Players get better after their coach gets better.

Students get better after their teacher gets better.

Employees get better after their manager gets better.

Many coaches, teachers and managers wonder why their players, students and employees are not getting optimal results.

But it’s not about the players, students or employees.

It’s about the coaches, teachers and managers.

So what can you do?

1. Lead by example. Others will follow.
2. Show your passion. It will be contagious.
3. Respect EVERYONE. We are all equal.
4. Strive for constant improvement. We can always improve our craft.
5. Develop a TEAM-first mentality. The great ones know individual goals come second.

MESSAGE #999 LEADERSHIP (and failure)

Today I’m going back to where I failed out twice, Rider University, while studying computers.

No, I’m not going back to get my degree (I have a degree from Ferris State University’s Marketing/Professional Tennis Management program).

I’m going back to Rider to be the opening speaker for their Team Leadership Challenge. This is my second time speaking at this great event and this year’s theme is  “Navigating Your Way to Success.”

That’s funny to me.

When I started college it was as if I needed a map, but after failing out twice, I CHOSE to follow my passion (sports) and transferred to Ferris State. My grades skyrocketed. I graduated in 1997 and was named Pro of the Year for the USTA in 2005. After that, I started my own business, wrote a book and became a motivational speaker.

So what is leadership?

I think a big part of leadership is being brave enough to follow your passion. It’s about helping others. Leaders do things because it is the right thing to do, regardless of what others may think. That’s when people will follow. But it’s not about having followers…

The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers. -RALPH NADER

If you look at all of the great leaders in history, they all made everyone else better, whether it is Michael Jordan, Oprah Winfrey, Martin Luther King or Henry Ford. Focusing on yourself is weak. Focusing on others is powerful.

So today I hope to motivate, energize, and inspire the students at Rider, but more importantly, I hope to produce more leaders.


Today’s message is especially dedicated to Brittany Eckett. Happy Birthday to a softball great.

Most of us live a life of mediocrity.

We don’t like to get out of our comfort zones.

We fear change.

Well, guess what?

1. You don’t have to settle for mediocrity.

2. If you don’t get out of your comfort zone, you won’t get better.

3. Change is inevitable.

I recently listened to an interview with one of my favorite authors, Robin Sharma, who wrote “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari” and more recently, “The Leader Who Had No Title.” In the interview, Sharma said something profound that stuck with me.

When we are born, we cry while the world rejoices. When we die, the world should be crying while we rejoice.

What do you want to have accomplished at the end of your life?

You can’t take your trophies with you. You can’t take your money with you. You can’t take your iPhone with you.

So what’s the purpose of life? To discover your gifts.

What’s the meaning of life? To give those gifts away.

Do you want to be comfortable, or do you want to be GREAT?