In a recent panel discussion for the local chapter of ATD, a participant asked for a list of what she called “Ralphisms” – evidently, I’ve become somewhat famous for always having a catchy phrase or saying at the ready, accumulated through the years and intended to both shift people’s thinking and be easy to remember.

While not conceding they’ve become an actual thing, I’m happy to share a sampling of such phrases and sayings – such Ralphisms, as it were.

  1. Slow down to go faster. Take the time each year, week, day, and moment to gather yourself and to be intentional.
  2. What we focus on expands. Focus on the outcomes you want, not the problems you have.
  3. Be a storyteller. Effective communication and connection happen through stories.
  4. When you have the choice to be right or kind, always choose kind (from “A Course in Miracles”).
  5. Get out of your own way. Many of life’s limitations are self-imposed.
  6. Take what you do seriously, but take yourself less seriously.
  7. The only way out is through. Don’t bury things; fully process your thoughts and emotions.
  8. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Too often we are indirect and unclear with our messaging.
  9. Don’t let your ego get in the way of what’s best for the enterprise. “The name on the front of the jersey is more important than the name on the back.” – Herb Brooks
  10. If you want to change a result, you must go upstream and first change the thought. “The ancestor to every action is a thought.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  11. Be present, kind, curious, and helpful. Keep your life plan simple; it is easier to remember.
  12. This or something better.” Resistance to what happens is mitigated by subscribing to this belief.

Feel free to adopt any or all of these sayings if they help you stay focused and centered. For more information – or if you just want more Ralphisms, contact me at ralph@getemergent.com . . . because every journey begins with a first step.

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  1. Robert Napoletano on November 1, 2022 at 9:38 am

    Thank you so much for sharing. Each one has a place in every leader’s repertoire. These would make for a great pocket guide. With a little more background and some illustrations it would make a great gift to leaders young and old.

  2. Ralph Bott on November 30, 2022 at 9:12 am

    I like them all and have heard them said by Ralph over the years. My favorite that applies to so much is “slow down to go faster.”

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