When change matters, step up, step out and speak up.

We’ve all been there.  Sitting with a group in the break room, the boardroom or over lunch when the conversation shifts to what’s wrong with our team, our business, our community or our lives.

It’s so easy to point out what is wrong.  Words fly.  The passion is inspiring.  Each idea builds on another .  Then, oops, you look at the clock.  Time’s up and you go back to work and keep on doing things the same way you have always done them before.

Talk does not bring change, action does.

We all see things we need to change our world but there are only so many hours in the day to do it.  Then something happens that gives us the impetus to step up, step out, and truly make a difference for ourselves and others.  When we step up, we start doing things.  We make things happen.  We get things done.  Yet, we may not be sharing it with others.  That means going to the next step as we step out and speak up.  We begin inspiring others to action by sharing what we are doing, how we are doing it, and how others can do it too.

I am lucky to know three people who are doing just that. They inspire me and if you read on, they can inspire you too.

Lynn Tilton

IMG_5222One of the most successful business women in the world, Lynn Tilton founder and CEO of Patriarch Partners, was once a single mom, working by day and going to graduate school at night.  Working incredible hours and with very little sleep, she held it together and pursued a passion to learn what she needed to know.  Then, she applied it…well.   She stepped up.  Lynn’s business is founded upon her personal mission…the attempt to save America, one company at a time, one job at a time and she does it by buying distressed companies and turning them around.  The Patriarch platform is built upon the premise that each company otherwise would have been liquidated, but instead is saved and rebuilt so it can add value to our economy and our nation. With the restructure and renewal of each of these companies, jobs are sustained and created.  Over the years Lynn and her team have saved approximately 150 companies from the throws of liquidation and 250,000 jobs associated with those companies but she did it quietly behind the scenes.  When our nation and the world got into real trouble she did more than step up, she stepped out.  By sharing her story and how she did it, she is inspiring others to do the same.

(Read the latest article on Lynn in Chief Executive Magazine.)

Morris Callaman

morris on the stairsA VC, angel investor and four-time startup founder with Global 500 experience, Morris Callaman believes that it is time for a principled approach to creating companies and products that make life better instead just make money.

Morris’s story is not your typical success story. An eighth grade runaway, his journey includes homelessness, food banks, ditch digging, carpentry, community college, night school, programming, language study, and a brief apprenticeship with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union 640.  He’s seen the worst people can do to each other and the the best.  Through Callaman Ventures, he focuses on the best and invests his time looking for, finding and helping consumer entrepreneurs – people who truly love what they are doing, know how to get up again after a failure and have a business intent that includes net societal benefit while creating real products or real services for real people.  He’s stepped up to help build great companies and now is stepping out to share what he has learned with others and help them when they need it.

(Read Morris’s story in Phoenix Magazine.)

Michelle King Robson

MichelleMichelle King Robson is one of the nation’s leading women’s health and wellness advocates as well as  the Founder, Chairperson and CEO of EmpowHER, one of the fastest-growing and largest health media companies dedicated exclusively to women’s health and wellness.

When a debilitating health condition left Michelle sick, alone, hopeless and on the verge of taking her own life, she struggled and fought to find answers. Luckily, for all of us, she found them, but it was so hard.  Michelle believes it should not be and she has committed the rest of her life to ensure that no other woman would suffer in silence as she had. And that is how EmpowHER was born. She stepped up and stepped out in one fell swoop creating a web portal where women can find their health answers more easily.  Today millions of visitors turn to EmpowHer with their health questions and find the answers they seek.

(Read Michelle’s story and see the video at EmpowHer.com)


And after you act, it’s time to step out and speak up.

Lynn, Morris and Michelle are just three examples of the many people I get to meet that have taken their life experiences and what they have learned along the journey and used them to move from talk to action in an area where they have a true passion.  They did not just sit around and talk about it.  They did it and they still do. Beyond that, they are telling their stories and inspiring others to action by their example.

So what’s your passion?  Your story?  The thing you want to change?  Are you ready to step up, step out, and speak up… in that order?


Thanks for stopping by.  Stay tuned…

Joan Koerber-Walker

Joan Koerber-Walker is a two time Stevie Award National Finalist and Chairman of the Board of CorePurpose, Inc. and the Opportunity Through Entrepreneurship Foundation.  She also serves as Executive in Residence for Callaman Ventures and on the boards of for profit and nonprofit organizations.  As the former CEO of the Arizona Small Business Association and a past member of the Board of Trustees of the National Small Business Association she has worked with hundreds of small businesses and on behalf of thousands.  Chat with her on Twitter as @joankw, @JKWgrowth, @JKWinnovation, @JKWleadership and @CorePurpose or at her blog at www.JoanKoerber-Walker.com.

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