16 Characteristics of Greatness

Once a year I am fortunate to be invited to attend the Leadership Florida conference.  It is an amazing gathering of leaders from across the State of Florida.  As well as reconnecting with a group of amazing people that I feel truly fortunate to be associated with, the event attracts a cadre of amazing speakers.  The topics are wide ranging and always thought provoking.

This year one speaker stood out – Don Yaeger.  A longtime Associate Editor for Sports Illustrated and 11-time New York Times bestselling author, Don has spent his career interviewing top performing athletes including Michael Jordon and legendary coach, John Wooden.  His stories cut to the heart of success.  For over an hour he discussed the anatomy of success.  It was both enjoyable and eye opening.

Some of the topics he discussed parallel Chapter #3 of The Educated Franchisee, but others take it to the next level.  With Don’s permission, I would like to share highlights from his book ‘The 16 Characteristics of True Champions’.

How they Think

  1. It’s Personal – They hate to lose more than they love to win.
  2. Rubbing Elbows – They understand the value of association
  3. Believe – They have faith in a higher power
  4. Contagious Enthusiasm – They are positive thinkers.  They are enthusiastic – and the enthusiasm pays off.

How They Prepare

  1. Hope for the Best, But … – They prepare for all possibilities before they step on the field.
  2. What Off Season? – They are always working toward the next game.  The goal is what’s ahead, and there’s always something ahead.
  3. Visualize Victory – The see victory before the game begins.
  4. Inner Fire – They use adversity as fuel

How they Work

  1. Ice in Their Veins – The are thoughtful risktakers and don’t fear making mistakes.
  2. When All Else Fails – The know how – and when – to adjust their game plan.
  3. The Ultimate Teammate – They will assume whatever role is necessary for the team to win.
  4. Not Just About the Benjamins – The don’t just play for money.

How the Live

  1. Do Unto Others – They know character is defined by how they treat those who cannot help them in return.
  2. When No One Is Watching – They are comfortable in the mirror.  The live their life with integrity.
  3. When Everyone is Watching – They embrace the idea of being a role model.
  4. Records are Made to be Broken – The know their legacy isn’t what they did on the field. They are well rounded.

“Greatness is available to all of us who do common things uncommonly well” Don Yaeger

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