Blog 

The real competition that leaders face is from within

I’m starting to see that the biggest competition and challenge a leader faces is themselves. You vs. You It is an internal battle every day to : + stay confident + avoid comparison + avoid and fight negative narratives that play on loop in our minds + fight anxiety or extreme worry + trust your decision making + stay consistent How do you…
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What it feels like to be on the other side of a leader who is in it for themselves!

When your purpose or why is self-centered you will use people for your gain. Leaders are smart enough to not go “Bobby Knight” on people (at least out in the open). So leaders are disguising things much better. But when you get to the heart, many leaders lead with a self-centered ‘why’. We say all the right…
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How do you improve the foundation of your program and at the same time raise the ceiling?

Trust raises the floor. Inspiration raises the ceiling. The more and deeper trust is built and sustained, the stronger the foundation, the more your program can withstand tough times, and the healthier it is. Trust helps people feel safe. Inspiration propels people, super-charges buy-in, and increases people’s belief that they can achieve great things! Inspiration elevates people! I write about trust HERE and…
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What is something that when you have it, it almost always guarantees success (and conversely, when you don’t have it almost always leads to failure)

The primary killer of careers are… lacking self-awareness Inability to lead yourself The primary enhancer of careers are… Self-awareness Leading yourself well It is almost impossible to succeed if you know how to run a program or organization, recruit, team build, run a sales team, etc. but don’t know and can’t lead yourself. On the flip side, it is almost impossible…
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The quality and types of people will have a major influence on who you are becoming

Something I read this past weekend made me think about those in my life that have played a pivotal role in who I am today. So I typed out this tweet: https://twitter.com/KingdomCoa… I wanted to expand on this idea that we are shaped by the people we are ‘around’ the most. I really don’t think I can overstate the importance of this idea.…
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These tips will help you build your network in a non-used car saleman type of way!

Before I get into networking…How to improve your clarity. One of the most important things a leader can do is to communicate with clarity! One exercise to increase clarity is to tweet 3-4 times a week. Twitter is what I use to sharpen my thoughts and gain clarity. The constraint of 140+ (I sometimes use a thread) characters helps me…
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Not everyone can be elite, but you can’t be elite without this!

How to be your best…maybe even elite: Dogged incremental constant progress over a very long time frame. If you look at the elite leaders/coaches today you are looking at the culmination of many years of this dogged progress. I’ve mentioned “compound growth” many times in my emails…and I want to mention it again. There is no other…
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We all think we keep things simple, but do we? Focus on less to be great!

Focus on less to be great. Or to put it another way, do less better. As a leader, it can be tempting to want your program/team to excel in many areas. So you come up with a list of things that you want to stress, work on, talk about, drill, and grow in. I don’t know…
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The weird way we deal with imposter syndrome

We have this weird internal dynamic going on in our minds. When we say it out loud, it makes no sense, but everyone I know (including me!) does it. On one hand, we are self-critical, often beating ourselves up internally. We can be insecure and doubt ourselves. On the other hand, we are constantly looking for…
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Your Perspective is Everything

Your perspective is everything. That might seem like a brash claim, and it may be. But perspective is radically important. When you look at the picture below, what do you see?   *In the above picture…some will see a young lady facing away with a bonnet on. Others will see an old lady with a big…
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One of the great privileges of leadership

Very few people, if any, achieve great things apart from someone speaking life into them. One of the leader’s greatest privileges is to observe someone, identify where they are gifted, where they thrive, and call it out to them. Most people have high levels of self-doubt and question themselves. Don’t underestimate the power of calling out the gold…
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What do you really control?

Leaders get in trouble when treating things you can only influence as something you can control. There is a difference between what we can influence and what we can control. Make sure you have clarity on what you really control…so you don’t try to control that which you can only influence. When a leader tries to control…
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A key constraint to being an elite leader!

Big issues start off as small issues that go unaddressed. The best leaders create elite environments…and one huge key to this is knowing when or if to have a hard conversation (address an issue) and do it in an empathetically, direct, and candid way. Fear of man prevents us from being honest when we need to…
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The house of cards…

Building your identity on what you do for a living is a house of cards. + Don’t win enough..house of cards collapses. + Get criticized by parents, fans, media, etc…house of cards collapses. + Don’t climb the professional ‘ladder’ fast enough…house of cards collapses. + Get fired…house of cards collapses. Building your identity on ‘what’ you do instead of ‘who’ you are…is…
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The Happiness & Fulfillment Paradox

The Happiness & Fulfillment Paradox:  Focusing too much on self will result in unhappiness and a lack of fulfillment. There are two key ways to be happy and fulfilled. 1. focusing on others will result in happiness and fulfillment. 2. Growing, striving, and chasing a goal will result in happiness and fulfillment. (The goal is not the key…
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You have a specific type of environment in your program…

Your program, like families, has a distinct environment. The environment is always driven by the leader. Whether they know it or not. For example…dad’s who are edgy and harsh, create an environment in their home that are edgy and harsh. This then leads to the rest of the family walking on eggshells. As a leader……
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Tips for handling criticism!

In life, criticism is inevitable. In leadership, a lot of criticism is inevitable. How to respond to criticism  First off, if it stings too deeply, ask yourself these questions: – Is my identity tied too closely to my job? – And is my identity tied too closely to how I’m doing in my job? We often find our identity in our…
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The Slow Decent of a Head Coach

Why are some head coaches in an unhealthy spot? Below is a pattern I sometimes see with head coaches/leaders. Level 1 They start off as low-level assistants. They want to coach because they love the sport and/or they want to impact people. Level 2  They get promoted. Why? Because they can connect with people and develop them.…
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Joy can be a choice!

Short email today… I want to challenge you to live joyfully this week. Joy is not a surface happiness based on your current situation. Joy is a deeper emotion that is often built on gratitude. I have heard that it is impossible to live in a state of anxiety and gratitude at the same time. So…
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How do great leaders uphold the standards in their program?

A key role of leadership is to uphold the standards of the program or organization. There are several ways to do this. One way increases performance and achievement. The other way decreases performance and achievement. Average vs. Elite Average leaders rely solely on authority or force to uphold the standards. They play ‘bad cop’. Elite leaders…
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The Lies and Promises That Our Minds Tell Us

In most situations, the thing that is good and beneficial for you is the hardest to do. It can be hard to resist brownies and instead snack on some carrots. It can be hard to stop scrolling twitter and read a book. It can be hard to turn off Netflix and do some writing. The…
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The two conversations last week that led to this email

“It is easier if I just do it myself.” “It is quicker to just do it myself” “If I want it done right, I have to do it myself?” Have you ever said these statements? I’m guessing you have. I had two conversations last week that were started by comments like those above. Today I want to talk about delegation.…
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The Power of “Is this the best you can do?”

I first read this particular story about Henry Kissinger in Hassan Osman’s book Mental Models. Henry Kissinger is a German-born American politician and diplomat, who served as United States Secretary of State and National Security Advisor in the late 60’s and 70’s. He was known to be a perfectionist, especially when it came to writing speeches. In his mind,…
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The framework for joy, fulfillment and success in coaching!

“Early on, it was probably more about wanting so badly to be successful,” says Donovan, 48. “You actually think you’re going to be more complete as a person (if you win a title). When it happens, you expect to feel more complete, and you don’t, necessarily. … What ultimately ends up completing you as a…
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Elite leaders and the power of feedback!

Feedback is a key principle of growth and improvement. It is nearly impossible to grow without feedback. I want to split this email into Part 1 and Part 2. In part 1 I will talk about encouragement and correctional feedback. In part 2 I will talk about giving and receiving feedback. Part 1: Importance of encouragement and correction…
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What do inspirational leaders have in common?

  When you inspire the people you lead, you spend less time prodding and pushing. French writer Saint Exupery gave a great picture of what inspiration is when he wrote “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to…
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What I learned in 2021!

First off, if you are reading this right now, thank you! Thank you for those who have sent me encouraging notes after reading an email and thank you for those who have sent emails pointing out a discrepancy or error or disagreement. I started writing this weekly email for myself. The quote “if you want…
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The Three Ways Leaders Gain Trust

The most important element in a program, team, or organization is trust. If there is no trust, there is no shot at maximizing potential. How do people win trust? I want to throw out three primary ways I think leaders win trust. Connection Clarity Competence. Before I break these down, I have a few items…
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The Parable of the Chinese Farmer

During the most recent episode of the documentary on Tom Brady called Man in the Arena, he shared the parable of the Chinese farmer. I had heard the parable about 5 years ago and think of it often. The Parable There was a Chinese farmer whose horse ran away. All his friends came to him and…
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A note of encouragement to coaches!

Coaching is hard. It has always been hard. However, I don’t think it has ever been as hard as it is right now. There is more stress and strain than ever before. I have been reflecting lately on leading and coaching in 2022. Here is what I am seeing and hearing. There is more pressure on kids…
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This is one of the top reasons leaders fail. We ‘feel’ it but rarely talk about it!

We all feel other people’s energy. And other people feel our energy. The type of energy you give off can be the difference between great leadership and poor leadership. There are two types of energy: catabolic and anabolic. The book ‘Energy Leadership’ by Bruce Schneider, helped me to put behaviors and language to what I had previously…
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How dirty dishes and my daughter helped change my persective

Todays topic: Gratitude! (I know, pretty creative right… Thanksgiving week:) In April of 2020, during dinner one night, my 15 year old daughter shared with us something she watched on youtube that day. The person on the video said the following statement “What if we lost tomorrow what we failed to give thanks for today?”…
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You will become outdated and get passed up if you don’t evolve

Things evolve and change. Football offenses have evolved from three running backs and a tight end to no running backs and 4 wide outs. Basketball has evolved from a two guards, two forwards and a center to five guards of all different shapes and sizes. Baseball has evolved from pitchers running distance to pitchers training…
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Leadership principles by arguably the best leader ever!

I believe that Jesus gives us an amazing template of what great leadership looks like. This email is not to push my spiritual beliefs on you. I simply want to point out the principles that Jesus used to lead. There are several principles that we can learn from when studying the leadership of Jesus. Jesus recognized…
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The Power of Clarity in Building Trust with Those You Lead!

The most important element to a successful program is trust. Without it, you have no shot to reach your potential. One primary way I see coaches build trust is through clarity. It is critical to your program/organization that you bring great clarity to your people. People want to know where they are headed, why they are going…
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Travel Light

One of my former players was shot and killed Thursday morning. He was an awesome guy. Tough and yet kind & tender at the same time. Humble, gritty, and intense. I turned 48 on the same day he was killed. The older I get the more I catch myself thinking about life, death, and what is…
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Input vs Output

Most people underestimate the impact of the content we consume. Our inputs are more important than our outputs because our inputs directly affect our outputs. But nobody really cares about your input. People only care about your performance or outputs. The music we listen to, the shows we watch, the people we follow on social media, the…
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The Magnetic Draw to Authentic People

I am drawn to authentic people. I think most people are drawn to and recognize when someone is authentic. So what are the characteristics of authentic people? – Authentic people are comfortable in their own skin. – Authentic people are honest in their assessment of themselves. – Authentic people are not afraid to admit when they are wrong or…
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The way to be truly free… so that you can truly live!

Clinging to things prevents us from truly living. When things or people are ‘gotta have’ and not just ‘would like to have’ we stop being free. When a good desire becomes an ultimate desire, we cease to be able to truly live. What are those things that you cling so tightly to you strangle the life…
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Principles of human development!

Short post today… Below are six human development principles that are necessary if you are trying to develop people (your own kids, athletes, coaches, teachers, etc.) Calling out the gold in others. This is telling a person what you see in them. For example…”I love the way you interact with your teammates, they really listen to you.”…
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Is Your Joy and Happiness Always in the Future?

For most of us, our tendency is to make joy and happiness a future thing and not a right-now thing. We believe that if our spouse would ________, we will be happy. If I get _______ in our professional life, we will be happy? If our kids _____________, I will be happy. If I can achieve __________, I will…
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Do people experience you as authentic?

I am drawn to authentic people. I think most people are drawn to and recognize when someone is authentic. So what are the characteristics of authentic people? – Authentic people are comfortable in their own skin. – Authentic people are honest in their assessment of themselves. – Authentic people are not afraid to admit when they are wrong or…
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The #1 Trait To Look For When Hiring

Have you ever played pin the tail on the donkey? It is really hard. You know the general direction of the donkey, but because you are blindfolded, you are extremely handicapped in your quest to get the tail on the donkey. A little like the hiring process. Question: If you had to pick three primary skills/attributes…
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What is the paradox of power and influence?

What is the paradox of power and influence? Influence When a person gets into the coaching profession, it is usually because they want to help develop and shape young people (usually because they were impacted by a coach along the way). As a coach gets started it is usually at a lower-level position. They are…
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What is fear doing to us?

Overview: A leader’s pace. Why such a fast pace? Fear, us, and the great paradox! Our inner life is burning up. We run so fast these days…too much to do and not enough time. Athletic departments are growing, recruiting is getting started earlier and earlier, mental health is at an all-time low, technology has actually created…
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Handling sub-standard behavior in your program

How do you handle sub-standard behavior from your athletes in your program? You will either build trust or destroy trust depending on how you handle these sub-standard behaviors. Last week I wrote about creating a great environment in your program. This stirred up several conversations around the topic of accountability and discipline. One coach said to me…“You…
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The difference between elite and average environments

Having studied and observed programs at all levels, all over the country, I’m seeing one distinct difference in programs. Elite environments are built differently than average environments. Below is a list of comparisons between an elite environment and an average environment: Asking questions vs Giving answers Inspire vs Push Guide vs Drive Empower vs Force…
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One simple discipline to help you maximize and grow in CLARITY!

Short post today. David Perell, entrepreneur and podcaster, tweeted the following statement several weeks ago, “Read to collect the dots, write to connect them”. If there has been one discipline in my life that has helped me more than any other over the last several years it has been writing. Writing has helped me organize and articulate my…
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In case of an emergency, put your mask on first then…

Recently I have been thinking a lot about what we focus on and how that can impact us. My Thoughts The more we focus on ourselves the worse our mental health seems to be getting. Over the last 10-20 years it seems an increasing amount of content (books, podcast, articles) is devoted to loving ourselves and taking care…
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What does olive oil and personal growth have in common?

Transmutation: The action of changing; or the state of being changed into another form. “Grapes must be crushed to make wine. Diamonds form under pressure. Olives are pressed to release oil. Seeds grow in darkness. Whenever you feel crushed, under pressure, pressed, or in darkness, you’re in a powerful place of transformation/transmutation.” Delia I don’t…
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