The One Thing You Better Get Right

A while back, a friend of mine sent me an article from the New Yorker, written by Malcolm Gladwell.

The article is a correlation between selecting NFL quarterbacks and choosing great educators. In light of tonight’s NFL Draft, the article is timely.

Whether you are selecting a QB or a teacher, there is one thing that is certain … You better get it right.

If you are a parent you probably have given a lot of thought to where your kids attend school. You would be wise to forget about the school and focus on the teacher.

Gladwell points out, “Teacher effects dwarf school effects: your child is actually better off in a ‘bad’ school with an excellent teacher than in an excellent school with a bad teacher.”

For football teams, schools, and every other organization or team, it is imperative to find excellent people. If I might draw from Gladwell, the truth is you would be better off working in a ‘bad’ company with an excellent leader than you would be working in an excellent company with a bad leader.

In either scenario, you can bank on the company changing within a short time. A great leader will turn a bad company around while a bad leader will run a good company in the ground. Leader effects dwarf company effects.

A couple of bad teams will mortgage their futures on two young quarterbacks tonight. If they are as good as advertised, look for both teams to improve quickly. If they are overrated, each franchise will set itself back a decade.

Leadership Begins at Home,


What is your secret to discovering talent? 

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Has Your Answer Been 'No' for too Many Days in a Row?

The late Steve Jobs, while speaking to the graduating class at Stanford University, once spoke the following words . . .

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

So what if today was your last day? Would you be looking forward to doing what you are about to do? If your answer is no, perhaps it is time for you to make a change.

FYW image

A couple of years ago, I joined my friend Dan Webster to write FINDING YOUR WAY: Discovering the Truth About You. The book was created to help those who would answer “NO” to Jobs “Would I want to do what I am about to do today?” question.

If you fall into that group, or know someone who does, let me encourage you to visit and join the movement.

Finding your Way is not just an engaging story, it is a brilliant process that will help you find the work you were born to do . . . at any age. I’m not only giving this book to college graduates, I’m also giving it to a few fifty year old friends searching for their passion and purpose.”

– Jon Gordon – Best Selling Author & Keynote Speaker

Life is too short to go through the motions. Every day is a gift. Take a look in the mirror and ask yourself if you are doing the things that bring you life. If not, maybe it’s time to start FINDING YOUR WAY.

Leadership Begins at Home,


If you could do one thing today, what would it be?

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Do You Ever Fail on Purpose?

When is the last time you failed on purpose?

Oh, I don’t mean you tried to fail. I’m simply asking when you attempted something so hard you knew at some point you would be doomed.

Recently, I have been reading Carol Dweck’s book, Mindset. Dweck reminds readers there are two types of people … those with a fixed mindset and those who lean toward growth. The ones on the fixed side usually resist change. They like to play it safe, and certainly never fail on purpose. They spend most of their time trying to manage an image and protect a reputation rather than seeking to improve.

Dweck challenges the fixed mindset when she writes, “Why waste time proving over and over how great you are, when you could be getting better? Why hide deficiencies instead of overcoming them? Why look for friends or partners who will just shore up your self-esteem instead of ones who will also challenge you to grow? And why seek out the tried and true, instead of experiences that will stretch you? The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even (or especially) when it’s not going well, is the hallmark of the growth mindset. This is the mindset that allows people to thrive during some of the most challenging times in their lives.” 

Many leaders I know have ignored the spirit of those words and settled for average. 

How about you? Do you equate failing with failure? There is a big difference. Failing happens when we reach. Failure is when we never do.

The willingness to fail is often the precursor to accomplishment. Few have ever done anything great on the shores of safety. The real failures are those who choose comfort over courage.

If today finds you stuck, I challenge you to find a place to fail on purpose. Doing so will put you on the path to growth.

Leadership Begins at Home,


Can you think of a time when you failed in the past and it made you stronger?

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