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I Read 40 Books In 2016. These Are My Top 2 Reads!

Saturday, December 31st, 2016

I read 40 books in 2016. All of them were non-fiction. I know, I know, I need to add some fiction books to become a well rounded reader. I plan on including some fiction (a book or two) this new year. Have you seen my digital library? Each book I read in 2016 had an impact on my thinking. I enjoyed all 40 books, but there were two that really stuck out and I recommend you read both. A.S.A.P.P.D.Q. (As soon as possible, pretty darn quick)! 1. The Legacy Journey: A Radical View of Biblical Wealth and Generosity by Dave Ramsey Amazon’s description of The Legacy Journey There’s a lot of bad information in our culture today about wealth―and the wealthy. Worse, there’s a growing backlash in America against our most successful citizens, but why? To many, wealth is seen as the natural result of hard work and wise money management. To others, wealth is viewed as the ultimate, inexcusable sin. This has left many godly men and women confused about what to do with the resources God’s put in their care. They were able to build wealth using God’s ways of handling money, but then they are left feeling guilty about it. Is this what God had in mind? 2. Glory Days: Living Your Promised Land Life Now by Max Lucado Amazon’s description of Glory Days We all face them. Strongholds with a strong hold on our lives. Roadblocks to our joy. Obstacles in our marriages. Fortresses of fear blocking us from peace. How can we bring down these walls that keep us from the future God promises? … Need a new battle plan for life? Keep walking, keep believing. These may be your Glory Days. I originally wanted this post to be my #1 read of 2016 but I just couldn’t do it….

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How To Keep Your Coach?

Saturday, November 26th, 2016

Charlie Strong is gone. UT football players are upset. I don’t know any of the current UT football players personally, but their tweets and media coverage show they have a pretty strong bond with their head coach. I know the feeling. Here’s how you keep your coach = WIN. Sounds simple, but it’s incredibly tough. Many think you win games in-season on Saturdays, but the truth of the matter is, you win as a team in the off-season. Your off-season preparation determines your in-season success. Every time, every year. I played football at the University of North Texas (2002-06). We won our conference championship and played in bowl games ’02, ’03 and ’04. Winning was awesome! It even made food taste better. In ’05 and ’06 we went 2-9 and 3-9 and lost our coach. The same coach we won with in ’02-04. I have experienced both sides and as I look back on our success and failure, it boils down to how we prepared in the off-season. That’s it. You’re either all in, or you’re all out. There is no in between. To all the current UT football players, or anyone else in a similar spot: it’s time to recommit, re-dedicate and re-purpose your off-season preparation. When you do this over time, you will experience the success you want and get to keep your coach.

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What it Feels Like to Walk in Olympic Opening Ceremonies!

Friday, August 5th, 2016

It was two years ago that I walked in the Opening Ceremonies at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. Tonight, I will watch from home and share in the joy of many who are experiencing this incredible moment for the very first time in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It was an absolute honor to be a small part of the 230 athlete delegation the United States of America sent to compete on the world stage. I want to do my best to share with you (in pictures and words) what it’s like to walk in Opening Ceremonies. L to R: Justin Olsen, Nick Cunningham, Chris Fogt, Cory Butner, Steve Holcomb, Dallas Robinson, Johnny Quinn, Curt Tomasevicz, Steve Langton Ralph Lauren provided our gear for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, just like they will do for Team USA in Rio. This picture is of the U.S. Men’s Bobsled Team lined up for a team photo in the Olympic Village. Steve Langton clearly has the best hair.   L to R: Dallas Robinson, Nick Cunningham, Johnny Quinn, Justin Olsen   Team USA sent two bobsled teams (USA-1 and USA-2) to the Sochi Olympics in the 4-man bobsled event. This picture is of our USA-2 crew and truth be told, we took this picture before the team photo I posted above. FYI. Side note, take a look at our shoe laces and socks. Ralph Lauren had an Opening Ceremony app on our phone to show us how to dress properly in order to walk. The shoe laces had to be tied in the back and we had to have three folds in our socks. It was simple: follow the dress code in the app, or don’t walk in the Opening Ceremony. You decide. L to R: Justin Olsen, Chris Fogt, Cory…

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Fearless Coaching

Tuesday, May 24th, 2016

An Open Letter To The Athlete We Must Stop Recruiting Becky Carlson, the Women’s Rugby Coach at Quinnipiac University, wrote the following open letter to the type of athlete who, although very talented, she no longer recruits. Coach Carlson’s letter is enlightening for athletes of all sports (and their parents and coaches). Dear Prospective Student-Athlete, I received your introductory two-line email and read through it. I must say your first sentence was painfully familiar as you introduced yourself by first name only. I assumed if you were trying to make an impression that you would have paid more attention to punctuation, but my assumption appears incorrect. While your opening email failed to identify your last name, what year in school you are, where you are from, or what position you play, you managed to include your most pressing question as to whether our team is “giving out scholarships”. A week later, I received a second email with full color resume attachment including your action photos, and a variety of links to related newspaper articles. Each of these items were compiled in an orderly fashion and sent out directly from both your parents’ emails. While it took a bit to thumb through the long list of your impressive extracurricular activities, please thank your parents for putting this packet together and understand that it would have been far more beneficial for our staff to speak to you personally by way of an old school phone call. As my staff sent correspondence to your personal email, we have received only a return from your parents apologizing and explaining that you are simply “too busy to answer”. As a word of advice, while many college coaches support parental enthusiasm, initiative taken by the athlete is crucial if you are serious about connecting with a quality program. Our staff explained to your parents that…

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I bought this guy’s book for $2.99! Here’s why?

Friday, May 20th, 2016

The best way to learn is to borrow wisdom. Borrowing from those who may be 1, 2, 5+ steps ahead will save you (and me) years of frustration. My wife showed me a post from Dale Partridge recently and it about knocked me off my chair (here’s the post). I own and operate a couple of small businesses which require ample time. I want these businesses to crush it! I also have a wife that I love dearly and I/we want our marriage to crush it! So the question becomes, can you crush both married life and business life? The answer is yes, if you borrow, learn, implement, listen, follow others who are already doing it! It’s a simple concept yet so hard sometimes for our brains to compute. Here’s the formula: borrow wisdom + intentional action + consistency = crushing it!  I want to borrow wisdom from people who have the life, marriage, business, kids, relationships, etc. that I want to have, which leads me to Dale. I have not personally met Dale at the writing of this post. The power of technology has allowed me to consume his wisdom in areas of my life that are very important. Which is why I bought his book, People Over Profit, on sale today for $2.99. Who are you borrowing wisdom from?

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What I Learned From The Homeless

Monday, April 11th, 2016

I spent Saturday with Metro Relief, a not-for-profit organization with a simple goal: Go to the people, meet the people, and serve the people. They currently operate from two locations Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX and Columbus, OH. I participated with the Dallas Relief Bus, which took us to two locations in downtown Dallas. This was my first time to serve the homeless. Our first stop was to Malcolm X Boulevard and Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard in Southeast Dallas. We setup shop: tables, chairs, war room (prayer room), socks, hygiene kits and of course food. On the menu was soup with rice, bread and lemonade, which was fantastic! Many of the homeless recognized the leaders of our group, Jason, John and Alex as they are familiar faces to them. I found out very quickly how much the homeless appreciated the Relief Bus and how thankful they were for community. The first person I met was a guy named James who is 67 years old. He has been on and off the streets since 1979 and loves the Dallas Cowboys. Although his speech was broken, his mind was sharp. Just as I was getting to know my new friend James, Cindy sat down. Cindy grew up in Tennessee and remembers her grandfather always picking roses and laying them on the porch for her when she would visit their farm. In between bites of her bread and soup, Cindy shared with me that she grew up going to a catholic school. I was shocked and surprised by how authentic these conversations were with the homeless. They are real people, with real names and real stories. As we were concluding this stop and packing up our gear to move to a new location, I asked if I could pray for my new friends. Cindy mentioned she had two dogs growing up named…

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Seventeen Inches

Tuesday, March 29th, 2016

I was on social media last week and came across Seventeen Inches. At the time I read this article, it had been shared 72,000+ on Facebook. WOW, that is a lot of sharing and posting! Good news too if you are not a baseball fan…there is plenty of power and wisdom below for all. Photo Credit: Peter Griffin 17 Inches by Chris Sperry In Nashville, Tennessee, during the first week of January, 1996, more than 4,000 baseball coaches descended upon the Opryland Hotel for the 52nd annual ABCA convention. While I waited in line to register with the hotel staff, I heard other more veteran coaches rumbling about the lineup of speakers scheduled to present during the weekend. One name, in particular, kept resurfacing, always with the same sentiment — “John Scolinos is here? Oh man, worth every penny of my airfare.” Who the heck is John Scolinos, I wondered. Well, in 1996 Coach Scolinos was 78 years old and five years retired from a college coaching career that began in 1948. No matter, I was just happy to be there. He shuffled to the stage to an impressive standing ovation, wearing dark polyester pants, a light blue shirt, and a string around his neck from which home plate hung — a full-sized, stark-white home plate. Pointed side down. Seriously, I wondered, who in the hell is this guy? After speaking for twenty-five minutes, not once mentioning the prop hanging around his neck, Coach Scolinos appeared to notice the snickering among some of the coaches. Even those who knew Coach Scolinos had to wonder exactly where he was going with this, or if he had simply forgotten about home plate since he’d gotten on stage. Then, finally … “You’re probably all wondering why I’m wearing home plate around my neck. Or…

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Lamar University Student Leadership Conference

Friday, February 5th, 2016

Whether you’re a current leader or an emerging leader, we’re committed to your journey of “Becoming a Next Generation Leader.” All Lamar University students are invited to attend the 2016 Student Leadership Conference. Hear from our keynote speaker, Olympian and former NFL player, Johnny Quinn, and attend workshops to learn how to grow as an effective leader. The conference is free for all students. Lunch will be provided and many giveaways throughout the day! Check-in begins at 9:30 am in the Setzer Student Center Ballroom. STUDENT LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE Saturday, February 6, 2016 10:00 am – 3:00 pm Setzer Student Center Ballroom Lunch Provided CONTACT US Julie Eddards Director of New Student and Leadership Programs 409-880-7001 What Makes a Leader? Leadership is so much more than having a position or a title. Leadership is what happens when your character, your passions, and your actions align. People want to follow great leaders because of how they inspire others to action. When people with conviction step out, they often draw others to step out with them and the world around them begins to change. By becoming a next generation leader, you can impact a person or mobilize a group into action, which will have greater change in the world around you. That “world” can be your family, friends, workplace or simply the people you come in contact with during the day. When we lead from position or title, the only impact that we will have on others is to manage their time and their tasks. A next generation leader learns how to inspire the strengths and talents of others to a greater outcome. We’re excited to have you join us as we present to you opportunities for you to reflect, grow, and be challenged to become an influential next generation leader. This…

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Winners Are Quitters. They Quit All The Time.

Thursday, February 4th, 2016

At first glance, the title “Winners Are Quitters” seems like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? It certainly doesn’t make sense if you have heard (and I bet you have) Vince Lombardi’s famous quote, “Winners Never Quit and Quitters Never Win.” Vince’s quote, on a macro perspective (big picture) is true. It’s when you begin to look at Winners vs. Quitters on a micro perspective (smaller/daily picture) that we begin to see Winners quit all the time. In this leadership training for employees post I discuss what to quit immediately. Winners… …quit things that don’t work or provide any value to accomplishing their goals. Winners don’t wait to quit at the end of the month, or at the end of the quarter. Winners certainly don’t wait to quit until “New Year Resolution” time next year. Winners quit things that aren’t working NOW. Quitters… …keep doing the same thing over and over. Quitters complain about why their situation hasn’t changed or why it seems like everyone else around them seems to be prospering. Quitters fail to do what winners do daily. Quitters fail to stop the habits and behaviors that have kept them, and will continue to keep them, from reaching their goals. Winners… …quit making excuses. Winners don’t misunderstand reality. Winners are well aware that outside-their-control influences can and will affect the journey to accomplishing their goals. I.e. economy, government, upper management decisions at work, weather, etc. Winners are also well aware that they are in control of their actions. Winners know the choices they make daily have a greater impact on creating the future they want for themselves and their family. More so then outside-their-control influences do. This is great news! Quitters… …make excuses and don’t recognize they are making them. Just like Winners, they are well aware of reality and outside-their-control…

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