You have a HUGE job, and a tremendous OPPORTUNITY.
In the lives of your student-athletes.
My name is Brett W. Gould.
I am a motivational speaker and life coach.
I failed out of college as a young student-athlete, and now spend my professional life speaking into the lives of the next generation so they don't repeat the same mistakes.
Why am I contacting you?
Their transition to college IS NOT going well.
I've been there as a student-athlete, and I know how to help others that are.
Here's my student-athlete story.
I failed out of college at 18.
I was in the top 20% of my HS class.
Athlete. Musician. Generally, hilarious and engaging in every circle I travelled in.
And then college hit, and hit hard.
I started skipping classes.
I drifted to anything that didn't hold me accountable.
I was living a nightmare, and no one really knew it.
I was scared.
I didn't like my classes.
I didn't know what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.
At the end of semester #1 I had a 1.85 GPA.
No one really addressed it.
Just a couple of months into semester #2, and it was over.
4 F's and an incomplete.
And a letter saying I had failed out.
I had just received a 0.0, and felt hopeless.
Luckily…I had a mentor that put his arms around my world and wouldn't let me quit.
I walked onto another campus, and they took me in…on the word of my mentor.
I had to fight.
I had limitations and expectations, for academic success, to stay there.
I couldn't play soccer, because I was ineligible.
I watched from the stands, knowing I was as good as any of the guys.
I pulled my grades up.
I walked-on the following fall…AND MADE THE TEAM.
I worked HARD.
The following year…I EARNED AN ATHLETIC SCHOLARSHIP.
I posted a 4.0 during an in-season semester.
I began coaching soccer in a city school my senior year in college.
And I graduated CUM LAUDE.
That's a snap-shot of WHO I was as a college student. That was over 20 years ago. Since then I have had the honor of working with tons of high school and college students. I've coached everywhere from the U6 level to College and in between. I've built curriculum that helps athletics programs, coaches, and student-athletes discover WHO they are so they will know WHAT to do. It works. I've spoken in High School classrooms, an auditorium, and all over different settings on College campuses.
What am I asking of you?
To have a conversation with me, about being a resource for you.
How would we work together?
I would be a Mental Coaching resource for your administration, coaches and student-athletes. Not as a one hit talk, but as a long-term relationship. I have a specific process I follow, that is a huge win for administrators, coaches, and student-athletes.
(You'll see a testimonial in a minute)
Can we be brutally honest?
You don’t have to.
Most of you, in fact, won’t.
And that's ok.
I want to work with a handful of people that get it, and I am hoping that might be you.
The great leaders take chances others see as distractions.
There are two approaches for Athletics Programs.
Play catch up. (Because other programs saw the value in this, first)
Play "catch us if you can". (Because you took the lead by doing this, first)
If you aren’t sure which side of that fence you are on, look around.
Are the people you lead looking tired or inspired?
Are their mental gas tanks on E, or are they coming in ramped up and ready?
At this point you have the perfect excuse to delete this email.
“Finances”. Except, it isn’t true.
There are always resources that can be found, for progress that needs to be made.
And…you are already spending the money.
Here's proof…does this sound familiar?
• Student-Athlete retention is an issue. (That means lost $ to your College)
• You, and other administrators, coaches, professors, etc…are having to meet with student-athletes who are having academic, athletic, or behavioral issues. (time = money)
• You are having to meet with coaches to go over unmet expectations about the academic and behavioral requirements of their team not being met.
When you start to look at lost tuition, and multiply out the hours x the salary of those who've had to meet over these issues…you can see that it adds up quickly.
That is why I am saying that your University is already spending the money.
The thing is, no one is tracking it.
It's happening…and you could be getting out in front of it.
Still reading? I’m looking forward to getting to know you and your teams better. You are the exact people I am looking forward to connecting with. You are the game-changers. The leaders.
Any speaker can show up once, say something clever, and “Drop The Mic” as they walk out the door. And once they do, it’ll rev up your engines for a few days…maybe even a week!
It takes a whole other kind of person, commitment, and vision…to develop a relationship with their audience. That happens over time, so that the impact is measured in sustainable life-change over years.
That’s the difference between hiring any speaker, and working with me.
I don’t speak at you, I work with you.
Not short bursts of energy that fade.
Long-term momentum and sustainable progress.
Here's a testimonial you'll love from one of your colleagues in collegiate athletics:
"Brett was excellent! We are in the process of rebuilding our program and his help has been priceless. He is an ALL-IN type of person and that's what we needed."
Head Men's Soccer Coach
St. Bonaventure University
Most of you are about a month out from your pre-season for 2016-2017.
If you would like to talk, I'd love to have the conversation.
No strings attached.
One phone call.
If there is a fit from there, we can talk specifics about how this will work with your University. If not, we've made a new friend. That's cool, too.
You made it.
And since you did, we should talk.
All The Best,
Brett W. Gould
If someone asked you "Who are you?", could you answer it in one sentence? If they asked you "What do you do?" could you do the same?
That first question made you pause and think. The second rolled off your tongue with ease.
Interesting, isn't it?
Those two questions are not the same thing, yet we treat them that way. We identify WHO people are by WHAT they do.
Not sure you agree? Fair enough. Let's look at a common scenario we find ourselves in from time to time.
We enter the room at a gathering. A party. An event. A BBQ. Wherever we are, the next thing that happens is commonplace.
We introduce ourselves.
By name, occupation, and location.
"Hi, my name is Brett. I'm a life coach. Our family lives in Fredonia, NY."
Someone else responds with their name, job, and domicile residency.
And the dance begins...
Do I ask them more about their job? Should I ask if they have kids? I could just go to the standard weather chat. Is that pulled pork over there? Wait...what did he say his name was again? Ughh...
I'm going to introduce myself again.
"Hi, my name is Brett. I help people discover WHO they are, so they will know WHAT to do."
I'd bet you are more interested about who I am now, than before. Why is that? Because in my first introduction I told you WHAT I was called (a life coach). In my second one, I shared WHO I was...AKA, my calling (to help people).
One is a task.
The other is inspirational.
That's precisely the point that I believe we are missing the mark on when it comes to raising up our kids, the next generation, a team, or our employees. We are teaching them that WHAT they do defines them as individuals.
What they do, is simply ONE expression of who they are. But it's not actually WHO they are.
Don't believe me?
Ask Millennials if they think they will have the same job for the next 30 years. They will either spit their drink through their nose laughing, or look at you like you've lost your mind.
Because the model of WHAT is broken. And I, for one, couldn't be more excited about it.
Because at the heart of real change is a foundational shift. From asking someone what they want to do when they grow up, to helping them discover who they are now.
Help someone discover a clear vision for their lives, based on a core set of values they truly believe in, and everything changes. Multiply that by a large group of people who share those beliefs?
Look out. You've just found a healthy culture of game-changers.
By 2025, 75% of the workforce will be made up of Millennials. I have a strong sense they will be considerably more concerned about making a difference based on WHO they are and WHY they exist, than anything else.
Oh, they will work. They will have jobs. They will lead. They will do amazing things. But again...I sense it will have way more to do with purpose than profit.
Because at the end of the day...
When you know WHO you are, you will know WHAT to do.
So...can you answer it without hesitation?
Who are you?
When you know WHO you are, you will know WHAT to do. You'll spend your time, energy, and resources walking out an outward expression of your inward vision.
We'll talk more about that, soon.
Thanks for stopping by today.
Have you ever found yourself stuck?
The kind of stuck that has you frustrated?
We've all been there.
Life throws us a curveball.
We were hoping to make contact, but then we swing and miss.
And after we swing, we realize the pitch wasn't as good as we first thought.
How do we respond in those moments?
The ones where it feels like there is a stadium full of people watching us strike out.
It's been said we can't hit what we don't swing at.
But I think we are missing out on some equally solid perspective.
We can't hit what isn't in the strike zone either.
If the pitch is high and tight, low and away, up and in...making contact is doubtful. And if it's a wild pitch or a pitch-out? Well, you get the point. We aren't getting on base swinging at offerings like that.
We aren't going to make progress by swinging at bad pitches.
I think sometimes we place so much value in putting our head down and pushing forward, that we miss the point. There is a more effective way to move forward. It requires more patience (that's not always easy). It requires more persistence to "foul-off" a few pitches that we aren't sure if they are strikes or not, just to keep the at-bat alive. But in the end, there is a common goal we are trying to reach.
Getting on base.
Listen...if you are finding the pitches aren't there today...stop swinging.
Stand in. Don't leave the batter's box. You can't get on if you aren't in the game.
Be patient. With a watchful eye, value the swings you don't take as important too.
And at the end of it...when enough bad pitches come?
Enjoy the moment when you can...
In the next blog, we'll talk about what to do once you're on base.
That's just as important.
To be grounded, is to stay connected.
To a source, not a whim.
To a vision, not a version.
If we are ever going to be able to start saying "no" to the things that we need to, it'll start by committing to a well articulated vision.
Here is what I mean...
Have a filter.
Making decisions without one is emotionally, financially, and culturally dangerous.
It's hoping to get lucky.
When you know WHO you are, you will know WHAT to do.
You'll base decisions on who you are and why you exist.
You'll build relationships with people who are willing to sacrifice their personal preference, so that something bigger than themselves can be created.
So how do you know if you are making solid decisions?
If you are alone, you are much more likely to make a call you'll regret later.
If you have a team of people to walk with you, you've got what we all need.
You'll stop running in 101 directions when you have a relational connection.
You'll replace chaos with focus.
If you are trying to move the needle of change in your organization,
it's very likely someone else is trying with everything they have not to.
It's human nature for some to fear change.
It's also human nature for others to embrace it.
So how do we bridge the gap?
Realize that for many, the word change is the same as the word risk.
Read these two thoughts...
The reason change doesn't look attractive,
is because the status quo is so addictive.
The reason risk doesn't look attractive,
is because the status quo is so addictive.
To the person who doesn't want change,
those two sentences mean the exact same thing.
4 things you can do today, to open the conversation for change.
Implement the acronym, and you'll see the needle move.
Continue to insist your way is better, and everything just needs to "get on board", and you'll find yourself frustrated and exhausted.
Moving the needle is about building relational equity.
One last thought...
Did you notice the brake light is on in this picture?
Maybe the first step for you isn't stepping on the gas. (faster change)
Maybe you need to get your brakes looked at first. (hit pause)
Maybe you need to value slowing down & take care of a more pressing issue.
Maybe your braking system isn't healthy. (your culture)
Maybe if you get your way and you get to 60 MPH too quickly, you won't be able to safely slow down, and that will cost you far more than your opinion. (your team)
Maybe your team's safety is where you need to start. (again...your culture)
Create a safe environment where people are heard, valued, and cared for.
You'll be amazed how fun the ride towards change can be,
when you offer a safe and healthy way to get there...together.
Fix the brakes, and then hit the road.
Once you do...
Enjoy the journey!
We will lead at a higher level, when we serve at a deeper level.
But what does it mean to serve?
You could probably think of a bunch more to add to that list.
For now, let's agree that leadership isn't something we arrive at,
rather it's a lifestyle of service to others that we commit to.
When we look at our feet in the mirror,
are we leading in a way that leaves a clear path worth following?
The world needs more tree shakers and basket holders.
There are enough low fruit pickers.
Substance and sustenance come from hard to reach places.
Scarcity and lack comes from the beaten path and crowded foot space.
Pair that with committed followers that will #CatchAndCarry what is coming.
Then you'll have a culture that can #ServeAndShare.
Now you are cooking with fruit.
That last sentence didn't make sense...but somehow you still got the point.
Why are you still reading?
We have a generation of young adults,
many of whom are struggling with making good decisions.
Let's highlight one area where this happens.
Students don't have an academic problem,
they have a vision problem.
And I'm not talking about their eyesight.
So what am I talking about?
Applying themselves in the classroom starts with an ability to understand why they are there in the first place. If the primary reason is because "they have to be", that ship isn't gonna sail.
The Millennial generation fell out of love with "because I said so" a long time ago.
How do you help an at-risk student achieve the success they want, you want for them, and what the world needs from them?
Stop telling them what to do,
and start helping them discover who they are,
so that they will buy in to why they are there.
They won't care about your "because" until they know THE CAUSE.
Why am I doing it?
Who will it help?
What problem will it solve locally?
What problem will it solve globally?
How will this class help me change the world?
We either start answering these questions intentionally,
or we will continue to see them struggle academically.
So we've identified the problem...
but HOW...how does it change?
What is the solution?
THIS PROCESS IS A START.
I've watched this process change thinking.
I've watched this process change lives.
When you help them discover their vision,
they will want to follow direction.
Systems & structures aren't the enemy
of the Millennial generation.
Helping them understand why they exist,
and how their talents fit into this world?
That's the secret sauce.
Because when they know WHO they are,
they will know WHAT to do.
Or we can keep beating the drum saying everything we've been saying, changing nothing, risking even less...and expecting a completely different outcome. (AKA...rolling the dice)
I believe that's pretty close to the definition of insanity.
These 141 testimonials represent the hope that comes when we go first, change our approach, and risk more...all in the name of a generation that needs us to fight for them, not with them. (AKA...solving the problem)
How can you help?
Glad you asked.
Do you know someone in leadership at a University?
Simply share this blog with them,
and ask them to listen to the 141 voices for themselves.
Then have them call me, so I can tell them what made it happen.
(This number works best for that...716-672-9661)
Thanks for joining us in spreading the word.
You're the best!
"Are you truly alive, or just merely awake? Or, worse yet...sleep-walking through a life you should be race-running in? #Blog coming soon..."
That was a tweet I sent this past Friday. It wasn't some great inspirational moment that led to that thought. I didn't hear a speech that got me all pumped up. It was just something I felt led to share.
I want to toss a few questions at you today, to see if you can tell if you are "truly alive". If not, why not? Don't waste the impact you could be making, by sleep-walking. There are no guarantees in life. Tomorrow is a gift when, and if it comes to you.
So, with that said...
The difference between sleep-walking and race-running?
One is done when no one is looking, and no one knows the difference. Race-running is very much an out-in-front, everyone is watching, everyone can see and hear thing.
The only way we win in life is to enter the race.
Get off the sidelines.
Lace em' up.
Run your race.
Have you ever heard this quote...
"Stand for something, or you will fall for anything." (-Rosa Parks)
Most of us have.
But that is usually where we leave it.
I was reminded of that this morning as I read a blog by Jessica Bealer, where she shared the rest of the quote...
"Today's mighty oak is yesterday's nut that held its ground."
And then I did a little digging of my own. (Pun not intended...but amusing nonetheless).
According to Wikipedia, this is part of the definition of an Acorn...
"It usually contains a single seed (rarely two seeds), enclosed in a tough, leathery shell, and borne in a cup-shaped cupule. Acorns vary from 1–6 cm long and 0.8–4 cm broad. Acorns take between about 6 and 24 months (depending on the species) to mature."
This is what hit me.
And then I started thinking about how this applies
to building a team with a purpose.
Look at the three items I mentioned about the acorn. Ask yourself...honestly...if you have a plan in place to get the seed of who you are to become the oak tree you want to be as a team. If you aren't focused at the highest level, you'll fail to reach your intended and desired goals as a team. That isn't meant to scare you, but it should remind you...that without a plan that is clearly articulated day in and day out by every member of your team, you aren't implementing anything...you are hoping to get lucky.
The process of turning the single seed of an acorn into a massive oak tree requires the decision to be intentional. It requires that you care for the seed regularly, including protecting it from outside forces that could take it down. All of this so that one day it will stand as a reminder of it's influence on it's surroundings.
I'd encourage you to look at where you are today with your team.
Your heart is probably in the right place.
But unfortunately, heart alone doesn't get the job done.
I can walk out the door and toss an acorn in the ground,
and wait to see an oak tree pop up.
But it doesn't work that way.
Go spend 5 minutes reading THIS ARTICLE and you'll understand the real process required to prepare an acorn to be planted and nurtured to full maturity.
It works the same way when it comes to creating a successful team.
When you are done, sit down and ask yourself a couple of questions...
Is my organization just in love with ideation (thinking about it),
or busy doing the hard work of implementation (doing something to make it happen).
We all love the idea of becoming the oak tree. BUT...are we doing what is necessary to sow the seed that gets us there?
There is no shame in asking the hard questions, and getting the help to implement an actionable vision. There is, however, regret later if we don't do it now. That's just real life. Being able to say "no regrets" after the fact, starts with knowing we did everything we could before the fact.
I'm hopeful this post was a source of encouragement to you today.
Reach out to someone who knows how to help you through this process.
Your team needs you to lead at the highest level. Sometimes...part of leading, is leaning on someone else.
It starts with the commitment to reach out.
Some people will think you are nuts for asking.
That's when you know you are about to create something of significance.
"Today's mighty oak is yesterday's nut that held its ground."
From the desk of our founder, Brett W. Gould.