Motivational Stories & Quotes

: Leaders Vs Followers:

When leaders make a mistake, they say, “I was wrong.”
When followers make mistakes, they say, “It wasn’t my fault.”
A leader works harder than a follower and has more time;
a follower is always “too busy” to do what is necessary.
A leader goes through a problem;
a follower goes around it and never gets past it.
A leader makes and keeps commitments;
a follower makes and forgets promises.
A leader says, “I’m good, but not as good as I ought to be;”
a follower says, “I’m not as bad as a lot of other people.”
Leaders listen;
followers just wait until it’s their turn to talk.
Leaders respect those who are superior to them and tries to learn something from them;
followers resent those who are superior to them and try to find chinks in their armor.
Leaders feel responsible for more than their job;
followers say, “I only work here.”
A leader says, “There ought to be a better way to do this;”
followers say, “That’s the way it’s always been done here.”

To Be a Leader
by Dee Bernhardt

To be a leader is to be vulnerable--to meet the disapproving stares of others with the joy and certainty of God's infinite love;

To be a leader is to be imperfect--to enjoy the enriching process of a new challenge with the hope and confidence of the Master;

To be a leader is to be naive--to believe the very best of all people in the love and acceptance of our Savior;

To be a leader is to be trusting--to disregard dire projections of gloom for the joy and creativity of our Creator;

To be a leader is to be honest--to own our sinfulness with the sincerity and authenticity of the Spirit;

To be a leader is to be unique--to accept the wonderful gift of self, in the knowledge and understanding of community;

To be a leader is to be free--to welcome recurring waves of change with the awe and wonder of a child;

To be a leader is to be empowering--to share the exhilarating power of information in the establishment of inter-connectedness;

To be a leader is to be humble--to give the inestimable gift of flexibility with the grace and forgiveness of God;

To be a leader is to be whole--to know the startling reality that I am central, yet peripheral, in God's plan for the world;

To be a leader is to be weak--to understand that I can rest in the hollow of God's hand only in the total yielding and complete trusting of my child's heart.

Story 1:



A philosophy professor stood before his class with some items on the table in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with rocks, about 2 inches in diameter.

He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles, of course, rolled into the open areas between the rocks.

He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else.
He then asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous “Yes.”

“Now,” said the professor, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The rocks are the important things – your family, your partner, your health, your children – things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter – like your job, your house, your car.

The sand is everything else. The small stuff.”

“If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued “there is no room for the pebbles or the rocks. The same goes for your life.

If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take your partner out dancing. There will always be time to go to work, clean the house, give a dinner party and fix the disposal.

Take care of the rocks first – the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”


Story 2

The Lesson of the Homeless Man

It was a cold winter's day that Sunday. The parking lot to the church was filling up quickly. I noticed as I got out of my car fellow church members were whispering among themselves as they walked in the church.

As I got closer I saw a man leaned up against the wall outside the church. He was almost laying down as if he was asleep. He had on a long trench coat that was almost in shreds and a hat topped his head, pulled down so you could not see his face. He wore shoes that looked 30 years old, too small for his feet, with holes all over them, his toes stuck out.

I assumed this man was homeless, and asleep, so I walked on by through the doors of the church.

We all fellowshipped for a few minutes, and someone brought up the man laying outside. People snickered and gossiped but no one bothered to ask him to come in, including me.

A few moments later church began. We all waited for the Preacher to take his place and to give us the Word, when the doors to the church opened.

In came the homeless man walking down the aisle with his head down.

People gasped and whispered and made faces.

He made his way down the aisle and up onto the pulpit where he took off his hat and coat. My heart sank.

There stood our preacher...he was the "homeless man."

No one said a word.

The preacher took his Bible and laid it on his stand.

"Folks, I don't think I have to tell you what I am preaching about today. If you judge people, you have no time to love them."

story 3

Attitude is everything!

Jerry was the kind of guy you love to hate. He was always in a good mood and always had something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would reply, "If I were any better, I would be twins!"

He was a unique manager because he had several waiters who had followed Him around from restaurant to restaurant. The reason the waiters followed Jerry was because of his attitude. He was a natural motivator. If an employee was having a bad day, Jerry was there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation. Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up to Jerry and asked him, "I don't get it! You can't be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?" Jerry replied,

"Each morning I wake up and say to myself, Jerry, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or you can choose to be in a bad mood.' I choose to be in a good mood. Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or I can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or I can point out the positive side of life. I choose the positive side of life."

"Yeah, right, it's not that easy," I protested.

"Yes it is," Jerry said. "Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people will affect your mood. You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. The bottom line: It's your choice how you live life." I reflected on what Jerry said. Soon thereafter, I left the restaurant industry to start my own business. We lost touch, but often thought about him when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to it.

Several years later, I heard that Jerry did something you are never supposed to do in a restaurant business: he left the back door open one morning and was held up at gunpoint by three armed robbers. While trying to open the safe, his hand, shaking from nervousness, slipped off the combination. The robbers panicked and shot him. Luckily, Jerry was found relatively quickly and rushed to the local trauma center. After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Jerry was released from the hospital with fragments of the bullets still in his body. I saw Jerry about six months after the accident. When I asked him how he was, he replied, "If I were any better, I'd be twins.

Wanna see my scars?"

I declined to see his wounds, but did ask him what had gone through his mind as the robbery took place. "The first thing that went through my mind was that I should have locked the back door," Jerry replied. "Then, as I lay on the floor, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live, or I could choose to die. I chose to live.

"Weren't you scared? Did you lose consciousness?" I asked. Jerry continued, "The paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the emergency room and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read, 'He's a dead man.

" I knew I needed to take action."

"What did you do?" I asked.

"Well, there was a big, burly nurse shouting questions at me," said Jerry. "She asked if I was allergic to anything. 'Yes,' I replied. The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled, 'Bullets!' Over their laughter, I told them, 'I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead."

Jerry lived thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude. I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully. Attitude, after all, is everything.

Big Rocks

A while back I was reading about an expert on subject of time management.

One day this expert was speaking to a group of business students and, to drive home a point, used an illustration I'm sure those students will never forget. After I share it with you, you'll never forget it either.

As this man stood in front of the group of high-powered overachievers he said, "Okay, time for a quiz." Then he pulled out a one-gallon, wide-mouthed mason jar and set it on a table in front of him. Then he produced about a dozen fist-sized rocks and carefully placed them, one at a time, into the jar.

When the jar was filled to the top and no more rocks would fit inside, he asked, "Is this jar full?"

Everyone in the class said, "Yes."

Then he said, "Really?" He reached under the table and pulled out a bucket of gravel. Then he dumped some gravel in and shook the jar causing pieces of gravel to work themselves down into the spaces between the big rocks.

Then he smiled and asked the group once more, "Is the jar full?" By this time the class was onto him.

"Probably not," one of them answered.

"Good!" he replied. And he reached under the table and brought out a bucket of sand. He started dumping the sand in and it went into all the spaces left between the rocks and the gravel. Once more he asked the question, "Is this jar full?"

"No!" the class shouted.

Once again he said, "Good!" Then he grabbed a pitcher of water and began to pour it in until the jar was filled to the brim. Then he looked up at the class and asked, "What is the point of this illustration?"

One eager beaver raised his hand and said, "The point is, no matter how full your schedule is, if you try really hard, you can always fit some more things into it!"

"No," the speaker replied, "that's not the point. The truth this illustration teaches us is: If you don't put the big rocks in first, you'll never get them in at all."

The title of this letter is The "Big Rocks" of Life. What are the big rocks in your life? A project that YOU want to accomplish? Time with your loved ones? Your faith, your education, your finances? A cause? Teaching or mentoring others? Remember to put these BIG ROCKS in first or you'll never get them in at all.


Empowering an Enthusiastic Team

Help each other be right -- not wrong.
Look for ways to make new ideas work - not reasons the won't.
If in doubt, check it out! Don't make negative assumptions.
Help each other win and take pride in everyone's victories!
Speak positively about each other and about your organization at every opportunity.
Maintain a positive mental attitude, no matter what the circumstances.
Act with initiative and courage as if it all depends on you.
Do everything with enthusiasm - it's contagious!
Whatever you want, give it away.
Don't lose faith - never give up!
When things go wrong - laugh and learn!
Have fun!


Enabling: a destructive form of helping

We rescue anytime we take responsibility for another person's thoughs, feelings, decisions, behaviors, growth, well-being, problems, or destiny. The following constitute a rescuing or caretaking move:

-Doing something we really don't want to do.
-Saying yes when we mean no.
-Doing something for someone although that person is capable of and should be doing it for him or herself.
-Meeting people's needs without being asked and before we've agreed to do so.
-Doing more than a fair share of work after our help is requested.
-Consistently giving more than we receive in a particular situation.
-Fixing people's feelings.
-Doing people's thinking for them.
-Speaking for another person.
-Suffering people's consequences for them.
-Solving people's problems for them.
-Putting more interest and activity into a joint effort than the other person does.
-Not asking for what we want, need, and desire.

The Man in the Glass- (Honesty)

When you get what you want in your struggle for self
And the world makes you king for a day,
Just go to a mirror and look at yourself,
And see what that man has to say.

For it isn't your father or mother or wife,
Who judgement upon you must pass;
The fellow whose verdict counts most in your life
Is the one starring back from the glass.

He's the fellow to please, never mind all the rest.
For he's with you clear up to the end,
And you've passed the most dangerous, difficult test
If the man in the glass is your friend.

You may fool the whole world down the pathway of years.
And get pats on the back as you pass,
But your final reward will be the heartaches and tears
If you've cheated the man in the glass.

- Dale Wimbrow

My skin is kind of sort of brownish
Pinkish yellowish white.
My eyes are grayish blueish green,
But I'm told they look orange in the night.
My hair is reddish blondish brown,
But it's silver when it's wet.
And all the colors I am inside
Have not been invented yet.

-Shel Silverstein


To laugh is to risk appearing the fool. To weep is to risk being called sentimental. To reach out to another is to risk involvement. To expose feelings is to risk showing your true self. To place your ideas and your dreams before a crowd is to risk being called naive. To love is to risk not being loved in return. To live is to risk dying. To hope is to risk dispair, and to try is to risk failure. But risks must be taken, because the greatest risk in life is to risk nothing. The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing, and becomes nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn and feel and change and grow and love and live. Chained by things that are certain, he is a slave. He has forefeited his freedom. Only the person who risks is truly free.


Don't waste your life in doubts and fears: spend yourself on the work before you, well assured that the right performance of this hour's duties will be the best preparation for the hours or ages that follow it.Ralph Waldo Emerson

No longer forward nor behind
I look in hope and fear;
But grateful take the good I find,
The best of now and here.

John G. Whittier

It is not work that kills men, it is worry. Work is healthy; you can hardly put more on a man than he can bear. But worry is rust upon the blade. It is not movement that destroys the machinery, but friction.
Henry Ward Beecher

Be just, and fear not.
Let all the ends thou aim'st at be thy country's,
Thy God's and truth's.

William Shakespeare

Never let life's hardships disturb you ... no one can avoid problems, not even saints or sages.
Nichiren Daishonen

Ask yourself this question:
"Will this matter a year from now?"
Richard Carlson, writing in Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

Do not follow where the path may lead.
Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

Harold R. McAlindon
(also attributed to Emerson and others)

Leadership: The art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

There go the people.
I must follow them for I am their leader.

Alexandre Ledru-Rollin

Motivational Quotations

It was a high counsel that I once heard given to a young person, "Always do what you are afraid to do."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Take calculated risks.
That is quite different from being rash.
George S. Patton
Storms make oaks take roots.

If you do not hope, you will not find what is beyond your hopes.
St. Clement of Alexandra
We are all inventors, each sailing out on a voyage of discovery, guided each by a private chart, of which there is no duplicate. The world is all gates, all opportunities.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Seek the lofty by reading, hearing and seeing great work at some moment every day.
Thornton Wilder
The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible.
Arthur C. Clarke
Without inspiration the best powers of the mind remain dormant. There is a fuel in us which needs to be ignited with sparks.
Johann Gottfried Von Herder
And all may do what has by man been done.
Edward Young
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.
Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us.
Samuel Smiles
Work spares us from three evils: boredom, vice, and need.
If the wind will not serve,
take to the oars.
Destitutus ventis, remos adhibe
Latin Proverb
Men's best successes come after their disappointments.
Henry Ward Beecher
You cannot plough a field by
turning it over in your mind.

Author Unknown
The best way out is always through.
Robert Frost
Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot; but make it hot by striking.
William B. Sprague
Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome.
Samuel Johnson
Fortune favors the brave.
Publius Terence
When the best things are not possible, the best may be made of those that are. - Richard Hooker
He who hesitates is lost.
If you want to succeed in the world must make your own opportunities as you go on. The man who waits for some seventh wave to toss him on dry land will find that the seventh wave is a long time a coming. You can commit no greater folly than to sit by the roadside until some one comes along and invites you to ride with him to wealth or influence.
John B. Gough
Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.
Albert Einstein
Believe with all of your heart that you will do what you were made to do.
Orison Swett Marden
Knowing is not enough; we must apply.
Willing is not enough; we must do.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
We are still masters of our fate.
We are still captains of our souls.

Winston Churchill
Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
For hope is but the dream
of those that wake.

Matthew Prior
Constant dripping hollows out a stone.
Nothing contributes so much to tranquilize the mind as a steady purpose--
a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye.

Mary Shelley