In this post, Josh Buford shares what he learned from reading and participating on the “Launch Team” for Jon Gordon’s book You Win In The Locker Room First; The 7 C’s to Build a Winning Team in Business, Sports, and Life.
I have read nearly all of Jon Gordon’s books and every time I find them not only refreshing, but also motivational. I am always able to relate them to my current situation and am able to take something from them. With this particular book, released in September of 2015, I was able to be a part of the “Launch Team,” so I got to see behind the scenes some of the process that goes into making the book, promoting the book, and interacting with over 300 other individuals who were on the team as well.
In this particular book, Jon Gordon uses a format where he partakes in a conversation with former NFL Coach Mike Smith. The bulk of their conversation is in regards to what it takes to build a successful organization. They go back and forth giving specific examples of what they have seen that has worked in organizations as well as with sports teams. Another fantastic part is that Coach Smith is very open and honest about what he has seen or been part of that doesn't work as well. To offer this differing perspective not only validates both authors as authentic, but also helps you relate to them as real people.
As I read this book, I couldn't help but relate to so many instances that I have been a part of. I truly believe that no matter what type of “business” that you're in; the 7 Cs to Build a Winning Team in Business, Sports, and Life will not only bring light to things that help build and sustain great organizations, but also will help you identify yourself where you can improve your own leadership skills.
The book is structured about the "7 Cs." Each chapter could be a whole book in itself, but Jon and Coach Smith give very small conversations about each topic. Each of them are usually a couple of pages and give an encounter of that trait in action. Each one is beneficial to you, as they see a real life example and not something that is not a hypothetical made up situation. Each “C” is split up into easy to read parts and is easy to navigate due to clear and concise sub headings.
One “C” that particularly stands out to me and has had an influence on my teaching and coaching is from the first “C,” Culture. There were many parts of the Culture chapter that stuck out and have been useful for me as I evaluated my current situation. A few of those things are, knowing what you stand for and finding positive enjoyable ways to spread that to others. In my scenario those others are colleagues, students, athletes, coaches, parents, administration, etc. If I can bring a positive energy to everyone I come in contact with, I can change the culture of any situation. Additionally, if I can “focus on the root, not the fruit” as stated in this chapter, it will allow me as a leader to maintain a consistency with my leadership and not dwell on the everyday ups and downs, successes and failures, celebration and hard falls of my students, colleagues, etc. My consistent, positive mentality, focus and attitude can go a long way in allowing my students and athletes to find balance and find success in everything they do, whether that be small or great task. These are just a few things from the Culture chapter. There are so many other things that the Culture chapter, as well as many of the other chapters, have allowed me to critically think about and have allowed me to consider how I can put them into action in Excelsior Springs High School.
A few other things I’d like to share from the book are from one of the other sections that I greatly admire titled "Beyond the 7 Cs." It talks about things like "Focus on the Process" (instead of the outcome), "Creating Your Own Style of Leadership"(something I had to do and can greatly relate), and "Lead Your Leaders." Lead Your Leaders states that, "No matter what role you play in your organization, you can lead from where you are and help your leaders be their best." No matter who you are, there is still leadership and culture to be taught.
I have recommended this book to many people and know that it is something that could be useful to everyone. No matter where you are in life, "The past is gone. Every year is a fresh start to focus on the process, develop your fundamentals, and build a winning team."
For more information on the book and for great visuals that go along with most of Gordon’s books visit www.wininthelockerroom.com. Additionally, I have a PDF version of the first few chapters that I’d be willing to share with you as a sample of this book.
Post by | Josh Buford | High School Physical Education
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