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  • Tony Dungy’s quiet strength – He never criticized without an adequate solution. As leaders, it’s on us to be thoughtful about how we help our people get better. Just yelling that someone messed up is not helpful. We need to provide an adequate solution.
  • Dianna Nyad – She swam for 53 hours from Cuba to Florida. It looked like a solo mission. It was anything but. She needed a full team to make it happen. We need other people to help us accomplish big missions.
  • A lot of people are afraid to win. They are afraid to put it all on the line and risk not being enough. Too many of us want to look cool and play it safe in case we lose. The people who sustain excellence over time commit 100% to what they’re doing even though they might lose. It’s worth it.
  • It is “kind of a sin” to waste potential and the real champions never committed it. – Dan Jenkins
  • Advice from her dad (legendary sports writer, Dan Jenkins): “Never let a thing go until it’s as good as you can make it.”
  • “Interest yourself first before you’ll interest anyone else.”
  • Key learning from Brian Daboll – Winning organizations are made up of people who’ve been doubted in the past.
  • The “greats are a result of construction.” We must be intentional.
    • Go all in. Preparation. Practice. There must be a dept of preparation. “Never leave the field wishing you’d prepared more.”
  • “Pressure is what you feel when don’t know what the hell to do.”
  • Michael Phelps was not born with an innate sense to swim fast. His body was well suited to swim but not much more than any other Olympian.
    • “The work is what made him great.”
  • Day-to-day consistency leads to excellence. Derek Jeter built his schedule around being consistent every single day.
  • Laird Hamilton built his resilience through doing hard things like cold plunges, saunas, and surfing tough waves.
  • Activate your body to stress:
    • Stress has two sides. We’re meant to experience stress. Stress + Rest = Growth. We need stress to grow. Life is born without it.
  • Pat Riley – What happens when people don’t believe in their leader? They gear down their effort.
  • Life/Career Advice:
    • Shoe leather hard work. You can’t substitute hard work.
    • Find the thing you’d do for fun and see if you can build a career from it.


Sally Jenkins has been a columnist and feature writer for The Washington Post for more than twenty years. She was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2020 and in 2021 was named the winner of the Associated Press Red Smith Award for Outstanding Contributions to Sports Journalism. She is the author of twelve books of nonfiction including The Real All Americans, the story of the Carlisle Indian School, and its use of football as a form of resistance following the close of the Indian Wars. Her work for The Washington Post has included coverage of ten Olympic Games. In 2005 she was the first woman to be inducted into the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Hall of Fame. Her most recent book is called The Right Call: What Sports Teach Us about Leadership, Excellence, and Decision Making.

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