Why These People Are The Best At What They Do

I love Apex Leaders, those who are the best at what they do.  The following are 2011 championship performers in various areas of the sports world.  Their insights are applicable to anyone wanting to lead a great organization:

June 27th Sports Illustrated

  1. People Skills – Nick Faldo says of U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy, “(He can) get inside himself, play a shot, then come out of it and let people in.”  This comes as a result of McIlroy’s father Gerry’s teaching him “It’s nice to be nice.  And it doesn’t cost you a penny.”
  2. Honor – NHL Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas is a picture of the city he plays for.  Team president Cam Neely says, “This is a blue-collar city, and his success took a ton of hard work.  Our fans are sharp.  They respect battlers and see through phonies.  They see their best qualities in Timmy.”
  3. Character – “Everything about Tim speaks to his work ethic and integrity.  His game isn’t fancy; it’s honest.” – Andrew Ference.

April 11th Sports Illustrated on the NCAA basketball champions UConn Huskies

  1. Leading By Example – “He (Kemba Walker) molded this team and they followed his lead.” – Walker’s mother, Andrea
  2. Consistency – “The coaches told us to take it easy.  But we just did our regular stuff.” – Donnell Beverly
  3. Continual Improvement – “We’ve worked with him (Walker) on his shot for three years.” – George Blaney 
  4. Legacy – “We’re talking about a young man who was just an average high school student, at best, and who had always been more concerned with basketball.  I told him, ‘If you can do this (graduate early which he did), you’ll leave behind a legacy that’s more important than anything you do on the basketball court.” – academic counselor Felicia Crump.
  5. Finishing Well – “If it is the end, what a beautiful way to finish.” – Jim Calhoun’s wife Pat

April 11th Sporting News On Kemba Walker

  1. Motivation – “Kemba did a great job of motivating us in the locker room…I think that was the turning point…He also gave us confidence, told us shots are going to fall.  And shots fell.” – Alex Oriakhi
  2. Experience – “He is like kind of a dad to us.  He’s been here before.  Kemba just wants what’s best for us.  Coach says you have to have someone else on the court who’s a coach.  And right now Kemba is Jim Calhoun Jr.” – Shabazz Napier
  3. Depth – “I always tell him (teammate Jeremy Lamb), ‘Guys are going to do what they can do, do whatever is possible to stop me.  So we’re going to need you to step up, make some big plays for us.’  He listened.” – Walker
  4. Generosity – “At the end of the day, I always knew he wanted the best for me.  That’s one thing with a great leader, when somebody else wants the best for someone else, not just themselves.” – Roscoe Smith
  5. Work Ethic – “Every day, he plays like he doesn’t have a scholarship.  Every day…That’s a challenge to be that consistent as a leader.” – Kevin Ollie
  6. Are People Actually Following You – “He walked out of the breakfast room.  There was Kemba and about six guys following him.  It just so happened it ended up that way.  But I thought to myself as I saw that: That’s kind of who we are and what we are in many, many ways.” – Jim Calhoun

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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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