Friday, December 30, 2016


by Don Yaeger
In the final moments of the championship match, our head coach, and ESPN analyst, Jay Williams reveals to our team the final play of the game – DREAM! (Photo courtesy of Don Yaeger)
In a couple of days some of us will make New Year’s Resolutions and some of us will share them with others as a way to hold ourselves accountable.

But have you ever been challenged to share your dreams?  Earlier this year I spent a grueling week on the basketball court, learning about teamwork and dreams at “K Academy” which advertises itself as “America’s number one college basketball fantasy camp.”

Laugh all you want at the idea of a motley group of middle aged men of varying degrees of basketball experience grinding it out in full court games.  Playing on the famed court inside Duke University’s Cameron Indoor Stadium under the watchful eye of the legendary Coach Mike Krzyzewski with his former players as coaches is certainly above our athletic abilities.

But Coach K and his players offered valuable lessons... which extend well off the hardwood.
My team struggled at the start of the camp, winning only one of our five “regular season” games.  That meant that of the eight teams who would play in the final day’s tournament, we were seeded seventh.  The night before, we had a team dinner and, truth be told, many of us had low expectations for our prospects the next day.  Our coach was ESPN analyst Jay Williams who won a NCAA title with Duke in 2001 and was the national college player of the year in 2002.  During our dinner, Williams shared a powerful story.

At the start of William’s sophomore year, after a practice, Coach K brought the players into the locker room to talk about the power of dreams.

“What would this life be without dreams?” Coach K asked Williams and his teammates.  “Dreams don’t have to relate to basketball but one of the things I want to focus on is what are your dreams?  I want your teammates to get a chance to know who you are.”
Mike Krzyzewski and Jay Williams. (Photo courtesy of Craig Jones/Getty Images)
Coach K pushed his players to share what their dreams were as he drew the team together.  Williams and his teammates were suddenly in the uncomfortable position of having to share their dreams, but Coach K encouraged them by reminding the players it would allow them to better know each other.

“That was one thing that stuck with me,” Williams told my team.  “Let’s find out who all of us are individually so we can find out who we are as a team, taking the time to get to know your teammates”

Williams looked back at the dream he shared, a vision he had held onto since childhood.

“I stood up before all those guys,” Williams recalled.  “My dream was something I’ve thought about since I was a little boy, something I used to do in the backyard when I played.  I wanted to hold the ball in my hands and throw it as high as possible as time dwindled off the clock in the national championship game.  That’s what I wanted to do.  I know it sounded cheesy, I know it sounded corny, but that’s what I always dreamed of doing.”

By sharing that dream, Williams was in the rare position of helping make it come true.  Fast forward four-plus months, Duke was in the national championship game against Arizona.  The Blue Devils led Arizona 82-72 in the final moments of the game.  As the clock ticked down, point guard Chris Duhon, who was dribbling out the clock, looked over to Williams and tossed him the ball so his teammate could live his dream.

“If you watch the tape, Chris Duhon has the ball up top,” Williams said as he looked back at the final moments of the game.  “I’m starting to become frantic since we’re about to win the national championship. In that moment, Chris Duhon, who is like a brother to me, waves me over.  I was like, ‘What? Why?’ He waves me over again and I move towards him as time dwindles down.

“He hands me the ball and I was baffled.  ‘What do you want me to do with this?’ I asked,” Williams continued.  “He just put his thumb towards the ceiling and said; ‘Throw it up.’  It was such a beautiful, amazing moment in my life.  Here we are about to achieve this monumental thing we had been working all year for and Chris Duhon, my teammate, my brother, took that moment to make me realize what my dream was and to help me fulfill it.”

Williams got a little emotional as he told us that story.  Then he asked what our dreams were for the tournament the next day.  It was nearly as uncomfortable as his description of the Duke locker room conversation with Coach K, but one by one, my teammates stood to share a dream.  One teammate, probably our oldest player, said he “just wanted to do something, anything, to contribute to the team.”  One of my teammates had been going to the camp for 13 years and never won the championship.  He said his dream was to win it on Sunday despite our poor record.  Another teammate said his dream was to stand next to that 13-year veteran when the team cut down the nets.  My dream was to contribute to the team’s success by setting a hard pick.  (If you’ve ever played with me, no explanation needed!)

Our head coach at K Academy, and former Duke Blue Devil,  Jay Williams. (Mark VonHolden/ AP Images for Discovery Communications) 

We all had different dreams but that dinner proved to be the glue which made the next day special. The guy who wanted to “contribute” dove for a loose ball, leading to an easy basket.  The rest of us went nuts yelling for him. I set my hard pick (erroneously called a foul, but I’m not bitter) and my teammates shouted encouragement.  After sharing what we dreamt about, the next day we rallied together, winning games and advancing through the tournament.  With a comfortable lead in the final minutes of the championship game, Williams, who had been drawing up plays for us all day, called a timeout and wrote a single word on his clipboard: “Dream!”

Too often we don’t share our dreams with our teammates: what we hope to accomplish in our careers, what we want in our personal lives.  Of course there’s a risk in sharing dreams.  We open ourselves up and make ourselves vulnerable.  But, unless we share our dreams, we can’t help each other achieve them, the way Duhon handed the ball to Williams at the end of the national championship game.

“At Duke, we treated each other like we were all family and that spoke volumes about the culture of winning,” Williams told me.  “Whether it be in business or sports or your own family, those are the types of moments you hope to create.  That’s winning.”

Instead of sharing a New Year’s Resolution, share a dream.  What’s yours?  Who was your Chris Duhon who let you live it?  Who was your Jay Williams who told you how important it is to share your dreams?  I’d love to hear you story... and I’ll hold you accountable in 2017!

Don Yaeger is a motivational speaker and New York Times best-selling author.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

RELEASED TODAY! New book by Dr. Gary Bradt - Change: The Tools You Need for the Life You Want at Work and Home

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Change: The Tools You Need for the Life You Want at Work and Home


“It is not the change in our lives, but how we choose to respond, that makes all the difference.”

How do you deal with nonstop change at work? Leading others through change? Personal loss? How do you cope with a sudden and unexpected shift in your life, at work or at home? Change can be hard.

Author Gary Bradt can help. In this book, he weaves relatable stories with nine practical tools to help you manage the change in your life. With strategic advice like keeping a ToWho list and empathetic guidance about when to let go or latch on, Change explores Bradt’s proven secrets for turning adversity into opportunity. Learn how to adapt and advance whenever change hits and turns your life upside down.


Going through change is not a market differentiator. Adapting to change faster and better than your competitors can be. Gary Bradt’s inspiring new keynote, Turning Change Into Opportunity, equips audiences with the tools they need to do just that. Based on his new book, Change: The Tools You Need for The Life You Want at Work and Home, this talk empowers audiences to:

- Experience the power of The ToWho List, a daily practice supported by an app Bradt developed that helps you build relationships that will sustain you through challenging change and difficult times

Discover the secrets of The Pyramid, a tool that helps you adapt your behavior to get better results whenever change puts you or your organization at risk for falling behind

- Learn to Let Go of Old Beliefs, Feelings or Behaviors that are only holding you down or holding you back

- Experience the moving power of The Two Minute Drill, an exercise that allows you to quickly engage your most deeply held values. Like a compass, these values will point you in the right direction whenever change creates difficult choices

- Understand The Four Factors Driving Change for practically every organization and industry across the globe, ...and more!

This upbeat and interactive keynote stimulates the mind and stirs the emotions. It inspires audiences to discover strengths they may not have recognized they had. Bradt’s business stories and personal anecdotes bring his points home in a way that audiences can not only understand, but relate to.

Discover what previous clients like IBM, eBay, American Express, Aetna and scores of others have before: That it’s not the change in life, but how you choose to respond, that makes all the difference. Let Gary help your audience embrace change to find the opportunities that await.

Gary Bradt in 2-Minutes: Message and Impact
Watch Gary Bradt in 2 minutes discuss how his message can create an impact. .#CHANGEISGOOD




Friday, December 2, 2016

Lindsey Roy joins the Standard Ovation team!

Lindsey Roy partners with Standard Ovation - HARNESSING THE POWER OF DISRUPTION. How to turn your biggest challenges into your greatest opportunities.  Lindsey Roy - Demo Video Lindsey Roy - Standard Ovation Lindsey Roy - Keynote Topics Contact Form - Lindsey Roy Standard Ovation Contact Charlotte at 913.498.9774; Image Map

by Gary Bradt

7 Ways To Get People To Buy Into Your Ideas At Work

Keynote Speaker, Writer and C-Suite Coach Helping Leaders Turn Change into Opportunity

Business is a logical process carried out by psychological beings. Therefore, logical arguments alone will rarely suffice to get everyone to fully buy in to what you have to say. It helps to understand the psychological needs of your audience too. Therefore, when trying to convince other to go along with your ideas at work, here are seven pointers that may be helpful to keep in mind.
  1. When delivering a message that may be received as critical, often it helps to begin by sharing a positive message first. For example, constructive feedback might sound something like this: "Mary, I know one of your goals is to get promoted to the next level, and my job is to help you get there. One way I am going to do that is to share with you all the things I see you doing that are on track with your goals, and what I see you doing that may hold you back." Then share behavioral examples in each instance.
  2. Remember that when you are trying to convince someone of your ideas, it's not about your psychological needs, it's about theirs. Therefore, read your audience and behave accordingly. For example, let's say you are not one for social chit chat at the beginning of meetings. But perhaps you work with folks who need a little time to warm up first. Adapting to their needs may help them feel more comfortable, and therefore more receptive to what you have to say once the meeting commences.
  3. Try to avoid imperatives when possible. People sometimes resist when they are told they "must" or "should" or "have to" do something. Even if they agree with your point, they may resist reflexively if they feel pressured, and the words I listed above can trigger such pressure. So, offering "suggestions" or "things to consider" may feel less threatening and give people the psychological room they need to be more open to what you have to say.
  4. It's okay to express and talk about emotions. In fact, it's essential. Why? Like gas does for our cars, emotions fuel our behavior. Ignoring emotions is like ignoring putting gas in your car: eventually you'll come to a dead stop. So if you think people may be afraid or angered by what you have to say, address it directly. Saying something like "I know some of you may have fear or concerns about this particular issue, and let me see if I can address that" goes a long ways to quelling those fears or concerns in the first place.
  5. Read your written communications out loud and/or run them by someone else before sending them out. Hearing your words gives you insight into how others may hear them when they read them. And someone else may better pick up on ways to shape your message by anticipating reactions that you may have overlooked. Better safe than sorry is the applicable aphorism here.
  6. Employ the power of yes/and. I learned this concept from Dan Klein of The Stanford Design School. Dan teaches that if you comment on someone else's idea by saying "Yes, but" you can unintentionally shut down their openness and enthusiasm. If, however, your rejoinder is "Yes, and" it can open the mutual lines of communication and collaboration between you both.
  7. Listen. People will be much more likely to consider your positions if they feel you genuinely care about and listen to theirs too. So ask questions, listen to answers, and ask follow ups. Together, you are more likely to get to a better answer than either one of you may on your own.
Bottom line: Getting others to go along with your ideas goes beyond capturing their head with logic. If you can capture their head and their hearts, then you've got something.
Gary Bradt is an author and keynote speaker on change and leadership. His latest book, Change: The Tools You Need For The Life You Want At Work And Home will be available on Amazon ( and for Kindle on December 6th! More info available at