October 28, 2014

What Kind of Leaders or Players Do You Have on Your Team?

All of us at one point in our life played sports, either as an individual and/or team contributor growing up. Those early life lessons shaped us to be better today, either as a pro athlete performer or successful executive business contributor. I am sure you have your own powerful story and golden nuggets that helped you along the way to your rise to the top. For me, it was a mix of bittersweet experiences that by looking in the “reverse side of the mirror” of accumulated events, I would not trade them for anything despite how they were painful and or challenging. Henry Ford’s quote sums it up the best: “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” As I am reflecting more on specific kinds of players and leaders I have encountered along the way while dealing with both pro athletes and business executives, I […]
October 28, 2014

How EQ and IQ Can Make a Difference in Your Leadership Performance

Often we think that if we train and prepare before the big event or meeting, we will perform well. By coming to the table with the Exceptional Player attitude, with high skills and competencies, that small difference between high performer and exceptional performer will depend so much on you and how you see and process things emotionally and intellectually. What I discovered in looking closer at Emotional Quotient (EQ) and Intelligence Quotient (IQ), is that your success will depend on how well both of them work together. The lower of those two, when making your most important choices and decisions, will affect your overall success on a personal and professional level. Low EQ has proven its danger over IQ so many times, and this ends up affecting the team dynamics and overall team results – particularly when based on the coach’s or leader’s performance and the behavior they exude. I […]
October 28, 2014

What I Learned From the Best Coaches and Players Before the 2014 US Open

Players are warming up and mentally, physically and emotionally preparing for the best games of  their lives after finishing the qualifying games. If you are in NYC and close to the US Open participants, infectious excitement will greet you everywhere you go. It was very refreshing to see the list of new players competing in the qualifying draws with hopes of getting a spot in the main draw of the US Open, the last Grand Slam of the year. Personally, I am very glad to see more names of young talented tennis players as well as returning veterans from Croatia (Borna Ćorić and Mirjana Lučić-Baroni), Ireland (James McGee), and Tunisia (Ons Jabeur), just to name a few. I am eager to watch their progress and placements among the long list of other top tennis players in the game such as Novak Djoković, Roger Federer, Andy Murray and others. Besides looking […]
October 28, 2014

Career and Leadership Lessons Learned by the Best: Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic

The opportunity to watch live tennis matches is priceless. It is a totally different feeling to be in the stadium with thousands of others, especially in the venue in NYC, at Ash Stadium during the US Open 2014. I feel very grateful and fortunate from multiple avenues to have had this experience and opportunity, especially as a passionate tennis fan, high performance coach and fearless leader in the making. Lesson #1: Developing your own style and personal brand. Watching Djokovic’s style; classy, elegant, creative, playful performance that reflects his joy and passion for the game, was priceless. Seeing him maturing over the years to keep his emotions in check makes him even more desirable as a player, as well as to stand out from others as an athlete. He is a living proof that you can be the best if you work hard for it: “Nobody actually played tennis in […]
October 28, 2014

How to Achieve High Performance in Life & Professionally

High performance is a big buzzword that can be used or interpreted in many different ways. In my mind, high performance is all about personal and professional development, while focusing on goals and key objectives in order to achieve exceptional results. Today, in our ever-changing environment, coupled with high-pressure and expectations, high or low levels of performance affect us personally and/or professionally more than we may want to admit. I was always wondering: What makes us low or high performers? Is it energy, passion, drive, motivation, focus, or desire? Or is it something else? This topic is very close to home for me. It took me many years to understand fully that managing energy is the key to sustaining high performance! “To be fully engaged in our lives, we must be physically energized, emotionally connected, mentally focused, and spiritually aligned with a purpose beyond our immediate self-interest.” ~ Jim Loehr […]
October 28, 2014

Who Do Responsible Leaders Bring to the Table: High Performers or Overachievers?

Responsible leadership may be a scary concept to many since it encompasses such a wide range and exposure beyond just the interests of the shareholders as it has been traditionally done in the past. It also includes all the other stakeholders within and outside of the organization, from workers to the community, and even future generations including the environment. That is a powerful impact for sure, right? It requires a slight shift in the thinking process, especially if you are aiming to influence others. And that is not only for short-term strategy, but also long-term – a concept that many leaders are still adapting to on a personal and professional level. But how can this can be achieved? In my mind, there is only one way – to be the best you can possibly be by developing yourself into the maximum of your own potential in all aspects of your life. It is […]
November 10, 2014

9 Powerful Leadership Lessons by Sports Legends

As my book is progressing (I’ll disclose and reveal more details soon) around more than a dozen individual and team sports with professional coaches and athletes, I could not resist sharing the following nine powerful sports legends’ lessons that I learned early on in life thanks in part to my exceptional father, brother and first mentors in my life. 1. Muhammed Ali: “ Friendship… is not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.” It amazes me to see over the years how this statement has echoed in my personal and professional life in the self-discovery of friendships that I offered, nurtured and kept despite so many challenges. I learned that by being positive, loyal, genuine, supportive and honest, this granted me access to some of the most profound life-long friendships with many exceptional people. Brilliant, Muhammed Ali! 2. Ayrton […]