Confucius philosophical leadership learning: The Great Learning!

What the Great Learning teaches is: to illustrate illustrious virtue; to renovate the people; and to rest in the highest excellence.

The point where to rest being known, the object of pursuit is then determined; and, that being determined, an unperturbed calmness may be attained to.

tglTo that calmness there will succeed a tranquil repose. In that repose there may be careful deliberation, and that deliberation will be followed by the attainment of the desired end.

Things have their root and their branches. Affairs have their end and their beginning. To know what is first and what is last will lead near to what is taught in the Great Learning.

The ancients who wished to illustrate illustrious virtue throughout the world, first ordered well their own States.

Wishing to order well their States, they first regulated their families.

Wishing to regulate their families, they first cultivated their persons.

Wishing to cultivate their persons, they first rectified their hearts.

Wishing to rectify their hearts, they first sought to be sincere in their thoughts.

Wishing to be sincere in their thoughts, they first extended to the utmost of their knowledge.

Such extension of knowledge lay in the investigation of things.

Things being investigated, knowledge became complete.

Their knowledge being complete, their thoughts were sincere.

Their thoughts being sincere, their hearts were then rectified.

Their hearts being rectified, their persons were cultivated.

Their persons being cultivated, their families were regulated.

Their families being regulated, their States were rightly governed.

Their States being rightly governed, the entire world was at peace.

From the Son of Heaven down to the mass of the people, all must consider the cultivation of the person the root of everything besides.

It cannot be, when the root is neglected, that what should spring from it will be well ordered.

It never has been the case that what was of great importance has been slightly cared for, and, at the same time, that what was of slight importance has been greatly cared for.

Confucius, The Great Learning.

Hell: ‘Whatever you fear most…’ an oustanding Edwidge Danticat’s folk story!

I am reading Edwige Danticat. Her recent memoir “Brother, I’m dying” is amazing. She tells her family story in poignant way. She combines her story with the story of her dad, her uncle, her countries, her travels, her neighborhood, her free herself, and to free us as well to tell our own story, and to live the life we want.

She used the power of words to include  folktales, stories that she heard from her parents to make good learning lessons from life.

“Hell” is one of those stories told by Danticat’s Granmè Melina.

12501577_114057308995588_315286960_n(1)Here is the story. Enjoy… And share with friends, fans, and family.

A man, one day fell asleep and woke up in a foreign land where he knew no one and no one knew him. Finding himself on his back in the middle of a dirt road, filled with strangers, he looked up at the blurry faces around him, which were framed by a gloomy gray sky, and asked, “Where am I?”

“You’re where you are,” answered a booming voice.

“Where’s that?” he asked.

“Where you need to be,” replied the voice.

“I din’t ask to be here,” the man said, “wherever it is.”

“No matter how you ended up here,” said the voice, “here you are.”

Tired about the roundabout conversation, the man said, “I want you to tell me right now where I am. If you don’t, I’m going to be angry.”

“Who cares about your anger?” answered the voice. “No one is scared of you here.”

Truly upset now, the man said, “Tell me where I am right now!”

“You are in Hell,” replied the voice.

And since these were long time ago, the man didn’t know what hell was, even though he could already see that it was not a happy place.

“What is hell?” he asked.

“Hell”, replied the voice, “is whatever you fear most.”

A story told by Edwige Dandicat in “Brother, I’m dying.” Thanks again Edwige to share with us the power of words and storytelling.

Roosevelt Jean-Francois

Fulbright Scholar, Connector, Speaker




Remember your story, carry your story, and tell your story!

“I hope that you will always remember your story, and that you will carry your story with you as proudly as I carry mine.” First Lady Michele Obama told a graduating class of 100 students, giving the commencement address to Santa Fe Indian School.

Mrs Obama

She personalized the history of the African American experience, and shared her family’s roots in 19th century American chattel slavery. Her remarks seemed geared toward moving beyond a sense of connection between her and the audience, which was already palpable in the hall, to something deeper, something more akin to identification.

I am the great-great-granddaughter of Jim Robinson, who was born in South Carolina, lived as a slave and is likely buried in an unmarked grave on the plantation where he worked.

I am the great-granddaughter of Fraser Robinson, an illiterate houseboy who taught himself to read and became an entrepreneur—selling newspapers and shoes.

She spoke of values, claiming the shared values of respect, perseverance and integrity, three of the ten core values of the Santa Fe Indian School. She remarked on the hopeful, positive trajectory of the school and the accomplishments of its students.

Our story is about who we are. When we talk about our experiences, what we see, feel, do, fear, like with our own words, we create our own life.

Don’t try to be the next so and so. Be the first you. Remember your story, carry your story, and tell your story.

Your story makes you you.






Bill Gates & Warren Buffet: 25 years of friendship, learning and laughing through stories and building memories!

I enjoyed reading Bill Gates’s recent notes published online to mark the anniversary of his 25th friendship anniversary with Warren Buffet.

Bill Gates said this friendship has changed his life for the better in every imaginable way.

He has learned to learn more and laugh more by telling stories and building memories.

Bill met Warren on July 5, 1991 through his parent’s connections. Warren started the conversation by asking questions.

“These were amazingly good questions that nobody had ever asked,” Bill said describing Warren as “modest” and “funny.”

It was a deep friendship from this very first conversation.

Warren nurtures friendship. This is the most important thing Gates has learned from Buffet over the last 25 years. He’s gifted at investing in people. He makes it fun for them to learn from him.

“Everyone should be lucky enough to have a friend who is as thoughtful and kind as Warren. He goes out of his way to make people feel good about themselves and share his joy about life,” Gates noted.

This was originally published at

Roosevelt Jean-Francois is a connector. He blogs, speaks, and coaches on leadership, success, business, economy, personal and organizational development.

Going to COSTO with Marijo: A Saturday morning Story!

I was asking myself, in my mind, what am I doing here with Marijo this early Saturday morning. I would have been better staying home reading, or just chilling, or catching up on some more Saturday morning lazy sleep, instead of this unplanned randonnee tour.

Marijo is my backseat driver. She has been the one for almost 30 years. Now, she got helped with SIRI, that virtual lady from google map who supplied for road destinations. But, Marijo is still the one who is in charge of speed, lanes switch, reckless driving, lights etc…

And that’s what she did this Saturday morning on our way to Costco on Davie by I-595, the interstate road which goes from East to West Broward County in South East Florida.

She was on her phone, talking, texting, and updating. She is more in the calling and talking mode. She called  “her” people one after another. Her eyes are on the road pointing her finger to the next left lane.

“Take this lane, this is where we need to turn,” she said distancing the phone from herself.

I’m listening to my July audios from life stream.

Since this morning, I have already listened to Orrin Woodward, Dan Hawkins, Thierry & Marie-Maude Laplanche, Frank and Courtney Cox, Chris Brady. Outstanding audio training content on building compensated communities which is what I do.

I got to Costco’s parking lot and tried to find a parking place as close to the entrance as possible.

We got off the car. Marijo picked a cart. She’s still talking on her phone pressing it between her right ear and her shoulder. She gave command of the cart to me. That’s the way. I am the pusher and will follow her while she is picking up the items from the aisles.

Costco is huge. I saw the difference from our local Publix or neighborhood Walmart. Costco is a family affair:  mom, dad, and the kids. Granpa and Granma as well. The very small kids enjoy free rides on top of the cart looking at mom pushing, and balancing their little feet, waiving to whoever is paying attention to them.

Marijo knew where the things she needs are: cereals, cooking oil, tissue, etc…

I followed her. When she stopped, I stopped. When she moved forward, I moved forward.

I am observing.

Costco’s first bestselling product is MEMBERSHIP:  Executive, Gold, Business. Costco’s second bestselling product is credit card. Your Costco Visa Credit Card will earn you special discounts and reward points.  Those are intangibles. Products we can’t physically touch.

For those who read my lips, I see the enticements to the financial matrix to buy things on credit that you will have to pay later with interests and fees, as it is coined by best-selling author Orrin Woodward.

I am pushing the cart and taking my time to read labels on those real physical products that the common of mortals thinks COSTCO sells.

This aisle is about cereals.  Kellogg’s has brain raisin, red berries, frosted flakes. They are all special and original.

Next aisle is led by Kirkland brand. Everything here is organic. The one that kept my attention was the “Kirkland Organic Extra Virgin.“

My eyes glanced on that “Organic Extra Virgin” grain (different from extra virgin organ) to see Taste Purity from the Smarter water, a blue plastic water bottle in the water section.

I lost Marijo. While I was studying the labeling on some products, she was on her way searching for other items.

I went on tasting samples of foods, fruits, drinks etc… I tasted everything offered to be tasted. As soon as, I saw a small kiosk offering small cups of things, here I was…  In some cases, I had two… “That is good. Can I have another one,” I asked. And the employees mostly replied with one word “sure.”

Marijo managed to find me. She, too, was testing. She brought me a cup of raisin samples, and melons.

She took the cart and told me to reach her at the counter when I’m done.

I visited the book’s section glancing at some titles, and reading back covers of the recent Ronald Reagan’s biography and other history books.

Next, I stayed at the electronics… and the watches. I tried on some watches (Invicta, Bulova etc…) Those big and heavy watches are cool.

Then, I went to the counter to reach Marijo. I din’t see her.

I looked over again and again through those long lines where people and their full carts are waited to pay.

She was sitting across on the bench where mostly men, and some tired grand parents usually sit while their wives are shopping.

When I saw her, she laughed, poking fun at me.

I laughed and told her I enjoyed the experience.

We were ready to go.

We walked our cart back to the car. This is a grand Cherokee jeep. She held the hatchback trunk while I discharged the cart to the car. I moved the things fast throwing them in one over the other.

Marijo told me to be careful. I asked her “why.”

“Because those are things we will eat, we need to handle them with care,” she said.

After emptying the items on the top of the cart, came those heavy ones at the bottom: bags of tissue, and packs of 24 water bottles. The latter is very heavy. “We will not eat this one,” holding the tissue with both hands and throwing it in the trunk.

I did the same thing with the water.

She rolled her eyes letting go the hatchback trunk door dropped on its weight and closed by itself.

Next step: JC Penny. And Bravo. She said.

Ok, I replied.


Part V  Saturday morning stories to come… Next…. Stay Tuned…. and click to the right hand button to subscribe.





Leadership lessons from the soccer field: Messi missed it, and messed it!

It is said time and time again: “winners never quit, quitters never win”. This quote came to my mind after Argentina’s soccer player Lionel Messi announced he quits the Argentina National Team, after he, himself, missed a penalty kick, last Sunday at the finals of the 2016 Copa America against Chile.

It was a tough, tedious, hard moment for him. And only, he, and himself was at the rendez-vous with greatness.

There was him the kicker, the ball, and the goalkeeper. He and only himself kicked the ball which went over the crossbar in the cloud.

This second second of this missed opportunity brought disappointment, tears, and resentment. This was the 4th time in a row, he missed a final to bring a championship trophy to his country.

My reflexion is not about his missing this kick. It`s more about his decision to announce he quits. This is at this moment he messed it.

This is his legacy. This is the picture he left in my mind and maybe millions, and millions of people following him now, or will follow him years and years in the future.

“If you quit ONCE it becomes a habit.Never quit!!!”
― Michael Jordan

“I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.”
― Michael Jordan

“Never give up on something that you can’t go a day without thinking about.”. … “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.”. … “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”. -Sir Winston Churchill

“It’s not over, until I win…”.  Les Brown.

“Quitting is not an option.” Orrin Woodward.

At the end, I add you don’t quit your passion, what you love, you only quit on yourself. And the consequence of quitting is harder than the at the moment failure, because you have to live with it the rest of your life.








Tell your story with your own words, and live your life.

What we talk about is our story. Our story is about who we are. When we talk about our experiences, what we see, feel, do, fear, like with our own words, we create our own life.

We market ourselves by telling our story.

Marketing is storytelling, said best selling author and blogger Seth Goddin.

The story of you built you.  Your story makes you you.

Sometimes the way you see yourself isn’t exactly the way others see you. Not as good as you think you are. Not as bad as they think you are.

Tell your story. Tell it on purpose.