Forbes.com Chasing Greatness Blog

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

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Rare Air: John Maxwell, Urban Meyer Show Great Leaders Are Always Learning

The truly great ones, no matter their level of expertise, are always learning. Unlike many of us who grow complacent, the truly great are aware that there is always room to improve and ways to grow. They never believe they know it all.

Just as important, the best of the best know there are always places to go to learn more and people to learn from.

I experienced this lesson firsthand recently while recording the first episode of “Go Big,” a new monthly online learning series featuring John Maxwell, the top leadership expert in America, and yours truly discussing leadership with the greatest minds in sports.

“Go Big” launches on Sunday, November 20. To learn more about it and for a FREE opportunity to watch our first interview, go here. Full details on the program Maxwell and I will host are at LeadersGoBig.com

Bold Leadership Matters

Bold Leadership Matters

Thomas Jefferson was fed up. For more than 15 years, he had been fighting to convince the American government that something needed to be done about the hostage crisis along the Barbary Coast of North Africa.

For centuries, state-sanctioned pirates from Algeria, Tripoli (now Libya), Algiers, and Morocco, had been aggressively pursuing European and North American trading vessels, sometimes merely stealing the ships’ cargo, other times capturing the crews and holding them as slaves until exorbitant ransoms were paid. Other countries could pay an annual “tribute” to the leaders of each of the Barbary nations in return for a promise to be left alone, but the newly-independent United States (which could no longer claim protection under the British flag) could hardly afford to meet these demands. In 1795, more than ten years after Jefferson picked up the cause, tribute payments to Barbary rulers made up more than 16% of the entire national budget, and the demands continued to increase. The nation was on the verge of bankruptcy to pay off foreign terrorists.

Enough was enough. When Jefferson was sworn in as president in 1801, after a bitter and hard-fought campaign against John Adams, he was determined that the harassment and endangerment of American lives would not continue.

Paralympic Champion Follows Her Dreams With Unstoppable Determination

One of America’s most inspiring athletes is about to compete for the gold in Rio and once again live up to the words her father would say to her when he tucked her in each night in her childhood. “You’re the best, you can make a difference, you can change the world.”

Of course, the Summer Olympics ended last month but the Paralympics kicked off last week, and American swimmer Mallory Weggemann is set to shine. Yet as remarkable as her abilities in the pool are, what makes Mallory truly special is her incredible story of determination. Her story is a challenge to each of us as we consider the ways that we handle disappointments and setbacks in our own lives.

Mallory was a stand-out varsity swimmer in high school but never set her sights on making a career of it. Instead she always imagined her future would look quite typical: a career, a family, a quiet life in suburbia. But on January 21, 2008, that future was forever changed when she walked into a clinic for a routine procedure . . . and she never walked out.

Have Fun On The Job: Lessons From The World Series

The Cleveland Indians opened the World Series with an impressive win over the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday night but the American League champions almost didn’t get there.

During Game 3 of the American League Championship Series against the Toronto Blue Jays, the Indians looked like they were in trouble. Starting pitcher Trevor Bauer had injured his finger a few days before in an accident and the wound reopened during the first inning. Manager Terry Francona had to face a nightmare scenario in the opening inning by coming out to the mound and pulling his starter out of the game.

But Francona, who led the Boston Red Sox to two World Series championships, knew how to keep his team loose and keep their focus on enjoying the experience. Francona looked up to the scoreboard and saw an ad for a 50-50 raffle which had already pulled in $82,000 from fans in the stands. Turning to first baseman Mike Napoli, Francona pointed out the large pot of money which could be won in the raffle.

“Nap, we gotta get in on that,” Francona told his first baseman.

Embrace High Expectations: Lessons From Joe Maddon And The Chicago Cubs

The National League Division Series starts tonight and the Chicago Cubs, who haven’t won a World Series since 1908, are one of the favorites to win it all.

Since the final out last year when they lost to the New York Mets in the National League Championship Series, almost everyone has expected the Cubs to be the team to beat this year.

Unlike most teams, which too often play down expectations, the Cubs have embraced them. Under manager Joe Maddon, one of the best in the game, the Cubs have aimed high this season despite the 108-year World Series drought.

College Football’s Hottest Coach Shows You Don’t Need To Change Jobs To Be Successful

College football fans saw a major upset on Saturday in Texas thanks in part to a coach who is more focused on his current job than bigger opportunities down to road.

The Oklahoma University Sooners, a perennial powerhouse ranked number four in the nation, came down to Texas to play the University of Houston Cougars who are outside the Power Five conferences that dominate college football. But, on Saturday, Houston, which had not been in the top five since 1990, pulled off the upset, winning 33-23 with a strong outing from quarterback Greg Ward Jr. and the continued successful leadership of Coach Tom Herman.

Under Herman, one of the hottest names in college football, Houston is on a roll. Last year, Herman’s first season in charge of the Cougars, Houston impressed. The Cougars went 13-1 and won their first American Athletic Conference title. Capping off the season, Houston upset Florida State University, one of the top programs in the game, in the Peach Bowl to finish in the AP Top 10 for the first time since 1979. Houston has loftier ambitions this year and the Cougars are off to a great start with their win over Oklahoma.

Some of the Winning Teams Don Yaeger works with


DELL
Chevron
Microsoft
Hewlett Packard
BROCADE