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Leadership Posts

Don writes each week about the lessons we can learn from the world of sports
that translate into greatness in business leadership.

You’re Wrong For Hating The Patriots

You’re Wrong For Hating The Patriots

I went to a Super Bowl party on Sunday night, and it seemed for most of the game that I was the only person in the room pulling for the New England Patriots.

Seriously. For most of the evening, it felt like that of the 30 or so people in attendance, the only person eager to see New England’s unprecedented run of Greatness continue was me. To be clear, I wasn’t rooting for the Patriots because I’ve ever lived in Boston or written a book with a player on the team. I was cheering for Greatness.

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Roger Goodell Won’t Apologize For Bad Call And That’s Bad Business

Roger Goodell Won't Apologize For Bad Call And That's Bad Business

As a father, I’ve made it a point to teach my kids good manners. To help them, we’ve ingrained three simple phrases into their brains:


“Thank you.”

“I’m sorry.”

Simple words, but when applied authentically, they go a long way to keep a relationship healthy. I use them liberally with my family, with my team, and with pretty much everyone I meet. I want people to know that I value and respect them.

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Three Lessons In “Winning” From A Fake Punt: The New Orleans Saints Story

Three lessons in “winning” from a fake punt: The New Orleans Saints story

When your team finds the moment slipping away when all of the energy is flowing against you and it feels like the day just isn’t going to be yours, how do you change momentum?

Do you seek the wisdom of a mentor? Follow conventional wisdom? Circle the wagons and declare that you’ll live to fight again another day?

Not if you’re Sean Payton.

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Creating Your Super Bowl Moment: NFL Champion Randy Cross On The Power of Preparation

The last time Atlanta hosted a Super Bowl, the world was treated to a fantastic game between the St. Louis Rams and the Tennessee Titans. The contest came down to the last play of the game—Titans receiver Kevin Dyson broke across the middle, and Rams linebacker Mike Jones rushed to cover.

Jones got there about a half-second after the ball did. He wrapped Dyson up, and the receiver fell less than one yard shy of the end zone. Mere inches determined who was crowned champion and who finished second.

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Motivation Or Excuse: Patriots, Saints, And How The Great Ones Respond To Adversity

It’s only been a couple of days since the nation got two of the best Conference Championship games in NFL history, and some wounds are still fresh. But there’s not been a better sports weekend that I can remember to talk about one of the most elusive habits of Greatness:

Using adversity to fuel your competitive fire.

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Coming To Grips With Failure: Learn From Bears’ Kicker Cody Parkey

Like a lot of NFL fans, I sat down to watch the Philadelphia Eagles take on the Chicago Bears. (Full disclosure: I did so from Auckland New Zealand, where it was actually Monday morning) I was curious if the Eagles’ late-season magic would wilt beneath the Bears’ new Monsters of the Midway.

So, like a lot of NFL fans, I was fully invested when the Bears kicker, Cody Parkey, stepped out onto the field with 10 seconds left in the game. The Bears, down 16-15, were one seemingly routine 43-yard Parkey kick away from their first playoff win since 2011. I was surrounded by a group of Bears fans in a small restaurant and we watched as the ball was snapped, and Parkey’s kick sailed through the uprights—only to be declared void. The Eagles’ head coach, Doug Pederson, had called a timeout, milliseconds before the play. Parkey would have to kick it again.

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Lessons learned from the world of sports that can be directly applied to the pursuit of greatness in business leadership, and personal growth.


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About Don Yaeger

Don Yaeger - Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), longtime Associate Editor for Sports Illustrated, 11-time New York Times best-selling author, leadership expert and executive coach.

Don Yaeger is a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), longtime Associate Editor for Sports Illustrated, 11-time New York Times best-selling author, leadership expert and executive coach.

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