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Before You Lead Others, You Must First Lead Yourself

There has never been a time our world needed courageous leadership more than now. Leadership that is bold, enduring, authentic, inspires trust, builds inclusive communities, and is founded on purpose. A world where before we lead others, we each lead ourselves. The Power of Playing Offense: a Leader’s Playbook for Personal and Team Transformation is written through this premise.

As we each step forward in our leadership journey, with a pursuit to maximize our potential and unleash our impact, a natural question inevitably emerges. “Who’s coaching the coaches?”

Sure we could go at it alone. Or we can meet somebody at the 50. A partner for leaders and coaches alike. To support, challenge, motivate, hold accountable, cover blind spots, provide diverse perspective, help avoid land mines, and guide us toward the success and significance we’re after.

This blog is delivered from a spirit of partnership, as I serve as a leadership coach in your corner. Consider this inaugural post a prequel to the larger read, The Power of Playing Offense: a Leader’s Playbook for Personal and Team Transformation, scheduled to launch in November 2020. As you dive into a short excerpt from the book’s preface, my hope is that by the final word you’re inspired to take the next step in your quest, as a leader, ready for the transformation ahead.

Preface excerpt: The Power of Playing Offense, scheduled to launch in November 2020

Trillion Dollar Coach author Bill Campbell once said, “Your title makes you a manager; your people will decide if you are a leader.” The Power of Playing Offense was written to transform managers into leaders, so that every reader can and will inspire a followership to level up their lives, both personally and professionally.

So now I ask you—without title, influence, or authority, would anybody follow? Think of the leader you would follow to no end. Likely none of those external factors caused you to choose whom you did. Odds are she or he inspired you to be your best, coached you to your full potential, and believed in you from day one.

Now, how are you showing up? Are you inspiring a team that would follow you to no end? Are you acting as the leader you wish you had?

Are you a leader who puts people first when it matters most?

The challenge is, many of us work and lead in organizations that preach from the mountain tops that they put people first. Until they don’t. This short-term, results-obsessed mindset has a ripple effect where we lose trust, connection, and the loyalty of those who are closest to the work.

What if there was a playbook to spark the exact opposite?

To transform our teams from paycheck-driven to purpose-driven, from adversity to achievement, from disengaged to inspired, from controlled to connected, from success to success and significance.

If you want to show up as a leader who inspires people to follow, builds thriving teams, and cultivates championship culture, all while delivering best-in-class results—this is the playbook to show you the way.


Over a fifteen-year run in the business of professional sports, I became immersed in the world of high-performance teams and the impact of leadership on people and culture. As I began to understand the mindsets, habits, and practices required to show up and perform at your best, I was fascinated by what separated the elite from the pack—and how those elites led others to do the same. Over time, I recognized how these all-too-rare leadership skills could materialize into transformations. I seized the opportunity to implement and refine these practices. I’ve now curated these lessons and insights into an innovative framework of five pillars— which you’ll soon learn in great detail.

I call it playing offense.

Playing offense is an all-gas-no-brakes methodology for personal and team transformation. It is a mindset that will inspire action and empower you to lead in business and across all aspects of life.

There are two types of people around us. Those who play defense—and those who play offense.

  • Playing defense is playing from your heels. Playing offense is playing on your toes.

  • Playing defense is playing not to lose. Playing offense is playing to win.

  • Playing defense is letting the market dictate the terms. Playing offense is operating on your terms.

Playing offense is where leadership starts—with an inward look, competing with yourself, and taking full ownership of your actions, inspired by the possibilities and opportunities in front of you. After coaching this methodology within the sports business and other industries, I have seen the optimized performance and heightened levels of impact that result.

This is playing offense—and I wouldn’t want to live or lead any other way. By the end of this book, I trust you’ll feel the same.

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