Extraordinary Leadership Begins and Ends With These 3 Words

Anyone can be a leader.  From the guy in the entry level position all the way to the experienced CEO, every person has the ability to lead.  But what separates the ordinary leader from the extraordinary one?  There are three words that permeate the best of the best; love, trust, and serve.  And please understand, the greatest leaders not only act on these words every day, but they also have the ability to get their followers to act on them as well.


Extraordinary leaders love.  They have a genuine desire to care for the people around them.  This is more than just mentioning it every once in a while, it's living it out on a daily basis.  

Loving your followers is active and if you are doing a good job at it, the people you lead will actively love you back.  


Extraordinary leaders trust.  They spend countless hours building trust by showing compassion and caring for those around them.  They allow their followers to fail and use those situations as teaching opportunities to grow.  

When the people you lead feel confidence from you as their leader, they in turn will trust you and run through a wall for you.  


Extraordinary leaders serve.  They constantly look for opportunities to put others needs in front of their own.  They understand that if they want to be the best leader they can be then they must serve their people.

There will rarely be a time when serving others is convenient, but as a leader you must do it.  When you put the needs of others first, others will serve you and the team in ways you could never imagine.  

No matter where you find yourself in the chain of command, you have the opportunity to love, trust, and serve those around you.  Stop being an "ordinary" leader.  Make the choice to be extraordinary today!

A Lesson From Tubby

Texas Tech has stolen the headlines on ESPN recently after three incredible wins over top 25 teams in Iowa State, Baylor, and Oklahoma.  It has been no surprise to see the best teams in college basketball get upset this season, but how many people expected Texas Tech to be making this much noise?  The Big XII is the deepest conference in the NCAA this year and the man leading the Red Raiders charge is none other than Tubby Smith.

Yes, this is the same Tubby Smith that won a national championship at Kentucky and the same Tubby Smith that was let go at Minnesota (Hey Minnesota - how is that working out for you?).  There is no question that Tubby is one of the greatest coaches that has ever lived, but what is it that truly makes him great?  Is it his ability to draw up great plays?  Is it his personality that lures the top talent in the country?  Or is it something else?  


I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to coach at Tubby's basketball camps for 5 of the 6 years while he was at Minnesota.  I saw several qualities that separated Tubby from other coaches, but there is one instance that says more about him than anything else.  This experience not only changed my perception of Tubby as a coach and person, but more importantly it changed who I wanted to become as a coach and person.

We finally arrived to the dining hall after a long walk across campus with dozens of campers.  Most of these kids were between the ages of 8 and 14 and had no regard for what was going on around them.  As I was standing in line waiting to get my food, one of the campers dropped his tray and unleashed a mess on the floor - right on cue.  Most of the other kids pointed and laughed while some of the coaches near the incident got flustered and upset.  It was a situation  that was going to require a lot of clean up and there was no one that seemed to want to help this poor kid - except for one man.


Out of nowhere, Tubby comes in and assures the kid that it's OK.  He drops to his hands and knees and begins to pick up the mess like it was no big deal.  After he made his first trip to the trash can to throw away some of the food, he comes back with more paper towels and continues to finish the task of cleaning up the mess.  In less than two minutes the problem was solved and everyone went on with their lunch.  

Although this may seem like a small thing, it made a HUGE impact on me as a college kid aspiring to be a coach.  Tubby Smith is a natural leader and he displayed it in a simple act of service; humbling himself and helping this kid in his time of need.  This is why Tubby is one of the greatest of all-time.

So, while many are surprised by Texas Tech's recent success, I am not.  The values and character that Tubby and his staff are implementing in that program will go far beyond the basketball court. The wins will be fun and look fantastic on their tournament resume, but the true victory will be from the leadership traits that Tubby is living out each day as he leads that program!

One Word 2016: PERSISTENT

I began choosing One Word in 2014 after being challenged to do so by Jon Gordon & Dan Britton through their book, "One Word That Will Change Your Life."  In 2014, I chose the word Immediacy in hopes to discipline myself to complete tasks as soon as they came up and limit my procrastination.  In 2015, I chose the word Serve with the desire to humble myself in order to help others so they could see Jesus reflected through me.  Both years have proven to be challenging and rewarding by focusing on my One Word.  


[per-sis-tuh nt]


1.persisting, especially in spite of opposition, obstacles, discouragement,etc.; persevering:

2.lasting or enduring tenaciously:

3.constantly repeated; continued:

I've always been someone who is motivated to push through obstacles, so I am familiar with the attributes that go along with persistence.  However, I've struggled recently with doubt, anxiety, and self-discipline both at home and work.  I want 2016 to be a year that I remember for giving everything I had into becoming the best husband, father, and coach that I could be.  Regardless of what God has planned for my future, I desire to thrive and overcome due to an ongoing mindset of persistence.  Not only do I want to be persistent through discouragement and disappointment, but I want to be consistent in setting myself up for success through my daily habits and disciplines.  I truly believe that 2016 has many great opportunities in store for myself and my family and I'm looking forward to see God's plan unfold one day at a time!  Please pray for me and encourage me to continue with persistence throughout the year!