a culture that will propel their company to success.

Growth is change, and it will not happen without a shift in culture that changes the way employees work, act, innovate, talk, learn and collaborate. One of the greatest challenges an organization faces is changing its business culture. Training helps organizations create this culture shift by moving people out of their comfort zones and into the leadership behaviors that drive success.

A 2008 leadership training study by Metrika-Phoenix found that leadership training strongly influenced behaviors that improve performance at work. The survey had a higher than 72% response rate, a confidence level of 97.5% and a margin of error less than 5%. Over 92% of training participants reported improvement in the following behaviors:
- Increased understanding of how their behavior impacts other people
- Willingness to take additional risks and push themselves.
- Greater willingness to support others and work as a team.
- They hold themselves and others to higher standards of accountability
- The ability to express more passion and enthusiasm.
- Greater self-confidence and a sense of increased self potential.
- More awareness of the potential in others.
- They are developing better focus on tasks and are getting better at showing initiative.

The only thing that increases productivity within an organization is people. People are the only asset that appreciates in value. People may be developed and their performance improved. All other assets like buildings, equipment and systems deteriorate and depreciate.

Talent shortages require organizations to focus on developing and retaining talent.When employees feel appreciated, they are more likely to stay with a company. Many employees feel training improves their opportunities for advancement and thath they receive the necessary tools to be more effective at work and in their personal lives. “Having employees whose work and personal lives are balanced has tangible benefits—both for the employees and the organization overall—including an increased ability to attract and retain skilled people and higher production, satisfaction, and morale.”~Joan Gurvis

More than ever, it is imperative that organizations continue to invest in their people. The current economic challenges associated with globalization demand that organizations change their approach and develop new leadership skills. It is critical that employees are more focused, confident and effective than ever before. To be effective, successful leaders will partner with outside organizations to develop their skills and serve as role models and mentors.

The ultimate responsibility to develop leadership lies with the entire organization. Effective outside partnerships are not enough. HR departments acting alone are not enough. Potential leaders must be identified and provided with direction, opportunity and guidance in order to develop. When the entire organization understands the benefits of developing leaders and works together, the necessary cultural ingredients to adapt and thrive will exist.

Effective Time Planning in 2 Simple Steps

time management



When my alarm clock goes off each morning, I remember a very interesting analogy: “Imagine you wake up each morning and receive a direct deposit of $86,400. The only rules are you must spend it, and whatever is not used during that 24-hour period is gone forever. What would you do with all that money every single day?” I think about this often and feel the opportunities are endless. I also reflect on the statement “time is more valuable than money.”

Growing up, I didn’t give much thought to time. Now, as a busy professional, post-graduate Rapport Leadership student, I recognize that time is my most precious resource. It cannot be saved, and once it is spent, it cannot be recovered.

The most successful and effective people have the same amount of time as I do, and they manage to write books, run businesses and have a family. When I feel there are not enough hours in the day, I focus on the people who inspire me because they take personal responsibility for their actions and are leaders of their time.

To become a leader of my time and create life balance, I implemented a simple solution to effective time planning.

First, I conducted comprehensive research on work-life balance and discovered the following:

1) Stress-related health problems have increased steadily in workers compensation claims over the past decade.

2) The new economic climate has increased employees’ workload leading to burnout and employee turnover.

3) The issue is not work, which provides sustainability for life; the issue is the belief system that working harder and longer is the solution.

4) The solution to becoming more efficient and achieving balance and peace of mind comes from developing a clear focus and determining one’s highest priorities.

Armed with this information, I put a six-month-old idea into action. The idea was to develop a time planning tool to create balance in all areas of my life by prioritizing and choosing which activities to engage in on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Since I was unclear about my priorities and didn’t know how to balance more than a few areas of my life at once, this tool would provide clarity and direction.

During Rapport Leadership’s Life Mastery course, I learned to set goals in all areas of my life: spiritual, personal, career, recreation, relationship, family, and finances. These seven areas became the foundation for my time planning tool.

Time Leadership in Two Simple Steps

Step One: I create a chart of the seven areas of my life and rank each area based on current priorities. (This may change weekly depending on different circumstances or commitments.) I write down my goals for each area and list the action steps that will help me achieve those goals.

Area of Priority: Ranking high to low: Goals: Actions:

Step Two: I plan the upcoming week based on my priorities. After entering all my commitments and activities, based on my priorities list, I am aware of just how much time I have.

Time Leadership Outcomes

In those weeks that I choose to invest a short amount of time to plan my activities, I achieve the following outcomes.

1) Improved follow-through when I commit to a specific action during a specific time.

2) Enhanced accountability via my weekly planning sheet.

3) Increased productivity professionally and personally.

4) Balance between my regular working hours, volunteer and professional activities, and academic projects.

Since I have begun planning my time based on priorities and goals, I am much more proactive with investing my time. My awareness of how I choose to spend or invest my time has significantly impacted which activities I commit to. Instead of feeling overwhelmed, I feel empowered when I invest a few minutes at the beginning of each week to plan my time based on my priorities.

Planning my time based on my priorities, and setting specific goals is helping me transform my dreams into reality. One of my personal goals is to cross the finish line in a sprint-distance triathlon. Using my time leadership tools, I have chosen an event, committed to a date, and have planned my weekly training sessions to condition my body in time for the race. I am becoming a leader of my time by planning my activities based on my priorities.

I continue to remind myself of the direct deposit analogy of $86,400 and make a daily choice and commitment to invest the 86,400 seconds I have each day, so every day counts. Since implementing this time planning strategy and treating my time as my most valuable resource, I realize the possibilities are endless!