17 Inches – by Chris Sperry

john scolinos

Coach John Scolinos

Years ago, in Nashville, Tennessee, during the first week of January, 1996, more than 4,000 baseball coaches descended upon the Opryland Hotel for the 52nd annual ABCA’s convention.

While I waited in line to register with the hotel staff, I heard other more veteran coaches rumbling about the lineup of speakers scheduled to present during the weekend.  One name, in particular, kept resurfacing, always with the same sentiment — “John Scolinos is here? Oh, man, worth every penny of my airfare.”

Who is John Scolinos, I wondered.  No matter; I was just happy to be there.

In 1996, Coach Scolinos was 78 years old and five years retired from a college coaching career that began in 1948.  He shuffled to the stage to an impressive standing ovation, wearing dark polyester pants, a light blue shirt, and a string around his neck from which home plate hung — a full-sized, stark-white home plate.

Seriously, I wondered, who is this guy?

Continue reading

Tribal Leadership



I’m reading a terrific book called “Tribal Leadership.”

It’s about moving people in organizations from a “Me” mentality to a “We” mentality.

It explains how people that focus on personal achievements don’t build legacy. Only people that focus on things bigger than themselves build legacy. Counterintuitive but true.

It’s made me realize that all the “cool” stuff I got to do (Olympics, adventure travel, etc.) was just school for learning the principles of success.

Once I shifted gears and started sharing the principles through my books, posts and presentations – once I shifted my focus on helping others succeed – THATS when I can create something bigger than myself and leave a legacy through the ripple effect created by the people who apply what I teach.

It turns out that the best and most effective organizations (business, non-profit, schools, etc.) have moved their people to sincerely thinking about what’s best for the team and by doing so they thrive and everyone feels better and have more fun.

Great read wether you are the CEO of a multinational corporation or a sole practitioner like myself.


Make it an Olympic day!

Ruben Gonzalez – www.FourWinterGames.com

Nelson Mandela Quotes


Nelson Mandela – “Madiba”

Nelson Mandela died today. A great leader. Below are some of his quotes. A very good book about Mandela’s leadership style is “Mandela’s Way,” by Richard Stengel

“If I had my time over I would do the same again, so would any man who dares call himself a man.”

(After being convicted to five years hard labor, November 1962)

“I was made, by the law, a criminal, not because of what I had done, but because of what I stood for, because of what I thought, because of my conscience.”

(Statement during trial, 1962)

“I can only say that I felt morally obliged to do what I did.”

(At the opening of his trial, April 20, 1964)

“Social equality is the only basis of human happiness.”

“Difficulties break some men but make others.”

(From a letter to wife, Winnie Mandela, from Robben Island, February 1975)

“I came to accept that I have no right whatsoever to judge others in terms of my own customs.”

“Great anger and violence can never build a nation. We are striving to proceed in a manner and towards a result, which will ensure that all our people, both black and white, emerge as victors.” (Speech to European Parliament, 1990)

“Without democracy there cannot be peace.”

“We are fighting for a society where people will cease thinking in terms of colour.”

“When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace.”

“Reconciliation means working together to correct the legacy of past injustice.”

“I can rest only for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not yet ended.”

“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”

“If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.”

“Man’s goodness is a flame that can be hidden but never extinguished.”

“Real leaders must be ready to sacrifice all for the freedom of their people.”

“It is never my custom to use words lightly. If twenty-seven years in prison have done anything to us, it was to use the silence of solitude to make us understand how precious words are and how real speech is in its impact on the way people live and die.”

“When people are determined they can overcome anything.”



Olympic Motivational Speaker Ruben Gonzalez

Napoleon Bonaparte Quotes Are Filled with Wisdom

Painting : Napoleon at Fontainbleau

Napoleon Bonaparte


“The word impossible is not in my dictionary.”


“Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.”


“Great ambition is the passion of a great character.”


“Death is nothing, but to live defeated and inglorious is to die daily”


“A leader is a leader in hope.”


“A man will fight harder for his interests than for his rights.”


“Imagination rules the world.”


“I am sometimes a fox and sometimes a lion. The whole secret of government lies in knowing when to be the one and when to be the other.”


“The people to fear are not those who disagree with you, but those who disagree with you and are too cowardly to let you know.”


“A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon.”


“If you want a thing done well, do it yourself.”


“Men are moved by two levers only: fear and self interest.”


“The best way to keep one’s word is not to give it.”


“You must not fight too often with one enemy, or you will teach him all your art of war.”


“Among those who dislike oppression are many who like to oppress.”


“History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon.”


“Soldiers generally win battles; generals get credit for them.”


“The battlefield is a scene of constant chaos. The winner will be the one who controls that chaos, both his own and the enemies.”


“There are only two forces in the world, the sword and the spirit. In the long run the sword will always be conquered by the spirit.”


“Throw off your worries when you throw off your clothes at night.”


“One must change one’s tactics every ten years if one wishes to maintain one’s superiority.”


“Power is my mistress. I have worked too hard at her conquest to allow anyone to take her away from me.”


“He who fears being conquered is sure of defeat.”


“The truest wisdom is a resolute determination.”


“Victory belongs to the most persevering.”


“It requires more courage to suffer than to die.”


“Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in.”


“Men are more easily governed through their vices than through their virtues.”


“The strong man is the one who is able to intercept at will the communication between the senses and the mind.”


“Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever.”


“He who knows how to flatter also knows how to slander.”


“I can no longer obey; I have tasted command, and I cannot give it up.”


“The torment of precautions often exceeds the dangers to be avoided. It is sometimes better to abandon one’s self to destiny.”


“The first virtue in a soldier is endurance of fatigue; courage is only the second virtue.”


“Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets.”


“The herd seek out the great, not for their sake but for their influence; and the great welcome them out of vanity or need.”


“To do all that one is able to do, is to be a man; to do all that one would like to do, is to be a god.”


“It is the cause, not the death, that makes the martyr.”


“Ten people who speak make more noise than ten thousand who are silent.”


“You must not fear death, my lads; defy him, and you drive him into the enemy’s ranks.”


Olympic Motivational Speaker Ruben Gonzalez

General Patton Quotes



“A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week.”

“A pint of sweat will save a gallon of blood.”

“By perseverance, study, and eternal desire, any man can become great.”

“Do everything you ask of those you command.”

“Do more than is required of you.”

“Good tactics can save even the worst strategy. Bad tactics will destroy even the best strategy.”

Continue reading