Award-Winning Leadership Speaker, Executive Coach & New York Times Best-Selling Author

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Tony La Russa’s Game Plan

Retired Major League manager Tony La Russa proves that in baseball (as in business), preparation and personal relationships give you a winning edge.

Tony La Russa is considered among the best in his business. Yet nearly half the time he led his organizations into competition, they were defeated—2,728 wins, 2,365 losses. That’s one of the great oddities of baseball: Success is relative. A hitter who fails 70 percent of the time at the plate is a potential member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, and many World Championship teams lose more than 70 games during their title-winning seasons.

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Recapturing Gold, Restoring Pride

As the USA Men’s Basketball Team heads to London as the favorite to win gold, it’s hard to believe that just a few years ago, even medaling at the Olympics seemed an uncertain prospect. A series of embarrassing setbacks, including a horrific showing in the 2004 Games, left many wondering whether the rest of the world had caught—and passed—the United States in a game created in America.

That’s when longtime National Basketball Association executive Jerry Colangelo stepped up to accept the challenge. As director of USA Basketball, Colangelo’s task was to rebuild the franchise that once so dominated its competition (think back to the 1992 Dream Team) that opponents lined up after games for the “honor” of photos with the superstars who had just trounced them by 50 points.

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Letting Go

In a career filled with successes, Warrick Dunn overcame his biggest challenge off the football field.

In over 25 years of sports journalism, covering some of the most exciting games and thrilling moments in the world of athletics, I have never seen anything as extraordinary as what I witnessed on Oct. 23, 2007. It wasn’t a moment you’d see on a highlight reel because it had nothing to do with making a play or winning a game. It was one human being overcoming the biggest challenge he had ever stared down.

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Brother’s (Goal) Keeper

Pro sports team executives Brett and Michael Yormark play off each other to raise the bar for individual performance.

When New Jersey Nets CEO Brett Yormark needs to find ways to creatively market his NBA team, he doesn’t have to look in the mirror… though sometimes it may seem that way. Often, he calls his brother Michael, the other half of the only identical twins running professional sports franchises in the United States.

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Certified Speaking Professional (CSP)

About Don Yaeger

Don Yaeger

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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