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 –

Do Something Courageous Every Day

You are worthy of your dream. You have all the gifts you need, and you have the capacity to develop, the skills needed to realize your dream. But it won’t fall on your lap. You’ll have to chase it relentlessly, and you’ll have to do things outside your comfort zone, to reach it.

Get in the habit of doing one courageous thing each day. One thing outside your comfort zone each day. It only takes 30 seconds of courage, to do something courageous. And every time you do, you become mentally stronger, bolder, and more capable of achieving great things.

Don’t focus on the results. Just focus on the action. Sometimes your acts of courage will not result in anything, but when they do, they’re usually home runs.

Think of your acts of courage as being at bat in a baseball game, and swinging hard and fast for the home run. Babe Ruth struck out a lot, but he also hit a lot of home runs.

People call me lucky, but I’ve always been willing to take chances, to make the most out of life’s opportunities.


Here are some examples of some wild shots I’ve taken, and how they turned out:

1 – Even though I was always the last kid picked to play sports in PE, when I found out Houston Baptist University, had an NCAA Division I soccer team, I tried out for the team.

     How did it turn out?
When I tried out for the soccer team not only did I make the team, but I got a full scholarship.


2 – When I decided I wanted to do the luge, but didn’t even know where the luge track was, I wrote Sports Illustrated and asked them.

      How did it turn out?
Sports Illustrated wrote me back, and even sent me a picture of The Luge Man. They told me the track was in Lake Placid.


3 – When Sports Illustrated said the track was in Lake Placid, New York, I immediately called the US Luge Federation, and asked them if they would train me.

     How did it turn out?
The guy in Lake Placid laughed at me, but finally agreed to let me train with the US Team.


4 – When I saw there were only three doubles luge sleds signed up for the St. Moritz World Cup, I quickly found a partner and a sled and raced.

     How did it turn out?
When we raced in the doubles luge race in St. Moritz, we got 4th place medals, got our picture in the paper, and ended up being ranked 14th in the world in doubles luge that year. Because of this, I was allowed to carry the flag in the Closing Ceremonies at the Calgary Olympics.


5 – Even though I had not yet qualified to compete in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, I bought non-refundable airline tickets for myself and my family to Vancouver.

     How did it turn out?
Later in the day, after I had bought the airline tickets to Vancouver, I found out that Norway would not be sending their three athletes, and because of that I would get to go to the Olympics.


6 – When the principal at the school I spoke for said, I should be a professional speaker, I quit my job 3 days later and started a speaking business.

      How did it turn out?
When I quit my job and started a speaking business, I was the only breadwinner, so overnight we lost all out income. We also lost our health insurance. But I worked my tail off and slowly but surely was able to build an incredible business. Today, companies regularly pay me $15,000 for a one hour presentation.


7 – Even though I made Cs in English I wrote several books.

      How did it turn out?
Although I made Cs in English, I went ahead and wrote several books. I had A students fix my poor grammar, and my books have been translated to over 10 languages. My books have opened up speaking opportunities in Dubai, Switzerland, France, Poland, Singapore, South Africa, Colombia, Mexico, Canada, Sweden, and all over the US.


8 – I spent a week contacting 100 top authors and speakers for testimonials for my book, even though I was completely unknown.
I made a list of every top speaker and author, found their websites and called them one by one.

     How did it turn out?
About 20 of the 100 authors I contacted gave me glowing testimonials. Jack Canfield included three of my stories, in his “The Success Principles” book. That,s led to several speaking engagements as well.


9 – After a speaking engagement in Houston, I met Lou Holtz’s daughter by chance. Once I knew who she was, I gave her several of my books and CDs and asked her to pass them on to her dad to see if he would endorse them.

     How did it turn out?
Lou Holtz’s daughter gave my books and CDs to her dad and he wrote me a glowing testimonial. A couple of years ago I spoke for Wolters Kluwer, a huge Danish company. When I asked their CEO how they had heard of me he said, “Lou Holtz spoke for us last year, and he said we needed to bring you in to speak for us.”

10 – When the Get Motivated Seminars with Zig Ziglar, Rudy Giuliani, and Norman Schwartzkoff came to Houston, at an arena that seated 20,000 people, I found the owner of the seminar, and sold myself to him. I’d only been speaking for 6 months at that time.

     How did it turn out?
When I was at the Get Motivated seminar in Houston I was able to find their owner, Peter Lowe. I told Peter my story would give his audiences hope, and that they would get really fired up. I followed up once a month for a year and a half. Then all of a sudden they started hiring me to speak at huge seminars all over the US. I got to share the stage with Zig Ziglar over 25 times because of that. That’s opened up countless doors.


Does this work every time? Of course not. But when it works it works great.
You’ll need some home runs to realize your dream.

So start shooting for the moon. Start going for the Gold. You’ll be glad you did.


To learn how to transform your life check this out –

40 Minute Podcast by Ruben

Yesterday I was interviewed for a British podcast. I usually don’t do radio interviews anymore but I had a feeling this would be a fun one so I accepted it. You can listen to the 40 minute show here. Enjoy!


Olympic Motivational Speaker Ruben Gonzalez


Pass It On Movie

Pass It On Poster

“Pass It On” featured in the 2007 Sundance Film Festival

“Pass It On” was a movie about what it takes to succeed in business and in life.

It’s like reading 100 success bios in 2 hours. So many nuggets you won’t be able to take notes fast enough. Enjoy.

Watch the whole movie on YouTube here.


Olympic Motivational Speaker Ruben Gonzalez

Don’t Settle for Second Best


Dean Cardinale fighting avalanches in the Rocky Mountains

What are you willing to do to create a magnificent life? Are you willing to make tough choices? I have news for you. You’ll either pay the price of discipline by following your heart or you’ll pay the price of regret.

You only live once. What do you want to do? Are you moving towards it?

When I was young I had no idea what I wanted to do for a living. My parents wanted me to be a doctor and I liked science, so I studied pre-med in college. My heart was not in it. Neither were my grades. But I went on to get degrees in chemistry and biology. Actually worked in a chemical lab the last two years while in school. As soon as I graduated, I quit my job in the lab and started waiting tables.

My parents wanted to kill me. But after working in that lab, waiting tables was like a breath of fresh air. My station at the restaurant was a little like my own business. The better I took care of my guests, the more I earned.

After a few years I got into sales and in 2002 I became a professional speaker. I would not trade what I do for anything in the world. The speaking business fits me like a glove.

And I’m saving lives every day by NOT being a doctor. Believe me, you don’t want me operating on you.

So what’s the point? The point is that you’ll never be at your best unless you are doing something that fits you.

My friend Dean Cardinale has a similar story. He got his engineering degree and worked as an engineer for 4 months. After 4 months he realized engineering wasn’t for him. So he quit his job and waited tables at the Sunbird Ski Resort in Utah. Dean’s parents wanted to kill him too. They actually disowned him for a long time. But read on to learn how Dean’s decision helped him get to the top of the world.

(By the way, Dean was my guide when we climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro a few years ago)

Don’t settle for second best. (article about Dean’s quest for his dream)


Olympic Motivational Speaker Ruben Gonzalez