2 Leaders and 18 Leadership Quotes To Be Thankful For


The difference between successful and unsuccessful people is how they think.  Michigan State’s head coach Tom Izzo has been to six Final Fours while winning the 2000 national championship.  Cincinnati Reds general manager Walt Jocketty is the winner of the 2010 MLB Executive Of The Year Award.

The November 8th edition of The Sporting News captured key insights from these two leaders who are at the top of their industries.  Below are their thoughts as well as additional insights gleaned from others in the magazine.

Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo

  1. “The problem you have in coaching to me…I think people take things for granted.”
  2. We’re always looking for a better job or a different job, but the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.”
  3. “Sometimes you’ve got to make the job you’ve got an even better job and quit worrying about the next job.” – Nick Saban
  4. “You have to have a relationship with your best player, as a coach.”
  5. “I think it’s my responsibility to a player to push him harder than he probably thinks he can be pushed…(but) I don’t give up on people.”
  6. “Don’t tell me you want to be a pro – don’t tell me you want to lead a team to a national championship – if your personality is going to stay the same.”
  7. “Unbelievable people skills.  Not afraid to hear his own voice.  Knowledge of the game.  (Those are) things Kalin (Lucas) has to improve on.”
  8. “Everybody talks about the kids changing.  I say the grown-ups have changed.”
  9. “If I had to pick one word that I don’t think kids do as well now as they did going back in years, it’s the word respect.  And the second would be accountability.  But what have we taught?”
  10. “I’ve become smarter (and) a little more patient (since 1983), a little more understanding and yet trying not to lose that edge.  Because the edge is what I think separates good from great.”

Cincinnati Reds GM Walt Jocketty

  1. “We had to teach everybody from the front office to the players that we can turn this around and be successful.”
  2. “You look at an organization like the Twins and how long some of their people have been there.  That’s continuity and it means a lot in what has made them a very successful organization.”
  3. “You saw a young club that really came together after the addition of some veterans for their influence on and off the field.”
  4. “The biggest things I learned from Billy Martin were trust and loyalty.”


  1. “I’m a man and I want to work.  This is all I know.” – Andy Pettite
  2. Money is money.  Lifestyle is more subjective.” – Texas Rangers CEO Chuck Greenberg
  3. “When you set a goal to win a championship and you get close to that goal, then there is going to be more pressure.” – Orlando Magic GM Otis Smith
  4. “What you’re hoping to do is find one guy a year that is a talented player and all of a sudden your system fits how he can play and maximizes him.” – Flip Saunders

I hope everyone will enjoy these quotes and ponder their larger meaning over the holidays.  And finally, my prayer for you and your family is that this will be the best Thanksgiving you’ve ever had!

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About Brian Dodd on Leadership

I am a church stewardship and leadership consultant for INJOY Stewardship Solutions. This blog combines my personal passions of church, sports, pop culture and family into a single leadership resource. I trust your time on this site will create conversations and add value to your life.


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