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Book Notes From 'You Win in the Locker Room First' By Jon Gordon & Mike Smith


  • It's not about you
  • It's about committing yourself to your team.
  • Commit if You Want to Commit
    • The hen is involved in creating the eggs for breakfast, but the pig is committed.
      • He has to sacrifice everything
    • To be a great leader, coach and team member you must be more than involved - you must be committed.
    • Self-evaluation to make sure that his or her level of commitment is greater than that of anyone else in the organization.
    • Create the right environment for your team to thrive, grow, improve and enjoy the journey.
    • You have to show your team that you are willing to do whatever it takes to help them be the best they can possibly be regardless of their stage of growth.
    • Commitment is something you should spend more time demonstrating than talking about.
    • When you are committed, everyone knows it and your team feels it.
    • There's no way you will get buy-in unless you demonstrate your commitment to them first.
    • They have to know that you are there to serve, teach and coach.
    • You demonstrate this commitment each day with the time you give your team and your willingness to server them and help them improve.
  • Commitment Begins with the Leader
    • I knew Arthur Blank, teams owner, was a man who was committed to his team and to winning.
    • Co-founder of Home Depot - was always impressed with how the associates in the stores were so helpful.
      • They  made it clear that they were there to serve people
      • I knew this commitment to service didn’t begin on the front lines an in the stores - to have such committed employees, I knew Arthur Blank had to be a man who believed in serving his team.
    • Commitment begins at the top.
  • Feeling is More Powerful than Seeing
    • Coach K took his the USA team to West Point
    • Coach K knew the players wouldn’t fully understand how special the place was by hearing him talk about it.
    • They had to experience and feel it.
    • "You can't talk about this place, see a movie about this place, you have to feel this place."
    • Coach K new it was the same when talking about service and sacrifice
    • The players may have understood the concept of service and sacrifice before, but after seeing the graves of fallen soldiers, listening to personal stories of service and sacrifice and feeling the loss of the family members, they truly got it.
    • Feeling is more powerful than hearing.
    • Your team must feel your commitment - not just hear it.
    • When we hear from a leader - we will learn; but when we feel a leaders commitment - we will be transformed.
  • Serve to Be Great
    • A team feels a leaders commitment when the leader takes the time to serve.
    • Great leaders know that their job is to serve teams
    • When you serve the team, you help them grow and they help you grow.
    • You can't serve yourself and your team at the same time
    • You must decide if you are going to be a self-serving leader or a true leader who serves others.
    • Self-serving leaders don't leave legacies that change the world for the better.
    • True greatness is achieved when a leader brings out the greatness in others
    • Great leaders and coaches are great servants.
    • The big questions you must ask yourself each day are.
      • What am I doing to serve my team and the people I lead?
      • How can I serve them to help them be the best versions of themselves?
      • How can I demonstrate my commitment to them?
  • Commitment Starts at Home
    • I think as leaders and coaches we think that commitment, leadership and service are all about the big things but really they are about doing the little things to let your team know you are there for them.
    • How important it is to commit at home.
    • It doesn’t matter how much success you have in your career - if you fail at home you are a failure.
  • Commitment is Spelled T-I-M-E
    • My word for the year was going to be 'serve'
    • I had to start serving at home. I had to show them I was committed to them.
    • Making the time to serve my family was how I showed I was truly committed to them.
    • I realized that I didn’t need a different team - but instead needed to become a better leader through my time and service.
    • Everything in my being wanted to focus on ME - but I was at my best when I focused on WE
    • We have the team we have for a reason.
    • I believe all success starts with making the team around you better.
  • When You Commit You Make Everyone Better
    • Swen Nater - he is a great example of how, when you help your team get better, you get better
    • When you focus on helping others improve, you improve.
    • When you have teammates like these who are committed, it will make everyone around them better.
    • It's not always about making the big play - it's about taking action and committing yourself to preparation, health, nutrition, practice, recovery and all the ways that make you and the team better.
  • The Hard Hat
    • George Boiardi - one of the greatest teammates to ever live.
      • Played lacrosse at Cornell - he died on the field in 2004
      • George and the hard hat came to define the Cornell lacrosse program
      • He was the hardest worker  and the most selfless person on the team.
      • He never wanted recognition, but simply to help his team get better.
      • They wonder if they are living committed lives and serving their current team members enough.
  • It's Not about You
    • Carl Liebert - CEO of 24 Hour Fitness
      • Mandatory for the executives to train at the centers so they could spend more time interacting with staff members and identify better ways to serve their team and customers.
      • Required executives to work for a week in one of their locations each year.
      • He leads with authenticity, humility, and commitment.
      • He looks for ways to develop the strengths of each team member and coaches them to be the best versions of themselves.
    • Remember it's not about you - it's about committing yourself to your team.
  • Lose Your Ego
    • To be a humble leader like Swen, George and Carl - you must lose your ego.
    • You must lose your ego so you can stop focusing on yourself and start focusing on your team.
    • Coach them to improve or let them off the team - but don’t blame them for your lack of success.
    • Rule of Thumb: you have to care more about what your team thinks about you than what the forces outside the locker room think of you.
    • Lose your ego and let your team and the world know you have their back.
    • The only option for leaders who serve their teams is to take responsibility for everything that happens on the field or in the marketplace.
    • When something goes wrong on the field, do everything in your power to make sure that no one individual player or coach is going to take the blame.
    • The team will function more effectively when it has leaders and team members who refuse to blame their teammates.
    • NBA coach - Chuck Daly : shout praise in public, whisper criticism in private.
  • Commitment Requires Sacrifice
    • To build a great team, your team has to know and feel that you would run into a burning building to save them.
    • They have to know that you are willing to sacrifice yourself for their gain.
    • If you love your team you will do whatever it takes to build them up - even if it means tearing yourself down.
Posted on Wednesday, September 21, 2016 1:29 PM Agile , TeamBuilding | Back to top

Comments on this post: You Win in Locker Room First : Commitment

# Earning trick
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I think you have work hard to make this book note.Earning Trick
Left by AlFurkan on Sep 21, 2016 11:27 PM

# re: You Win in Locker Room First : Commitment
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When we are committed to doing the right thing, we always end up with a good result. - Dennis Wong YOR Health
Left by George Roberts on Oct 06, 2016 5:03 AM

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