The Champion’s Brew is a weekly assembly of material I am reading, listening to, watching, or thinking about that is designed to equip and call you to uncommon leadership.  I often add my own little spin based on my takeaways and would love your input as well.  Any of the points especially impact you?  Drop me a note at john@growingchampions.net, or comment on the blog to keep the conversation going!  I believe you will discover that the format is not only useful, but also that you can consume it within the time it takes you to enjoy your daily ‘brew’!  Become a member of the Champions Brew Nation by subscribing here!!

Here is your weekly drink of what I have been reading, listening to or watching to equip me to:

  • Read More – So, “March Madness” just finished up this week.  Congratulations to Kansas, who rallied from 16 points down at one point in the game to defeat North Carolina to win the National Championship!  It was a phenomenal game, but I believe the BEST game was the semifinal game between Duke and North Carolina.  I personally think it was one of the most exciting college basketball games I have ever watched.  In a contest that may have been the most anticipated college basketball game in the history of the NCAA tournament, Carolina and Duke treated basketball fans to a thriller that featured 18 lead changes and 12 ties.  Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski coached his final game for Duke and UNC was clearly one of his biggest rivals over the years.  In 42 years of coaching at Duke, the two teams played 100 times.  Amazingly, the record during that span was 50 wins and 50 losses for each team.  And the total points scored in those 100 games?  7,859 points for Duke… and 7,824 for UNC.  Wow.  Coach K’s overall coaching record (1202 wins and 368 losses a .766 winning percentage along with 5 National Championships)speaks for itself.  While he was a great basketball coach, I believe he was an even BETTER leader… A leader that led with HEART.  Nearly 2 decades ago, I read his book, Leading With The Heart.  I pulled that book off my shelf to see some of the key takeaways I had back then.  Here are just a few of Coach K’s leadership tips that I highlighted:
    • Show the Face Your Team Needs to See – “Whether you completely believe it od not, you must have the expression on your face and the words in your mouth that the team is going to win.”  I agree.  Don’t sugar coat it, but don’t take hope away from your team
    • Excellence “My hunger is not for success; it is for excellence.  Because when you attain excellence, success just naturally follows.”
    • On Recruiting – “We search for strong character — great individuals who are willing to be part of a team and are coachable.”  In my opinion if you have two individuals of equal skill and ability, then the attitude and coachability are the factors I would weigh in the decision.  Sometimes even when the skills are NOT equal, I still choose attitude!
    • Personal Responsibility – “When a leader takes responsibility for his own actions and mistakes, he not only sets a good example, he shows a healthy respect for people on his team.”  – True when he wrote it 20 years ago, and even more relevant and true today.
    • On Training & Development – “When teaching, always remember this simple phrase; ‘You hear, you forget.  You see, you remember.  You do, you understand.” Repetition is so important to performing well under pressure.  Coach Jacob Gruse of the two-time state champion Cave Spring Knights talked about it in my recent interview with him on the Uncommon Leader Podcast.  Check that out here

I may have to go back and read this  book again in the future.  Sports and leaders in sports have made a big impact on my leadership style.  I reviewed my bookshelf and found over a dozen sport-themed leadership books that I have enjoyed over the years.

  • Quote – “A coach is someone who can give correction without causing resentment.” John Wooden  I find this ‘task’ of a coach to be a real gift.  It requires building relationship with those who you give correction so that they trust you are giving them feedback out of love for them.  Though it also requires the person receiving the feedback to be humble enough to accept the feedback and grow from it.  If we always hear we are doing things ‘right’, how are we to grow? 

 What you need to do:

Call to Action:  What is on your reading list?  I do believe leaders are readers.  Drop me a note john@growingchampions.net with the books on your reading list right now.  What’s the one that has had the most impact on you along  your leadership journey?

I hope you enjoyed this week’s edition of Champions Brew. If you did, I would appreciate it if you would share it with a friend who might enjoy it as well and ask them to subscribe! I will make sure they automatically get this email every week.

Until next time, go and Grow Champions!

Are you a podcast fan?  Maybe the Uncommon Leader podcast is for you.    Are you interested in being a guest on the Uncommon Leader Podcast?  Do you have a story to tell?  Email me john@growingchampions.net and let’s have a chat and set something up!!

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To become Champion leader, we have to be on a continuous improvement journey for ourselves and others.  We have to be able to take advantage of the precious seconds that we have each day.  
 
There are things that I come across each week that help me, inspire me, relax me, motivate me, and are sometimes are just funny that I want to share with you so that you can smile more, build faith, think positively, network well, exercise often, eat healthy, and grow daily.
 

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