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 –

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.”

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Ruben’s Beliefs

“You will never achieve anything great in life unless you dare to believe that something inside you is bigger than the circumstances you face. My mission is to give others hope and to equip them for greatness.”

Ruben Gonzalez

  Achieving Greatness

Great people were not born great. They became great by making a decision to pursue their dream in life and by refusing to give up. The struggle we must all face on the road to our dreams is what makes us great. Ordinary people can become extraordinary if they dedicate their lives to the pursuit of their dreams.

“The harder the conflict, the more glory in overcoming it.” – Thomas Paine


  Living Your Life as an Adventure

Deep down in every heart is the desire to be somebody, to do something great.

In the third Grade I had the call, the beckoning, an inner longing to go to the Olympics. To strike out on an adventure. I refused the call out of fear, out of a low self image, out of lack of belief that I could ever be an Olympian. At age 21 I overcame my fears and I accepted the call.

What was the difference? How did I change? What gave me courage? The books I read and the people I consistently associated with.

Refusal of the call would have been devastating. Those who refuse the call can never be heroes. They are destined to live with regret. A life with no peak experiences. A life of quiet desperation.


You will never achieve anything great in life unless you dare to believe that something inside you is bigger than the circumstances you face.

When we think about or dreams, it is like a call to arms. A call to take an adventurous journey. The spiritual journey takes us inward and downward to face the hardest realities of our lives. We must understand and acknowledge that the enemy is within – fear of failure. Accepting the call requires courage. Courage is not the absence of fear. It is acting in spite of fear.

Action is the proof of your courage. Courage is going against the odds, against popular opinion. It’s doing what most people aren’t willing to do. Having the heart to choose your own course of action. And taking responsibility when you fail or stumble. With Courage you can do almost anything. Without it even a brilliant person accomplishes little.

“This country was founded and built by people with great dreams and the courage to take great risks.” – Ronald Reagan

  Pursuing Your Dream

We were designed and created for extraordinary achievement. God puts a dream in your heart. God gives you all the gifts, talents, and hidden resources you’ll need to make your dream come true. It is up to you to do the work. It is up to each one of us to decide to make the journey, put ourselves through the struggle, pursue our dreams. When we are struggling we will dig deep inside us and only then will we find our gifts.

“I am not discouraged, because every failure is another step forward.” – Thomas Edison

  Pushing Beyond Self-imposed Limitations

Conditioning our minds for extraordinary achievement is simple but it takes time. The road to huge successes in all areas of your life can be broken down to five steps. What you tell yourself influences what your beliefs and thoughts are. Your thoughts determine what you do. What you do repeatedly becomes your habits. Your habits determine your results.

If you are not happy with your results, change what you say to yourself and surround yourself with people who support and encourage the quest for your dream. If you do that, before long you’ll be getting different results.


  Risk Taking

You win by taking the journey. After taking the journey you will never be the same again. Life itself is about getting knocked down and getting back up and trying again. Jump and find your wings on the way down!

I dare you to take the journey. To think bigger, act bigger and to be bigger. And I promise you a richer and more exciting life if you do. The world is filled with opportunity and the rewards for the daring are great. Focus on the objective, not the obstacles.

“To win without risk is to triumph without glory.” – Pierre Corneille


You will face a challenge, a struggle on the way to your dream. When it comes, look it squarely in the eye and say, “I will be bigger than you. You cannot defeat me.”

Not quitting on the way to the goal transforms us. It’s about who we become by taking the journey. The Olympics are about all that is right about the human spirit. The Olympics showcase a group of people who were willing to go for it. People who refused to quit when the going got tough. I only made it because I refused to quit.

“It’s not whether you get knocked down. It’s whether you get up again.” – Vince Lombardi

  Decision Making

When you are on a quest for your dream decision making is simple. All you do is ask yourself  which choice gets you closer to your dream. You are the dream. Whenever you choose to do something that keeps you from your dream, you are not being true to yourself.


Would you follow someone you don’t trust? Of course not! Therefore, leadership rule #1 is to be a person of integrity. To be absolutely trustworthy.

The other thing is to be Passionate about your mission. Most people are afraid to show passion for what they believe. Being passionate about your dream will set you apart from the crowd because 95% of people are afraid to show passion for anything.

If you are trustworthy and passionate about your cause, you will attract followers. You will become a person of influence, which is what leadership is all about.


Success is not about how much talent you have. It’s about what you do with the talent you do have. Successful people love the battle, the challenge, the journey. It’s not about the outcome. It’s about knowing that you did the best you could to become the best of what you were capable. If you give it your all, you can hold your head up no matter what the outcome.

“If a man has done his best, what else is there?” – George S. Patton


Olympic Motivational Speaker Ruben Gonzalez