A few months ago, I posted a blog about 10 of my favorite books that cover topics such as leadership, growth, and basketball. Ten seemed like an impossible number to narrow it down to – given my growing library. However, it was not difficult to place “The Go Giver” by Bob Burg and John David Mann, at the top of that list. I was given this book by a mentor of mine, and the powerful thoughts shared in the book are now a part of my every-day life (along with the sequel, “The Go Giver Sells More”). I reached out to my network of friends, family, and colleagues, and they too have enjoyed the message of the book. While the book does not offer great basketball drills or agility exercises (because that’s the message), I found immediate correlations between a Go Giver and the type of leaders we are trying to teach, build, and mold at Point Guard College.
I surely don’t want to give away each of the Five Laws of Stratospheric Success, but here is a brief summary of the book and its correlation to being a true point guard and leader – both on and off the court:
- CREATE VALUE: Every great leader constantly asks him or herself the following questions: Do my actions serve the group? Do my actions create value for my basketball team? A true Go Giver finds numerous ways to answer this question ‘Yes’ – repeatedly and on a daily basis. Every point guard should be able to repeat that same sentiment as well. Next to a quarterback in football, there may not be any other position in sports where a player must be able to answer this question both on and off the court. It is the responsibility of a point guard to set-up his or her teammates in the most productive way possible by providing them easy shots and scoring opportunities while also being a threat to score. Point guards also hold the title of Unofficial Leader on most basketball teams. You have to find a way to create value for your team. The more talented and skilled you are, the more value you add to your team. The first and key Law is: “Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment”. Do you provide value to your team or do you take from and expect of your teammates? Use these next few months during the summer to find ways to add value to your team through your tangible skills and intangible leadership traits.
- DO EXTRA AND MORE: This is a fundamental ‘must have’ that every great leader understands. A favorite quote that Dena Evans used to share with athletes is “to whom much is given, much is required”. As the point guard, you are expected to do more; given the natural responsibilities of a point guard, but what other ‘extras’ do you engage in on a daily basis? Do you clean up your team’s bench after each basketball game? Do you show up early and leave late each day at basketball practice? Do you communicate more than anyone on your basketball team? Sure, it can be exhausting to constantly be ‘doing more’, but you will reap the rewards as you increase the value you have in many people’s lives. Your teammates will be impressed with your dedication and your coaches and teachers will appreciate your approach as it makes their life easier. When it comes time for Coach Smith or Mrs. Jackson to provide you with a reference or assist you in getting a job, expect a glowing recommendation and extremely helpful hand. In the Go Giver, it is referred to as “an army of walking personal ambassadors who are personally invested in seeing you succeed.” Doing more and extra ought to govern the way you approach your game and your life.
- OTHER’S FIRST: Leadership is very much about influence. How well do you positively influence other people? At the core of every great leader is a servant-like approach to ensuring the needs of everyone in the group are met. Servant-leadership definitely requires more, but when you put other people’s interest first, you are showing them your passion for their success. One of the Five Laws is the following: “Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interests first”. Do you have a ‘me first’ or a ‘we first’ approach to your team? When you go to shoot or take part in a skill development workout, do you perform these alone, or do you have a teammate come along with? Do you build your teammates up with positive enthusiasm despite a poor practice by you, or are you merely concerned with how you’re feeling, what you’re doing, and how you’re playing? When you put other’s interests first, you are letting them know you have a sincere and deep concern for their improvement and desire to reach new goals.
I encourage you to check out both The Go Giver and The Go Giver Sells More. Whether you are a coach, parent, or athlete, this book can (and will) have an immediate, positive impact on your life.
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PGC Basketball provides intense, no-nonsense basketball training for players and coaches. Our basketball camps are designed to teach players of all positions to play smart basketball, be coaches on the court, and be leaders in practices, games and in everyday life.
We combine our unique PGC culture with a variety of teaching methods and learning environments to maximize the learning potential of those that attend our sessions. In addition to spending 6-7 hours on the court each day, lessons will be reinforced through classroom sessions and video analysis.
Our goal at PGC is to empower you with the tools to fulfill your basketball dreams, while also assisting you in experiencing the joy of the journey.