Wednesday, June 26, 2019


Yesterday I shared some bullet points from  Ed Molitor  I grabbed at the "Unleashing Greatness" seiminar and today wanted to do the same with the many nuggets I grabbed from Don Yaeger. I've known Don for over 20 years including one season where he spent the year with our LSU team and he is sincerely one of the most genuine people I have met that cares deeply about helping people -- a great writer and a great speaker.  Here's what I learned from him back in April:


Cubs culture - “fun” - disco ball in locker room for post game wins—relieve pressure

Theo Epstein: Must have the guts to have uncomfortable conversations — “truth”

Great teammates are…
             David Ross asked his Braves teammates and they wrote on chalkboard
             Accountability checklist

“Ultimate servant teachers”

Ross played only 35% of the time in 4 years with the Braves.  400 games he did not play
             Would be on the top step high-fiving teammates between innings
             50% of MLB wanted to sign him — a back up catcher
             “Glue guy” — created value
             Started 4 times in the World Series

DY: “Being a great teammate is a learned behavior.”

Glue guy: Shane Battier — 2-time NBA Teammate of the Year

DY: “Being a great teammate is hard work.”

Asked Becky Hammonds about some of great accomplishments and she replied that she had had 11 different players that were all-starts on her team.  About taking teammates with you.

Upon her first meeting with Jayne Appeal, Hammonds said: “I’ve studied your game and I know how I’m going to make you better.”

When manager Joe Madden first took over the Cubs he had t-shirts made that said “Try Not To Suck.”

DY: “Be invaluable without being the most valuable.”

Epstein: “My great fear is that we are more driven by analytics and guys like David Ross get lost.”

DY: “Celebrate great teammates.”


Camaraderie - “I appreciate you.”

The key to USA Basketball — they understand their why
Success leaves clues

Successful people that Don has studied all had one common request — share with us what you see in us and what your learned form others.

Enron listed “integrity” as their major core value.  There’s a different between declaring it and living it.

Culture = Behaviors
Behaviors = Habits
Habits = Success

DY: “Culture happens by design or default.”

Culture is…
...values, attitudes, standards
...acceptable to team environment
...common language of your team

Coach K: Adapt and embraced change...understand your “why”

Awe Factor: USA Basketball (Tennessee & UConn)

Jerry Colangelo: Wanted consistency in coaching USA
Coach K—assistant on Dream Team...great coach...began at West Point

Coach K in taking over USA Basketball: “walk in and do a listening tour.”

Coach K asked USA players to live, sleep, eat like soldiers for 3 days

Create “feel it” moments — Dog Tag Story

2012 London—Arlington National Cemetery with USA Team

“Know why” vs. ‘Feel why”

#1 motivation for millennials — work where it matters.  Pay was ranked #6.

Generation Z — “feel it” moments

Make-A-Wish — mission movement.

3 Action Items
   1. Ask your team the question
   2. Create feel it moments
   3. Think of impact


Michael Jordan Camp — $1.5 million for Make-A-Wish

Key to MJ — hated to lose.

Got up and shot at 4 AM the day after he got cut
When inducted to Hall of Fame, invited 7 kids from his high school team that beat him out

DY: “Loss is not a failure until you make it an excuse.”

4 Threats of Greatness
1. Greatness is available to us common things uncommonly well. Do extra
2. It’s not physical aptitude but mental, emotional and spiritual discipline
3. They are all extremely coachable
4. Greatness required proper “nutrition” — what are you feeding yourself?

Warrick Dunn struggled with depression.  Message from his mom: “Don’t be bitter — get better.”

Swen Nater-
Cut twice — never played HS ball
Goal - own an automotive shop

John Wooden: you will never outwork your inner circle.

DY: “Your responsibility is to grow your inner circle.  Know the value of associations.”

DY: “Be prepared for change before change is needed.”

Coach K: Had to change within before One & Done

Rooms One & Dones with an Upperclassmen

DY: “My life changed when I started seeking out mentors.”

Understand the importance of a shared vocabulary.

Internal language

All Blacks Rugby: “Stab me in the belly, not in the back.”

Lesson — Story — Application

DY: “If you learn and share it’s a good day.”

Tuesday, June 25, 2019


In April, I had the privilege of attending an "Unleashing Greatness" seminar that was co-hosted by Ed Molitor  and Don Yaeger.  It was a one-day conference on the campus of Texas A&M and a tablet full of notes later I wanted to share with you just a few of the great bullet points I got from Ed on topics such as leadership, culture, accountability and recruiting.

The 3 pillars to Authenticity

   Start with yourself — tell yourself the truth

EM: “Get access to the truest version of yourself.”

What are your core values?  Think of great accomplishments...what values show up in your best moments.

Challenge yourself to come up with 3 personal core values.

EM: “Leadership is not so much about solving a problem as it is finding a solution.  It’s a team mindset.”

Give ‘em a reason to look up to you...something that’s not on the stat sheet.

When you ask for help it…
...shows respect for the person giving the advice
...shows respect for the experience, skill, insight
...shows respect and trust by making yourself vulnerable

Leadership qualities:
   Risk Awareness

EM: “A team is a direct reflection of it’s head coach.”

Three concepts for authenticity:
1. Courage to say what you stand for
2. Able to behave in a way that’s aligned to your values
3. Able to recognize you need help


Culture: shared values, beliefs and behaviors 

Bad/poor cultures are also contagious.

“cultus” to pay for positive

Worth fighting for
“Believe in” vs. “Buy in”
Emotional Attachment
Safety — not soft

Championship Cultures
   Vision—Compelling (singleness of purpose)
   Process—Be present

   Self-discipline drives your self-control
   Self-control drives your self-confidence
   Self-confidence drives your self-motivation

Recruiting question: “Will they leave their jersey in a better position.”

How do people treat others than can not help them with their goals

EM: “Be your own accountability partner.”


What is my process?
What skills do I need to be working on by getting reps?
When is the last time I ran my feedback loop?

EM: “There’s a difference between intent and behavior.”