AR Tests

by Jon Gordon on August 26, 2015

Several educators have asked about AR tests for my books. Thanks to Stephen Strojny who created them, we now have a few available. See the links below:

The Energy Bus

The Carpenter

Training Camp

For an answer key, click here.

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What Happened to Jonathan Budd part 2

by Jonathan Budd on August 4, 2015

About 20 months ago I made a really vulnerable video.  It’s gotten over 20,000+ views since then, and people continue to write me about it frequently.  Seeing that it struck a chord, I decided to make a follow up.  I … Continue reading

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Hey guys & gals.
I got 2 things for you today.   #1: where do we go from here? It’s quite obvious that my business has changed a lot in the recent years, and I do not focus on Internet Marketing … Continue reading

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Success Story: Olentangy Liberty High School

by Jon Gordon on May 1, 2015

Hi Jon.

I am the girls basketball coach at Olentangy Liberty High School. I want to say thank you for your work.

The Energy Bus really got me thinking and started the culture change of my program. Training Camp kind of got us thinking about the legacy we wanted to leave. But The Carpenter and love-serve-care really became our mission as our year went on. In my 1st season as head coach we flipped a toxic, stagnant program to a championship environent.

We went 25-2, finished as the 5th ranked team in Ohio, won our 1st district championship in school history. I somehow was named the state of Ohio co-Coach of the year. I owe a lot of our success to you, your books have had a great influence on me.

I’ve also read The Seed, and Soup. My returning letterman for next year, I have 10 of them have given me there 1 word…I’ll keep you posted how that turns out.

Thanks again….hope you have some more stuff coming soon!

Sincerely-
Sam Krafty
Head Coach
Olentangy Liberty

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Success Story: Leadership and Energy

by Jon Gordon on May 1, 2015

I received this email recently and wanted to share it. Hopefully through Stephen’s story you will be encouraged in some way. – Jon

Dear Mr. Gordon,

My name is Stephen Schopf, I am 20 years old and a sophomore studying education at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. I am very interested in coaching basketball at the college level one day and I am involved at coaching in the high school level. When I was a senior at Conestoga High School my parents got separated and I was in a very dark place that was very hard to get out of. My father moved to Tennessee for a new job I was going through the toughest time in my life. My father who had been my best friend for my whole life moved to another state and my brothers and I took it very hard having to move to a new house with only us and my mother, all of this happening before I went off to college. I was looking at everything negatively and just couldn’t be happy like I was before and I couldn’t understand why God was doing this to me. So one day I was watching ESPN one day and I saw the video about John Calipari talking to Willie Cauley-Stein about reading your book The Energy Bus so I instantly wrote it down and went to the bookstore and bought it. I started reading it and I couldn’t put it down, the journey of positivity that you took me on throughout the entire story was absolutely incredible and changed the way I have started living my life. It helped me get out of the dark place was in and fill myself with energy each and every day. After finishing that book I felt transformed and empowered to do so many things. I have told everyone I know about The Energy Bus and my mother is reading it now and I am trying to get my whole family to read it after I invited them on my bus telling them that we will get through this tough time together and only become stronger from it. I want my team that I am coaching to all read the book this summer, but obviously I can’t afford to buy them all a copy, but I tell them all about you and sent them the 9 ways to be a great team member and it touched all of them, it also has helped my leadership and energy while coaching this year.

After reading The Energy Bus I needed to read another book by you because I enjoyed it so much so I chose Training Camp. It was even better than The Energy Bus. You have not only helped me get back my faith in God, but you have also helped inspire me to become the best I can be at what I want to do. A couple of weeks ago while I was in the middle of reading Training Camp, I sprained my ankle very badly just like Martin did in the story and the craziest thing happened that I just had to share with you. The day after it happened I was on crutches and I was having a down day and I was very upset this had happened and that I couldn’t walk. In the building I had class in on Good Friday in the morning a young guy who I had never met before came up to me while I was waiting for the elevator and we were talking and he asked what had happened to my ankle so I told him, then he says do you think we could say a prayer on your ankle? He must have been a worker in the building, but I said yes of course. So he bends over and puts his hands around my injured ankle and we say a prayer that it heals then he says “Happy Easter” and walks away. My ankle wasn’t magically healed the next day like in the book, but it got better very quickly and there was no ligament damage. I thought that it was crazy how God works and how I was in the middle of reading Training Camp and that’s almost exactly what happens in the book. I believe that was a sign that I needed to stay positive and that it was so cool how that had happened to me, it was a life-changing moment that only made me even stronger and more positive. I want to read your book The Carpenter next after school is done. You are a great writer and The Energy Bus and Training Camp are the best two books I have ever read and I tell everyone about them, I can’t wait to continue reading all of your books. You are a true inspiration and I thank you so much for turning my life around in the most positive way possible. I loved the newsletter that you had sent out today about climbing the mountain and since I am in the middle of climbing one right now I know I needed to share my story with you because I used to face the mountain like your son did at first, but after reading your books it has changed the way I look at the mountain in front of me. Its absolutely incredible how energy is everything and your words are so much more powerful than you will ever know.

The first thing I do when I reach my dream of becoming a college basketball coach is make my team read The Energy Bus.

Thank you for listening,

Stephen Schopf

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EntreLeadership Podcast – Developing Culture

by Jon Gordon on March 26, 2015

I was recently interviewed on Dave Ramsey’s EntreLeadership Podcast where we talked about developing culture.

You Can Listen Here

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Are you a Shark or a Goldfish?

by Jon Gordon on March 2, 2015

If you are facing a challenge and anxious about your situation, I know how you feel. I lost my job in 2001 during the dot.com bust. The company was losing money faster than we could raise it and eventually the company sank faster than the Titanic.

I thought it was the worst event of my life. I was two months away from being bankrupt. I had a wife, two young children, a mortgage, no health insurance, and very little savings. I was a paycheck away from losing it all.

It sounds bad. It felt bad. At the time it was bad. But one day I decided that I wasn’t going to let this challenge take me down. And that’s when I knew I had to change what I was thinking and doing.

I read a few books including Who Moved My Cheese and Rich Dad, Poor Dad which helped me make some important decisions through the change. Eventually these decisions would lead to the work I do now as a writer, consultant, and speaker.

My layoff led to my life’s mission and purpose. What I thought was the worst event in my life actually lead to the best. I’m not alone. Gallup did a study and asked people to identify the worst and best event of their life. They found that there was an 80% correlation between the two events.

There was also a British study of 500 “charmed” people. They seemed to have it all; wealth, success, great relationships, etc. The researchers were surprised to discover that every one of these “charmed” people had bad things happen to them. They all experienced challenges and adversity, however, each one of them turned the bad into good and their misfortune into fortune.

The truth is that challenges and change are a part of life. The waves of change are always coming our way. But when the wave hits we have a choice. We can embrace it and ride it to a successful future or resist it and get crushed by the wave.

Embracing our waves of challenge and change is all about how we perceive and respond to the events we face. In The Shark and the Goldfish I share the positive success formula.

E + P = O

We can’t always control the (E) vents in our life but we can control our (P)ositive response to these events and this often determines the (O)utcome.

When the change hits instead of focusing on the challenge we can choose to look for the opportunity. We can ask what this event is teaching us and identify how we can grow stronger and wiser from it. We can live in fear or move forward with faith and take positive action.

We can decide to be a Shark instead of a Goldfish? Goldfish become paralyzed by fear. They stay in their comfort zone and wait for someone to feed them. On the other hand Sharks (nice sharks) move forward with faith and take action. They trust that their best days are ahead of them, not behind them. Instead of waiting to be fed they venture out in the ocean of possibility in search of food. Their beliefs and actions create a self filling prophecy; because they expect to find food and take action to find it, they do.

Shark or a Goldfish? Which will you choose to be? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below or on our Facebook page.

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Power of Appreciation

by Jon Gordon on February 23, 2015

For years I searched for my 9th grade lacrosse coach, Tony Caiazza. Little did I know I was simply spelling his name wrong and that’s why I couldn’t find him. When Coach John Brubaker, a fellow writer and speaker, found his information for me, I sent Tony this email.

 

Are you the Tony Caiazza who coached at Smithtown East? If you are, you changed my life and I just want to say thank you!

 

His response:

 

Yes I am. I coached some Great teams & athletes at Smithtown East! Please share more with me!!!!

 

I responded with this email.

 

Tony, you encouraged me to go out for the freshman lacrosse team. I played basketball and you told me I would be good at lacrosse. I never played before and couldn’t catch the ball and tried to quit. You wouldn’t let me. You told me I was going to play lacrosse in college one day. You even said I would play in the Ivy League because I was a good student. I graduated in 1989 and played lacrosse at Cornell University for Richie Moran. Playing lacrosse at Cornell changed my life and if it weren’t for you I would have quit. If it weren’t for you I would venture to say that I wouldn’t be the person I am today. Now, I speak to professional sports teams, college teams, businesses and school districts around the country. I often talk about YOU and how you believed in me, wouldn’t let me quit and changed the course of my life. I’d love to send you my books if you would like. You’re in the acknowledgement section of Training Camp. If there is anything I can do to give back to you and your school or team please let me know. It’s the least I can do.

 

Tony responded with an email that taught me the power of appreciation. He wrote:

 

Jon, you don’t know how much your email means to me! It’s just as exciting as winning the Lottery! Ironically, as I turn 55 this October, I am at the phase of my life where you spend a lot of time in reflection ie; "The Road Not Taken". Recently, I have been faced with many challenges both professionally & personally. Your communication could not have been better timed!!!! It provided instant verification of who I am & what I am all about and why I went into the field of education & coaching. I always talk of the book the "Giving Tree" and that has always been the fabric of my humble existence. I have been a Dean of Students at Oceanside for the past 28 years. I have coached both football & lacrosse here and have also been the Head Lacrosse coach at Dowling College from 1993-2000. My assistant, Tim Boyle took over the program in 2001 & last year won the National Championship! The impossible dream? I think so! I was invited back for the ring ceremony, it was a proud moment! I would love to read your books! Keep in touch…. YOU MADE MY DAY!… MONTH!…YEAR!!!! I shared your communication with those close to me & with those who question me… for both it was well served!! THANKS FOR PROVIDING THE "GUSTO" IN A TIME MUCH NEEDED!

 

After reading Tony’s email, I realized how important it is to reach out to those who made a difference in our lives and let them know. They need to hear it more than we think and so do their families. This was an email I received the other day from Tony’s wife.

 

My name is Patti and I am Tony’s wife. I wanted to send you a message to let you know how grateful to you my children and I for taking the time to reach out to Tony. Your email reminded Tony and all of us how his compassion and dedication to teaching and coaching makes a difference. Your words also enlighten my children to understand how powerful taking the time to stop and thank the people along your journey can be. My daughter will be a sophomore at Molloy College this coming fall. She recently attended a week long leadership conference for the school. One of her workshops required her to deliver a speech on inspiration. She knew exactly what her subject should be. She spoke about your email, your dedication to Tony, who you were and was proud to tell about her Dad’s devotion to teaching and coaching and the difference he has made to so many. She looks forward to following in her father’s footsteps. She coaches lacrosse with Tony on the weekends and is majoring in Math Secondary Education. Her goal is to be a Guidance Counselor one day. She received many accolades regarding her presentation from her peers and professors. They are considering adding a workshop discussing the power of acknowledgement and gratitude for those who inspire and encourage for next year’s conference. In closing, I would just like you to know the impact you have had to my family. Tony was so touched by your email. When each of my kids were born, Tony bought them the book The Giving Tree. This summer all of us will be reading Training Camp. With Much Gratitude,
Patti Caiazza

 

I asked Tony and Patti if I could share our story and correspondence with you. They said yes because they, like me, realized that something very special happened between us. The power of appreciation caused a ripple effect that not only impacted Tony, me and our families but also those who heard Tony’s daughter’s presentation. Our hope is that this ripple effect will continue by inspiring you to thank someone who made a difference in your life. By sharing the power of appreciation you will create your own positive ripples in the lives, hearts and families of those who need to hear your encouraging words.

I appreciate you!


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11 Thoughts About Teamwork

by Jon Gordon on February 16, 2015

1. Teams rise and fall on culture, leadership, relationships, attitude and effort.

Great teams have a great culture driven by great leadership. Relationships are meaningful and teammates are connected. The collective attitude is very positive and everyone on the team works hard to accomplish their mission.

2. It’s all about teamwork. Sometimes you are the star and sometimes you help the star.

3. If want to be truly great you have to work as hard to be a great teammate as you do to be a great player.

I tell this to athletes all the time but the same is true for any profession. When we work hard to be a great team member we make everyone around us better.

4. Your team doesn’t care if you are a superstar. They care if you are a super team member.

5. Three things you control every day are your attitude, your effort and your actions to be a great teammate.

It doesn’t matter what is happening around you and who you think is being unfair. Every day you can focus on being positive, working hard and making others around you better. If you do that great things will happen.

6. One person can’t make a team but one person can break a team. Stay positive!

Make sure you don’t let energy vampires sabotage your team. Post a sign that says “No Energy Vampires” allowed and keep them off the bus. Most importantly, decide to stay positive.

7. Great team members hold each other accountable to the high standards and excellence their culture expects and demands.

8. Team beats talent when talent isn’t a team.

9. Great teams care more. They care more about their effort, their work and their team members.

10. We > me

Unity is the difference between a great team and an average team. United teams are connected and committed to each other. They are selfless instead of selfish. They put the team first and know together we accomplish more.

11. You and your team face a fork in the road each day. You can settle for average and choose the path of mediocrity or you can take the road less traveled and chase greatness.

It’s a choice you make each day. Which path will your team take?

Share your thoughts below or on Facebook.

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Ways to Build Trust

by Jon Gordon on February 9, 2015

In my book Soup I discussed how trust is one of the essential ingredients to build a great relationship, winning team and culture of greatness. Without trust you can’t have engaged relationships and without engaged relationships you won’t be a successful leader, manager, sales person, team member, principal, teacher, nurse, coach, etc.

In this spirit I wanted to share some thoughts about how we can build the trust that is essential for great relationships. Many of the suggestions you are already know. Many ideas I share are common sense. However, I’ve found that so often amidst the chaos of life and work we forget the simple and powerful truths that matter most. So here are 11 thoughts about trust. Feel free to share these simple reminders with your leaders, colleagues and team.

1. Say what you are going to do and then do what you say!

2. Communicate, communicate, communicate. Frequent, honest communication builds trust. Poor communication is one of the key reasons marriages and work relationships fall apart.

3. Trust is built one day, one interaction at a time, and yet it can be lost in a moment because of one poor decision. Make the right decision.

4. Value long term relationships more than short term success.

5. Sell without selling out. Focus more on your core principles and customer loyalty than short term commissions and profits.

6. Trust generates commitment; commitment fosters teamwork; and teamwork delivers results. When people trust their team members they not only work harder, but they work harder for the good of the team.

7. Be honest! My mother always told me to tell the truth. She would say, “If you lie to me then we can’t be a strong family. So don’t ever lie to me even if the news isn’t good.”

8. Become a coach. Coach your customers. Coach your team at work. Guide people, help them be better and you will earn their trust.

9. Show people you care about them. When people know you care about their interests as much as your own they will trust you. If they know you are out for yourself, their internal alarm sounds and they will say to themselves “watch out for that person.”

10. Always do the right thing. We trust those who live, walk and work with integrity.

11. When you don’t do the right thing, admit it. Be transparent, authentic and willing to share your mistakes and faults. When you are vulnerable and have nothing to hide you radiate trust.

What did I miss? Join the conversation and share your thoughts about trust below or on my Facebook page.

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