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Saturday, April 30, 2011

WORDS OF WISDOM FROM COACH THERESA GRENTZ

A few thoughts from Hall of Famer Theresa Grentz who tipped off the Assistant Coaching Symposium last night in Chicago.  Creator Felicia Hall Allen has titled this year's session "A Step Up" and Coach Grentz definitely took our 2nd symposium to another level last night.

Was told when she took for her first full-time head coaching position at Rutgers, "your classroom will be the world."

We as coaches should always remember that we are "always useful but not necessary."  She then mentioned that players should understand this as well.

She always kept three books on her desk...the team's playbook, the Bible and Emily Post

She was also an avid reader her entire career and loved reading books from four categories:
1. Basketball
2. Military Command
3. Psychology
4. Prayer

She spoke to the assistant coaches there and asked them to "constantly work in become the best version of you that you can be."

Her goal was to be "one of the most respected coaches in the game."  (not about money)

We all have a "good dog" and a "bad dog" in us...which one controls us?  The one we feed!

As coaches, "we are in an outstanding position to influence."

More from Coach Grentz later!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

COACH SUMMITT: GAME-LIKE SHOOTING WITH THE GUN

Coach Summitt shows a drill using the Gun that creates game-like shooting as well as working on closeouts.  Leave it to Coach Summitt to come up with a defensive component in a shooting drill with the Gun.

KEVIN EASTMAN ON LEARNING AND PERSONAL GROWTH

The following comes from http://kevineastmanbasketball.com/,
and if you don't have it tagged as a favorite you should -- same for following Coach Eastman on twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/kevineastman.

In this blog post, Coach Eastman talks about our ability to improve in our profession:

As I look back on the good fortune I have had in my career (from a Graduate Assistant making $2,000 a year to an Assistant Coach with the 2008 NBA World Champions) I keep coming back to a theme: LEARNING and PERSONAL GROWTH.

The ability to move up the ladder and improve your salary in any profession is all about developing and increasing your own personal value. Too often I have heard coaches and corporate people say “I don’t get paid enough” and my first thought every time is “maybe you’re not valuable enough.” It is my opinion that our salaries are not the responsibility of our employer; rather, it is OUR RESPONSIBILITY to bring a greater value to our employer.

As you move forward with your career, I encourage you to continue to learn more, do more, and produce more. Read everything you can on your subject; listen to every DVD and podcast you can; talk to as many coaches that have been where you want to be; create your own Personal Board of Advisors – people you can go to for advice, information and guidance. I can tell you that I do all of these things and more.

The problem today with many people trying to move up the ladder is that there is a feeling of entitlement rather than a commitment to investment. Invest in your future by going to the clinics, watching the practices, reading the articles, listening, and constantly trying to become better than you were last week! Ask questions, take notes, study the best, and become better this week than last week.

Do everything you can every day to increase your value. Just as you never want to lose your Most Valuable Player, your employer is the same — they don’t want to lose their Most Valuable Employee. Invest in your own personal growth. It works….it took me from a Graduate Assistant to the bench of the World Champions. I wish you the best as you continue to improve!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

PGC: THINGS TO HELP INCREASE CONFIDENCE

The following are notes from one of my former players and current college coach Latasha Dorsey -- herself a fine point guard.  Point Guard College not only does a tremendous job of developing points guards but also developing coaches to teach point guards and these notes came from a session that Latasha attended.

Dena Evans (PGC CEO): “You are your #1 critic. But you should also be your #1 fan.”

Confidence omes from 2 things:

#1 Preparation — time & effort

#2 What you think about all day...you become what you think about.

Rick Carlisle is most confident person Dena knows...He always thinks about the 1 good thing he did.

Dr. Bob Rotelo: “Allow yourself the luxury of forgetting the unpleasant experience.”

Diana Taruasi: She was 1-15 in national championship game. “I replayed the game in my mind that night and I never thought about it again. Yeah, I was mad, but I forgot about it and move on to the next challenge.”

Michael Jordan: “Think about mistakes for 15 to 20 minutes and never think about it again.”

Abraham Lincoln: “If we magnify our pleasures the way we magnify our disappointments, we would be a lot more successful.”

Thinking Positive Thoughts = Performing Better on Tasks

Write down 10 good things you did well in game/practice

Think about what it is that you love about playing

Train mental thoughts/habits

You have 100% control of your thoughts — no one can take that away

Control you mind, don’t let your mind control you.

PUTTING DREAMS TO ACTION

BELIEVE
...while others are doubting.

PLAN
...while others are playing.

STUDY
....while others are sleeping.

DECIDE
...while others are delaying.

PREPARE
...while others are daydreaming.

BEGIN
...while others are procrastinating.

WORK
...while others are wishing.

SAVE
...while others are wasting.

LISTEN
...while others are talking.

SMILE
...while others are frowning.

COMMEND
...while other are criticizing.

PERSIST
...while others are quitting.

By William Arthur Ward

COACH K: THE IMPORTANCE OF CARING

When you care about someone or something you show genuine concern for that person or thing, in good times and bad.

In the development of our basketball teams, care is as crucial an aspect as any. You want to care about one another as individuals, have empathy and compassion.

Care is developed by fostering individual relationships. This means not only caring about the team does on the basketball court but caring about their lives off the court and taking the time to get to know who they really are as a person, not only as a basketball player.

I absolutely love when my former players call me to ask for my input or advise, or even just to catch up. It is the ultimate proof that I have been successful in showing them that I do care for them.

From “Beyond Basketball” by Mike Krzyzewski with Jamie Spatola

Monday, April 25, 2011

BRIAN TRACY'S TWO QUESTIONS TO REMAIN FOCUSED

From Brian Tracy, there are two questions that you can ask on a regular basis to keep yourself focused on getting your most important tasks completed on schedule. The first question is "What are my highest value activities?"

Put another way, what are the most important tasks you have to complete to make the greatest contribution to your organization? To your family? To your life in general?

Think it Through Carefully
This is one of the most important questions you can ask and answer. What are your highest value activities? First, think this through for yourself. Then, ask your boss. Ask your coworkers and subordinates. Ask your friends and family. Like focusing the lens of a camera, you must be crystal clear about your highest value activities before you begin work.

Keep Yourself Focused
The second question you can ask continually is, "What can I and only I do, that if done well, will make a real difference?"

This question comes from Peter Drucker, the management guru. It is one of the best of all questions for achieving personal effectiveness. What can you, and only you do, that if done well, can make a real difference?

This is something that only you can do. If you don't do it, it won't be done by someone else. But if you do it, and you do it well, it can really make a difference to your life and your career. What is your answer to this question?

Every hour of every day, you can ask yourself this question and there will be a specific answer. Your job is to be clear about the answer and then to start and work on this task before anything else.

Action Exercises
Here are two things you can do immediately to put these ideas into action.

First, make a list of everything you do at work and then select your most valuable tasks from that list.

Second, resolve to start in on your highest value task and stay at it until it is 100% complete.

POSITIVE COACHING ALLIANCE: SCRIPTING TO HONOR THE GAME

The following comes from the Positive Coaching Alliance:

PCA has developed Positive Coaching Scripts to help coaches introduce positive coaching principles to their teams. Scripts shouldn’t be memorized and recited word-for-word. Read through the script and then put the ideas into your own language, words you feel comfortable using when you talk to your team.

Positive Coaching Script for Honoring the Game

I love the game of soccer, and I hope you do too. Soccer has a long history and is the most played sport in the world.

A lot of great things happen on the soccer field. I feel that it is an honor to be involved in the sport. That’s why I want to talk to you about Honoring the Game.

Now, I am sure many of you have had parents or coaches talk to you about sportsmanship, or what it means to be a “good sport.” What does it mean to you to be a good sport? (Answers may include “play fair” “don’t cheat” etc.)

Sportsmanship is important, but in order to get the most out of this soccer season, I want you to honor the game. We say the Honoring the Game goes to the ROOTS of the matter — R-O-O-T-S.

Each letter in ROOTS stands for an important part of soccer that we must respect. The R stands for Rules. The first O is for Opponents. The next O is for Officials. T is for Teammates, and the is for Self.

R is for Rules
The rules of soccer are what allow us to keep the game fair. Respect for the rules is important, even when it’s possible to break them without getting caught. I want you to play by the rules, even if you think you won’t get caught if you break them. Breaking the rules dishonors the game, even if it means that we win.

O is for Opponents
Without opponents, we could have no game. A good opponent makes us do our best. Sometimes your opponents are friends of yours. I want you to respect your opponents, and remember they are out there to have fun just like us. I want you to try your hardest to win, not because you hate your opponent, but because you want to play your best. I promise that I will show respect for opposing coaches and teams, and I expect you to do the same.

O is for Officials
It is very important to respect officials. Often, this can be the most difficult part of Honoring the Game, so we need to remember to keep it as a focus when we play. Officials have been selected and trained to enforce rules, and they have a very hard job. Without the officials the game would be unsafe and unfair. Officials are not perfect (just like coaches, athletes and parents!) and sometimes make mistakes. However, there is no excuse for treating officials with disrespect when they make errors. I want you to show respect for officials, even when you disagree with the call. I promise to do the same thing.

T is for Teammates
A big part of soccer is the team. Being with your teammates should be fun. Later in life you will often be part of a team, and it is important to learn to work together. I hope you feel a commitment to each other as teammates and that you will agree to always play as hard as you can in practice and games. Please encourage and support each other on and off the playing field.

S is for Self
Some people only Honor the Game when their opponents do, but I want us to Honor the Game no matter what the other team or its fans do. I want us to be the kind of team that Honors the Game even when others aren’t because we set our own internal standards. And we live up to them no matter what. We have so much respect for ourselves that we would never do anything to dishonor the game.

LAWRENCE FRANK'S 4 CORNERSTONES FOR SUCCESS

• Competence: You have got to know what you are doing.

• Work ethic: You have to bring it every day, just like the players.

• Sincerity and honesty count: Tell it the way it is.

• Reliability: The players have to be able to count on you every day. Be prepared so you can put the players in a position to succeed. If you can help others succeed, your age means nothing. All players want to do is learn and succeed and they don’t care who gets them there.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

QUOTES ON OVERCOMING ADVERSITY

"Comfort and prosperity have never enriched the world as much as adversity has."
-Billy Graham

"Obstacles can't stop you. Problems can't stop you. Most of all other people can't stop you. Only you can stop you."
-Jeffrey Gitomer

"You may not realize it when it happens, but at kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you."
-Walt Disney

"Nothing is predestined: The obstacles of your past can become the gateways that lead to new beginnings."
-Ralph Blum

"I would never have amounted to anything were it not for adversity. I was forced to come up the hard way."
-J. C. Penney

"The man of virtue makes the difficulty to be overcome his first business, and success only a subsequent consideration."
-Confucius

"There is no education like adversity."
-Benjamin Disraeli

"Adversity builds character and character makes us stronger."
-Mark Wilson

"When it gets dark enough you can see the stars."
-Lee Salk

"Obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it."
-Michael Jordan

BILL PARCELLS ON ACCOUNTABILITY

"Not every team has enough talent to win the Super Bowl, but any competent coach can field a team that is strategically sound, that plays with discipline, that doesn’t beat itself. If any of those components are missing, it’s the coach who must be held accountable."

"Leaders have to work harder than the people they hope to motivate."

"A good teacher creates an environment which allows the student to succeed."

EVERYTHING WITH PASSION

“He’s coaching like he’s defending the most precious think in the world to him, and he does everything with the passion you would as if your were defending the most precious thing in the world to you,” said Steve Wojciechowski, a former Duke player (1995-98) and now a Krzyzewski assistant. “Everything. That’s what makes him the best, because people can’t do that.”

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

15 LESSONS OF GREAT GROUPS

These are the fifteen top take-home lessons of Great Groups from the book "Organizing Genius" by Warren Bennis and Patricia Biederman:

1. Greatness starts with superb people.
Recruiting the most talented people possible is the first task of anyone who hopes to create a Great Group. The people who can achieve something truly unprecedented have more than enormous talent and intelligence. They have original minds. They see things differently.

2. Great Groups and great leaders create each other.
The heads of Great Groups have to act decisively, but never arbitrarily. They have to make decisions without limiting the perceived autonomy of the other participants. Devising and maintaining an atmosphere in which others can put a dent in the universe is the leader’s creative act.

3. Every Great Group has a strong leader.
Great Groups are made up of people with rare gifts working together as equals. yet, in virtually every one there is one person who acts as maestro, organizing the genius of the others.

4. The leaders of Great Groups love talent and know where to find it.
Great Groups are headed by people confident enough to recruit people better than themselves. They revel in the talent of others.

5. Great Groups are full of talented people who can work together.
Certain tasks can only be performed collaboratively, and it is madness to recruit people, however gifted, who are incapable of working side by side toward a common goal.

6. Great Groups think they are on a mission from God.
People in Great Groups often have the zeal of converts, people who have come only recently to see some great truth and follow it wherever it leads.

7. Every Great Group is an island — but an island with a bridge to the mainland.
Great Groups become their own words. They also tend to be physically removed from the world around them.

8. Great Groups see themselves as winning underdogs.
Much of the gleeful energy of Great Groups seems to stem from this view of themselves as upstarts who will snatch the prize from the fumbling hands of a bigger but less wily competitor.

9. Great Groups always have an enemy.
When there is not enemy, you have to make one up. Whether the enemy occurs in nature or is manufactured, it serves the same purpose. It raises the stakes of the competition, it helps your group rally and define itself, and it also frees up to be spurred by that time-honored motivator — self-righteous hatred.

10. People in Great Groups have blinders on.
The project is all they see. In Great Groups, you don’t find people who are distracted by peripheral concerns, including such perfectly laudable ones as professional advancement and the quality of their private lives.

11. Great Groups are optimistic, not realistic.
People in Great Groups believe they can do things no one has every done before. Great things are accomplished by talented people who believe they will accomplish them.

12. In Great Groups the right person has the right job.
The failure to find the right niche for people — or to let them find their own perfect niches — is a major reason that so many workplaces are mediocre, even toxic, in spite of the presence of talent.

13. The leaders of Great Groups give them what they need and free them from the rest.
Great Groups are never places where memos are the primary form of communication. They aren’t places where anything is filed in triplicate. Time that can go into thinking and making is never wasted on activities, such as writing reports, that serve only some bureaucratic or corporate function outside the group.

14. Great Group ship.
Successful collaborations are dreams with deadlines. By definition, Great Groups continue to struggle until the project is brought to a successful conclusion.

15. Great work is its own reward.
Great Groups are engaged in solving hard, meaningful problems. Paradoxically, that process is difficult but exhilarating as well. The payoff is not money, or even glory. The reward is the creative process itself.

MICHAEL JORDAN: I CAN'T ACCEPT NOT TRYING

I never looked at the consequences of missing a big shot. Why? Because when you think about the consequences you always think of a negative result.

I realized that if I was going to achieve anything in life I had to be aggressive. I had to get out there and go for it. I don’t believe you can achieve anything by being passive. I know fear is an obstacle for some people, but it’s an illusion to me.

That’s why my advice has always been to “think positive” and find fuel in any failure. Sometimes failure actually just gets you closer to where you want to be.

I think fear sometimes comes from a lack of focus or concentration especially in sports.

I can accept failure. Everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.

I’ve always believed that if you put in the work, the results will come. I don’t do things halfheartedly. Because I know if I do, then I can expect halfhearted results. That’s why I approached practices the same way I approached games. You can’t turn it on and off like a faucet. I couldn’t dog it during practice and then, when I needed that extra push late in the game, expect it to be there.

Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.

From: "I Can't Accept Not Trying" by Michael Jordan

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

ALAN STEIN ON WHAT ELITE PLAYERS DO

Here's another great post by Alan Stein:

I am heading down to Charlotte, NC this week to work the prestigious Jordan Brand All-American Classic – an event that selects the nation’s top boy’s high school basketball players to represent the greatest player to ever lace up sneakers – Michael Jordan. This event is an honor and privilege to be involved with.

A special thanks to the Jordan Brand, Nike Basketball, and Position Sports for their outstanding work in putting on this first class event.

Observing elite level players provides me with an invaluable learning experience. Here are some of the traits that make them special:

Elite players love to play basketball. It’s not a hobby or an activity – it is their passion. They would rather play basketball than do anything else. When they aren’t playing basketball they are watching it on TV or playing it on PS2!

Do you have the same love for the game?
Elite players are competitive and hate losing. They hate losing more than they like winning! Whether they are playing on ESPN or a game of H-O-R-S-E in their backyard, they always compete as hard as they can. They never concede. They use this competitiveness in their workouts and practices. They try to ‘win’ every drill.

Does winning matter that much to you?
Elite players don’t rely solely on their natural born talents (size & athleticism). They work hard to maximize their fundamentals and understanding of the game. They spend countless hours on their strength & conditioning and working on their skills and basketball IQ.

Do you work on improving every aspect of your game?
Elite players enjoy working hard. It’s part of their identity. They don’t coast and they don’t look for shortcuts. They get great satisfaction in giving their best effort in everything they do. Working as hard as possible is non-negotiable.

Do you enjoy putting in hard work?
Elite players consistently leave their comfort zone during practice and workouts. They know that the only way they will get better is to attempt things they can’t currently do. They push themselves to grow and develop.

Do you know how to be comfortable being uncomfortable?
Elite players have the intangibles that don’t show up in the box score. They have a positive attitude, they are enthusiastic, and they are great teammates. They make those around them better. They are energy givers, not energy takers. Talent and ability aside, they are the type of player coaches want to coach and players want as teammates.

Do you make everyone around you better?
I would be lying if I told you that every ‘elite’ high school player possessed these qualities. They don’t. Some are lazy. A few are selfish. But those are the players that don’t make it (or at least don’t live up to their potential).

Players like Kevin Durant, Maya Moore, Chris Paul, Skylar Diggins, and Harrison Barnes are examples of elite players who epitomize these qualities – they combine a passion for the game, natural talent, solid fundamentals, an unparalleled work ethic & competitiveness, and a fantastic attitude.

Read Alan's entire blog on this subject (complete with video):
http://bit.ly/htzaoY

Thursday, April 7, 2011

JOHN MAXWELL: THE 7 HALLMARKS OF LEADERSHIP

Great post from John Maxwell (one of the premier experts on leadership) discussing the seven hallmarks of leadership:

Benjamin Franklin once said, "there is perhaps not one of our natural passions so hard to subdue as pride. Beat it down, stifle it, mortify it as much as one pleases, it is still alive. Even if I could conceive that I had completely overcome it, I should probably be proud of my humility."

Another of America's founding fathers, John Adams, battled against arrogance as well, "Vanity, I am sensible, is my cardinal vice and cardinal folly; and I am in continual danger, when in company, of being led...by it."

Most leaders have an abundance of ambition, talent, and confidence, but few possess the humility necessary to sustain influence over time. Many shun humility, seeing it as a sign of weakness or self-doubt. Yet, in reality, humility is the pinnacle of wisdom and assuredness. Here are seven qualities humility brings about in the life of a leader.

#1 Responsibility
Humble leaders readily accept responsibility for failure. When things go wrong, they instinctively look within to understand what they could have done differently instead of looking outward for someone to blame. Willing to take ownership of mistakes, humble leaders are quick to fix them; they do not wait for someone else to solve a problem.

#2 Objectivity
In the words of Ezra Taft Benson, "Pride is concerned with who is right. Humility is concerned with what is right." Humble leaders do not consider their own ideas and projects to be sacred. They do not insist on having their way, but on following the best course of action—regardless of who suggests it.

#3 Open-Mindedness
Humble leaders have awareness of how much they don't know. As such, they're inquisitive, quick both to listen and learn. Secure in their abilities, they are unthreatened by the input of others. Not only do they welcome feedback, they solicit it.

#4 Flexibility
Whereas prideful leaders rigidly adhere to an initial strategy long after it proves to be unfruitful, leaders with humility nimbly switch courses as soon as warning signs appear. Unafraid to admit having made a bad decision, they're able to adjust quickly.

Humble leaders have no qualms about abandoning a product that's past its prime—even if they personally had created it.

#5 Inspiration
Humble leaders are appreciative people. When they experience success, they're quick to shine the spotlight on others. Mindful of their dependence on others, humble leaders regularly express gratitude for the contributions of their teammates. Their thankfulness inspires those they lead and boosts team morale.

#6 Respect
Humble leaders heed John Andrew Holmes' advice: "Remember that the entire population of the universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others." They see life as far bigger than themselves, and add value to other people by serving them. By committing themselves to the success of those within their sphere of influence, leaders gain respect and earn loyalty.

#7 Connectedness
Humble leaders embrace the Law of Significance: "One is too small of a number to experience greatness." They recognize that their vision cannot be accomplished in isolation, so they invite others to join them in pursuing it. They cherish relationships and intentionally cultivate friendships. They view life, not as a quest for individual glory, but as an adventure to be enjoyed in the company of fellow travelers.

THOUGHTS ON HUMILITY

"To become truly great, one has to stand with people, not above them."
~ Charles de Montesquieu

"Modesty is a shining light; it prepares the mind to receive knowledge, and the heart for truth."
~ Madame Guizot

"None are so empty as those who are full of themselves."
~ Benjamin Whichcot

"Sense shines with a double luster when it is set in humility. An able and yet humble man is a jewel worth a kingdom."
~ William Penn

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

THE BEST GIVE PRACTICE THEIR BEST

Thanks to Phil Beckner of Weber State for passing along this article by Eddie Matz of ESPN The Magazine:

President's Day is a day most of America takes it easy anyway. So you could forgive Kevin Garnett, coming off a 14th straight All-Star appearance the previous night in LA, if he felt like conserving a little energy during the Celtics' two-hour workout at Sky Gym in San Francisco's Olympic Club. After all, Boston entered the break with the best record in the East and the team is scheduled for a track meet against the lowly Warriors in Oakland the following night.

But Garnett doesn't do easy. When assistant Lawrence Frank begins a walk-through of the Golden State offense, Garnett interjects, "Why we walkin' through it? The Warriors ain't gonna be walkin' through it!" Just like that, it's starters versus subs, and even the stars, following the lead of their motivational big man, go all-out. Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen make this a veteran squad, and veteran squads understand how quickly championship windows can close.

In the middle of the Celtics' scrimmage, head coach Doc Rivers toots his whistle and tells Garnett to take a blow. Turkish big man Semih Erden reluctantly tags out KG. Reluctantly, because this minor event can resemble going to the dentist: It's something you do only when you have to. Erden proceeds to allow a crisp pass to fly off his hands and out of bounds.

Meanwhile, rather than take a seat or a swig, Garnett, who is 34, but has played more minutes than all but 13 players in NBA history, breaks into wind sprints on the sideline. Up. Back. Up. Back. Up. Back. Touching the end line every time, like a ninth-grader trying to make JV. "Never seen another NBA player do that," says Phil Galvin, the facility's basketball director. And Galvin has seen a lot: Not only is the Olympic Club the oldest such facility in the country, it's where most NBA teams practice when they drop into the Bay Area.

As the pink glow of sunset pours through the 40-foot-high window along the baseline, Garnett continues to run. Up. Back. Up. Back. Sweat rains off his dome. After 10 round-trips, each one all out, Rivers has seen enough. He motions his star back onto the court. As the 6'11" power forward passes by his coach, he says, "I hate f--ing sittin' out, Doc! Let's go!" Rubbernecking Sky Gym staffers watch from the sideline, mouths agape.

No wonder the typical Celtics workout lasts barely an hour. As Rivers says later, "The only way to get KG to rest is to end practice."

Monday, April 4, 2011

BRIAN TRACY: CHARACTER REIGNS SUPREME

The fundamental glue that holds our society together is the quality of character. It is the foundation of happy families, companies, and organizations. It assures survival, civility, and blessings of a peaceful cooperation. Your character is the crystallization of your true values and beliefs, your innermost convictions. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said with regard to character, "What you are shouts at me so loudly that I can't hear a word you say."

Choices and Decisions
Everything you do in life involves a choice, a decision on your part. Because you have so many options, you are constantly choosing among alternatives, between what you value more and what you value less. Your choices and actions tell you and others what you truly value the most, or intend that reveals your character. It is only what you do at the moment of choosing, especially when you have to choose between what is right and what is expedient.

The Core Quality of Character
The core quality of character is integrity. This can be measured by how absolutely honest one is with himself and others. The depth of your integrity largely determines the strength of your commitment to each of your other values. A person of great character is one who would never compromise his or her "sacred honor" under any circumstances.

The Measure of Character
Strength of character can be measured on a scale from one to ten, from lowest to highest. In addition, each separate quality or virtue can be organized on a scale of intensity from one to ten. How high a person ranks on the scale of one to ten in any particular virtue and in the measure of character overall is determined by the percentage of the time that individual practices that quality throughout his or her daily life.

Justification and Rationalization
Most people know there is something inherently wrong with taking free money, with living off the government, with being dependent and making no contribution to the society in which they live. To compensate for this deep inner feeling of unease, people who are getting something for nothing create elaborate justifications and rationales to explain to themselves, and to others, why they are entitled to this free money. Every rationale or excuse comes back to the same explanation, those people have low moral character.

The Need to Lead
The greatest need we have today, in every area, is for men and women to practice the values of integrity, discipline, responsibility, courage, and long-term perspective, both as individuals in the workplace and with their families. These are the key qualities of leadership. Our society needs leaders at all levels that have high moral character, and know the difference between right and wrong.

Action Exercise
The true mark of the superior person is that he sets high standards for himself and refuses to compromise those standards for any reason. He sees himself as a role model for others. He behaves at all times as if everyone were watching, even when no one is watching. What high standards do you want to uphold in your life and business?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

RICK PITINO'S SUCCESS IS A CHOICE: STEP #2 SET DEMANDING GOALS

The following comes from a book titled "Success Is A Choice" co-authored by Coach Rick Pitino. Here are his thoughts on the first of his 10 steps.

STEP #2: SET DEMANDING GOALS

Goals versus Dreams. What’s the difference. Dreams are where we want to end up. Goals are how we get there. Dreams are our vision of where we are after our struggle, the prize at the end of the journey. Goals are the individual steps we take to ultimately deserve the prize.

You can have big dreams, but you must understand that your long-term successes are a direct result of what you can achieve every day.

We always can do more than we think we can do. Anyone who has ever achieved anything significant knows this. We always can work harder. We always can put in longer hours, expend more energy. We always can perform better.

Motivated people raise the bar to supposedly unreachable heights and then establish the methods necessary to reach those heights. They purposely set difficult goals for themselves, because they realize that if the challenge isn’t worthy, the payoff will be empty and unsatisfactory.

Working hard is not always fun. that’s why it’s called “work.”

BRIAN TRACY ON CLARIFYING YOUR VALUES

Another super post from Brian Tracy!

Decide What You Stand For
What are your values? What do you stand for? What are the organizing principles of your life? What are your core beliefs? What virtues do you aspire to, and hold in high regard when you see them demonstrated by others? What will you not stand for? What would you sacrifice for, suffer for, and even die for? These are extremely important questions that are only asked by about three percent of the population, and that small minority tends to be the movers and shakers in every society. What are your values? What do you stand for? What are the organizing principles of your life? What are your core beliefs? What virtues do you aspire to, and hold in high regard when you see them demonstrated by others? What will you not stand for? What would you sacrifice for, suffer for, and even die for? These are extremely important questions that are only asked by about three percent of the population, and that small minority tends to be the movers and shakers in every society.

Write Out Your Key Values
When I first began this values clarification exercise some years ago, I wrote out a list of 163 qualities that I aspired to. I think I eventually came up with every virtue, value or positive descriptive adjective that referred to personality and character in the dictionary. And I agreed with all of them. I felt that they were all important and I wanted to incorporate every single one of them into my character.

Focus on Very Few Core Beliefs
But then reality sets in. I realized that it is very hard to learn even one new quality, or to change even one thing about myself, let alone dozens of things. So I scaled down my ambitions and began narrowing the values down to a small number that I could manage and work with. Once I had settled on about five core beliefs, I was then able to get to work on myself and start making some progress in character development.

Select Your Five Key Values
You should do the same. You should write down the five values that you feel are the most important for you to live by. Once you have those five values, you then organize them in order of priority. Which is the most important value in your hierarchy of values? Which would be second? Which would be third, and so on?

Learn To Make Better Decisions
Every choice or decision you make is based on your values. Whenever you decide between alternatives, you invariably choose the alternative that you value the most. Because you can only do one thing at a time, everything you do is a demonstration of what you consider to be the most important at that moment. Therefore, organizing your values in an order of priority is the starting point of personal strategic planning. It is only when you are clear about what you value, and in what order, that you are capable of planning and organizing the other activities of your life.

Action Exercises
Here are two things you can do immediately to put these ideas into action:

First, clarify your core beliefs and your unifying principles. Write them down and compare your life today with the values that are really important to you. How are you doing?

Second, organize your values in order of their importance to you. Which of your values is most important? Which is second? And so on. Do your current choices reflect this order of values?

Be sure to checkout: www.BrianTracy.com

Saturday, April 2, 2011

ALL GLORY IS FLEETING

"For over a thousand years, Roman conquerors, returning from the wars, enjoyed the honor of a triumph, a tumultuous parade.  In the procession came trumpeters and musicians and strange animals from the conquered territories, together with carts latent with treasure and captured armaments.  The conqueror rode in a triumphant chariot, the day's prisoners walking in chains before him.  Sometimes his children, robed in white stood with him in the chariot or rode the trace horses.  A slave stood behind the conqueror holding a golden crown and whispering in his ear a warning -- "ALL GLORY IS FLEETING."


From the last scene in "Patton"...I have had it framed on my office desk for over 20 years.