Chasing Greatness Blog

Weekly inspirational examples of greatness that we can apply to our every day lives.

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Don’t Tell Me What I Can’t Do! Shaquem Griffin Inspires Everyone

In a world of sameness, where most of us are told what it should “look like” to be successful in our space, the NFL Scouting Combine stands out as perhaps the world’s most predictable job interview. One the one hand, draft prospects are told to stand out, to make an impression, but what teams really want is another player that fits their ideal mold for certain positions. That’s why we should all be rooting for Shaquem Griffin.

Griffin is well decorated: a two-time first-team All-American Athletic Conference linebacker, AAC Defensive Player of the Year, National Champion, and Peach Bowl MVP.

And he did all of it without a left hand.

Received Career Advice? Pause, And Consider Your Source: Underclassmen In The NFL Draft

Dear Commissioner Goodell,

I hereby declare myself available for the 2018 NFL Draft.

– Don Yaeger

I get it. I probably (ok, certainly) won’t hear my name called among the 250+ players picked during the 2018 NFL Draft on April 26-28. Sadly, there are countless others who have written this letter to Roger Goodell that are in the same boat as me – they won’t hear their name either.

But don’t think I’m stopping there. Before the week is out I’m writing Adam Silver (NBA), Rob Manfred (MLB), Gary Bettman (NHL) and even Ethan Sturm (Major League Quidditch) letting them know I officially announce my eligibility for their leagues and associations, as well!

Don’t Forget Your Ladder

Today is a big day for me! While most of my work, as you know, centers on sports and business, all of my work revolves around leadership. Today, I get a chance to see my 27th book get published, and my third with Brian Kilmeade. We have studied U.S. history for great lessons in leadership, bravery, and moments that changed the world. I hope that you will enjoy this blog...and even go out and grab a copy of our new book!

With cannons firing and rifles cracking, the British army surged forward towards the huge earthworks the Americans had erected to block the invaders’ path to New Orleans.

On this cold, foggy January morning in 1815, the last battle of the War of 1812 was being waged across a narrow strip of land that would decide the fate of the city and potentially even the whole of the Louisiana territory.

For the past few weeks, General Andrew Jackson and a ragtag army of volunteers, militia, locals, Native Americans, fishermen, slaves, and pirates had fought to hold the city at all costs, but they were bruised and battered. The redcoats seemed poised at last to succeed. Their only obstacle left was to scale a small moat and massive bulwark that the Americans had constructed out of the Louisiana muck across the stretch of dry land of Chalmette Plantation between the Mississippi River on one side and a swamp on the other.

The night the before, the British had made their final plans. General Packenham asked Lt Col Mullins to confirm the location of the essential supplies: ladders, fascines, and bales of sugarcane tied together to fill the moat. Mullins, in turn, had reached out to an engineer officer, who assured him that everything was secured in the advance redoubt—the temporary shelter the British had erected en route to the American line, in anticipation of the battle to come. Satisfied with the engineer’s answer, Mullins had assured the general all was as it should be and the attack launched as planned the following morning.

Iowa’s Jordan Bohannon: Great People Choose To Do Right No Matter What

Put most of us in an empty field house, with complete quiet and nothing to disturb us, and almost none of us could make 34 straight free throws. Now, head to the court, heart pumping, the deafening cheer of the crowd and television cameras watching every move, and many of us couldn’t even hit two in a row! It takes a special talent to sink 34 free throws in a row. It takes an even more impressive kid like Jordan Bohannon to miss the 35th.

University of Iowa point guard, Jordan Bohannon, was on a roll. He’d hit 34 straight free throws and was at the line to sink his 35th in a tight game against Northwestern on Sunday. His next free throw wouldn’t just extend the Iowa lead, it would also make history. That was the problem.

In 1993, Iowa Forward Chris Street set the school record for consecutive free throws made at 34. Street would have tried to top that number, but the night before his team was scheduled to play again, Street’s car hit a snow plow, killing him and injuring his girlfriend. His free throw record stood for 25 years, until Bohannon had the opportunity to break it. In a world where everyone wants their name in the record books and clamors for individual validation, Jordan Bohannon went the other way.

He chose to miss.

Hiring A Builder Or A Sustainer? Buyer Beware

For those that are fans of college football teams struggling this year, what I’m about to discuss could drastically change the conversation you have when eyeing the next coach for your program.

This is one of the most interesting times of the year. While many teams still have hope that this could be a magical season… the same can’t be said for all. If your team is underperforming or not living up to expectations (I live in Tallahassee, Florida, so I feel your pain Gainesville, Knoxville, and College Station) you may be ready to move on.

(NOTE: This isn’t just a discussion on college football. There are countless businesses that are currently underperforming just as badly as their teams near the closing of the year.)

Continuity At The Top: The Single Greatest Predictor For Team Success

History was made in the NBA and I can only hope this unique occurrence could have a carryover effect for years to come.

Over the years I’ve spent studying team dynamics, I’ve learned that the single greatest predictors of sustained excellence is continuity at the top. If you are a fan of the San Antonio Spurs, Pittsburgh Steelers, New England Patriots, or UConn Women’s basketball team you know that the consistent leadership at the helm of your favorite team has much to do with why you’re annually relevant.

While quickly flipping through several games last night (and I feel so sorry for the Celtics and Gordon Hayward whose injury will impact that team all year), I reflected on an unbelievable history-making statistic. And it is that this year marks the first time ever that every head coach that started last season in the NBA will be sitting on the same bench again this year. Further, last year was the first time since the 1963-64 season in which there were no in-season changes.

Some of the Winning Teams Don Yaeger works with

Hewlett Packard