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

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What Makes The Great Ones Great

Using live and virtual presentations, Don reveals critical lessons needed
for you to achieve personal and professional greatness.

Greatness: The 16 Characteristics of True Champions

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Lesson 1 - Characteristic of Greatness

Lesson 1

Delivered as a live keynote presentation or virtual experience.

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Don tells unheard stories of awe-inspiring moments with Michael Jordan, Warrick Dunn, John Wooden and Walter Payton. Each story representing a Characteristic of Greatness.

Lesson 1 - Characteristic of Greatness

It’s Personal

They hate to lose more than they love to win

Characteristic of Greatness

Inner Fire

They use adversity as fuel.

Characteristic of Greatness

Rubbing Elbows

They understand the value of association.

Characteristic of Greatness

Do Unto Others

They know character is defined by how they treat those who cannot help them in return.

Lesson 2 - Characteristics of Greatness

Lesson 2

Delivered as a live keynote presentation or virtual experience.

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Don continues with stories from Shaquille O’Neal, Dick & Rick Hoyt, Michael Oher and John Wooden. Each story built around a new Characteristic of Greatness.

Characteristic of Greatness

Visualize Victory

They see victory before the game begins.

Characteristic of Greatness

When no one is watching

They are comfortable in the mirror. They live their life with integrity.

Characteristic of Greatness

What Off-Season?

They are always working towards the next game. The goal is what’s ahead, and there’s always something ahead.

Characteristic of Greatness

Hope For the Best But…

They prepare for all possibilities before they step on the field.

Characteristic of Greatness

Lesson 3

Delivered as a live keynote presentation or virtual experience.

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The journey continues with more stories of Greatness from Tug McGraw, Jason McElwain “J-Mac”, Tom Brady and legendary ESPN broadcaster Dick Vitale, showcasing the next four Characteristics of Greatness.

Characteristic of Greatness

Contagious Enthusiasm

They are positive thinkers… They are enthusiastic… and that enthusiasm rubs off.

Characteristic of Greatness

Ice In Their Veins

They are risk-takers, and don’t fear making a mistake.

Characteristic of Greatness

Not Just About The Benjamins

They don’t play just for the money.

Characteristic of Greatness

Records are Made to be Broken

They know their legacy isn’t what they did on the field. They are well-rounded.

Lesson 4 - Characteristics of Greatness

Lesson 4

Delivered as a live keynote presentation or virtual experience.

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Don wraps up the series with stories from Tony Dungy, Michael Phelps, Brian Davis and Michael Jordan, highlighting the final four Characteristics of Greatness.

Characteristic of Greatness


They have faith in a higher power.

Characteristic of Greatness

Ultimate Teammate

They will assume whatever role is necessary for the team to win.

Characteristic of Greatness

When Everyone is Watching

They embrace the idea of being a role model.

Characteristic of Greatness

When All Else Fails

They know how – and when – to adjust their game plan.

  • Patricia Fripp

    Patricia Fripp

    "I have no interest in sports, but this was not a sports speech. I have been watching and grading speeches for 30 years and this was one of the most poignant human interest and motivational speeches I have ever heard."

    Patricia Fripp

    Best-Selling Author & Motivational Speaker

  • John C. Maxwell

    The John C. Maxwell Company

    "Don is the best storyteller I know. If I want someone to tell a story, I say go get Don Yaeger because they have such meaning and depth."

    Listen to the podcast

    John C. Maxwell

    Best-Selling Author & Leadership Expert

  • Bill Swales

    Crown Capitol

    "I recently completed Don Yeager's fantastic series "What makes great teams great" A rich motivational experience with life lessons I will cherish forever."

    Bill Bankson

    Intermedia Business Class Cloud Voice Consultant

  • Craig Gadberry

    Software One

    "Don has transformed his twenty plus years’ experience and accomplishments in writing into the opportunity to help individuals and companies transform themselves; all founded on Greatness."

    Craig Gadberry

    Vice President, Software One

  • Jonathan French

    Simon Sinek's Classroom

    "Don is one of the best storytellers I’ve ever met. I’ve known him for a long time and every time we talk I walk away wiser and more inspired. He is the best in the business at teaching you a skill – storytelling – that will last you a lifetime."

    Simon Sinek

    Best-Selling Author, Inspirational Speaker

  • Chrissy Taylor

    Enterprise Holdings

    "Don Yaeger's positive approach to motivating a group would be an asset to any event."

    Chrissy Taylor

    COO, Enterprise Holdings

  • Louise F. Jones

    Alabama Pharmacy Association

    "After hearing Don speak, I immediately decided my team would find significant value by being exposed to his philosophies on both business and character."

    Louise F. Jones

    Executive Director, Alabama Pharmacy Association

  • Tom Taylor


    "Don learns the intricacies of each company to which he presents and engages the senior leadership team in advance to be sure he includes personalized messages to his audience."

    Tom Taylor

    Chief Executive Officer, Floor & Decor

  • Steve Casey

    Florida Sherriff's Association

    "Attendees and staff alike have raved about your presentation and the thought-provoking philosophies that you imparted to them."

    Steve Casey

    Executive Director, Florida Sherriff's Association

  • General Bernard Banks

    West Point Military Academy

    "Your willingness to share intimate details of your own life journey made the day's conversations even more impactful. Suffice it to say, none of us will forget your time on campus!"

    General Bernard Banks

    West Point Military Academy

  • Jeff Turner


    "Don’s lessons bring coworkers back into the huddle, the dugout, or the court to find that inner-spark, competitive spirit, and desire to become great!"

    Jeff Turner

    Director Microsoft U.S. SMB Channel Marketing

  • Stacey D’Antoni

    John Deer

    “You were absolutely one of the lowest maintenance speakers we’ve ever had, and that means a lot to a planner.”

    Stacey D’Antoni

    CMP, Marketing Meeting & Events Manager for John Deere Landscapes

  • Eric Martorano


    "After hearing Don speak, I immediately decided my team would find significant value by being exposed to his philosophies on both business and character."

    Eric Martorano

    Sr. Director, U.S. SMB Channel Group, Microsoft Corporation

  • Hector Cavazos


    "Your Characteristics of Greatness presentation was overwhelmingly rated as the best motivational speech my employees had ever heard."

    Hector Cavazos

    Diversity Coordinator, Chevron

  • Bill Swales

    Hewlette Packard

    "When you can find someone who has truly studied Great Teams, as Don has here, these lessons are an amazing and impactful resource which ever leader should leverage."

    Bill Swales

    Former Vice President, Hewlette Packard

  • Jonathan French

    Crown Capitol

    "If you want to produce an unforgettable highlight for your event, I highly recommend Don as the person to knock it out of the park!"

    Jonathan French

    President, Crown Capital Securities L.P.

Ready, Set, Empower!

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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.

 Read Full Bio here

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    Anjie Cheatham – Director of Marketing and Events

    Anjie Cheatham
    Director of Live & Virtual Events

    Connect with Don's team directly by calling (850) 412-0300 (8:30AM – 6:00PM EST)

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