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Episode 059 – The Leadership Playbook Author Jamy Bechler

Posted on Oct 12, 2017 by in Podcast Episode | 0 comments


John Maxwell leadership guru and trainer Jamy Bechler is back on the show to talk about his new book, The Leadership Playbook.


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Hey everyone and welcome to the All-Star Leader Podcast, where together we learn about leadership from the best and brightest, and keep it fun by connecting it to our passion for sports!

I’m your host Daniel Hare, and I am excited to say that we are back! I hope you had a great summer and are as fired up as I am to hear more insightful leadership lessons through the prism of sports.

Today we are fortunate to visit with Jamy Bechler. You might remember Jamy was a guest on episode 31 of the podcast, and I encourage if you didn’t catch that episode to pause this one, go back and listen to episode 31, and then come back to this conversation.

We’re going to skip through much of the typical intro/bio since we all know Jamy and get right into his new book, The Leadership Playbook: Become Your Team’s Most Valuable Leader. The book shot up to #1 New Release on Amazon’s list of basketball coaching books, and #2 in the category overall.

This is Jamy Bechler. Jamy welcome back to the show!

Interview Questions:

  1. How have you been and what have you been up to over the summer?
    1. 7/25 – book came out
    2. Family moved from Atlanta to Akron, OH
    3. Conferences
  2. Tell us about how the book came to be. Where did the idea come from? How long did you work on it?, etc.
    1. Last year was his first as a leadership trainer/speaker and figuring out how to be an entrepreneur/self-employed
    2. Figured out how to create a work environment that worked for him
    3. Put together an editing/advising team to help re-write and edit the book
    4. Had been writing the book over two years by way of giving speeches to student-athletes
  3. Who is the book for, and what are you hoping the reader will take away from the book?
    1. For the benefit of student-athletes and would love them to read it
    2. But recognizes that young people don’t read as much, so the book is designed in a way to appeal to them (each chapter has a specific story tied to it)
    3. Wants to impact them in a way a coach/parent would want them to
    4. These student-athletes are our future leaders, and what are we doing to help them
    5. Ronald Reagan – “you can’t do everything but you can do something.”
  4. How did you decide to publish the book?
    1. Self-publishing because you have more control and it is less expensive
    2. Traditional doesn’t really make sense unless you are a big-time author
    3. Spent time figuring out what the actual product would look like (study book v. actual book etc.)
    4. Added handouts and materials to an online resource for practical application
    5. There is a paperback and kindle version
    6. The cover is a photo of Indiana Wesleyan basketball
  5. Right out of the gate in chapter one you talk about positional leadership, and how successful teams can’t/don’t rely on just that type of leadership. Can you explain what positional leadership is, relative to other types of leadership, and why it’s important to have the other?
    1. Positional leadership – upper classmen, captains, star players, coaches – if your organization is set up to rely on those people for leadership, it can be used as a crutch by the other people who aren’t expected to lead
    2. All players should think/believe they are a leader
    3. Telling the positional people you have to be THE leader
    4. But also telling everyone else you have to be A leader
    5. The numbers dictate that the non-positional leaders can have a significant impact on their teams
    6. Kevin Durant speech showed how it is important to recognize your platform and take advantage of the opportunity to lead in a positive manner
  6. You said something in chapter two about integrity that caught my eye. You said, “integrity is the sum total of all our everyday choices.” What did you mean by that?
    1. When looking at building blocks to be a leader, integrity has to be there before anything else
    2. We make choices every day that impact our integrity
    3. Sports not only builds character; it also reveals character
    4. Legendary golfer Bobby Jones story about taking a penalty when nobody but him had seen it; as he was later praised, he said you might as well praise me for not robbing a bank today. – that’s integrity.
    5. As a leader, people will follow you if they see you have integrity and you are who you say you are
  7. Building on that idea, you have an encouragement in the book for those who don’t feel their position or status provides people for them to influence. What would/do you say to that person?
    1. You won’t always be able to person to influence the star, especially if you are the last person on the bench; but you can be a friend.
    2. And though you may not be able to influence the star, you can influence those right next to you (i.e. your friends on the team); they can influence others and eventually you can influence the positional leaders
    3. Harriet Tubman example – not a positional leader at all, but able to influence the people around her to the point she had a tremendous impact on people’s lives.
  8. Later in the book you give an example talking about former Arizona walk-on basketball player and current Georgia Tech head coach Josh Pastner. Can you tell that story for us?
    1. Came to Arizona as a walk on, but was friends with Bibby, Simon, Dickerson and Terry – all NBA guys.
    2. He had a key to the gym, and late at night he would get them in and rebound for them; he built them up by saying they were going to win a championship and be talked about.
    3. They won the national title in 1997
    4. His secret was adding value and helping the starters get better
    5. (Daniel) we may experience seasons of leading from different places – now Josh does have positional leadership
    6. Jason Terry went from a sixth-man on the Arizona team to a star, to a solid NBA player to a star player and is now more of a role player. But very respected by the NBA community.
  9. Can you speak to the power of patience? Chapter Four on Leading Yourself is full of great examples of patience paying off; would you share one or two?
    1. Not sure if any of us are good at patience
    2. Leading yourself has to come before leading others, and patience is a key
    3. Luck = opportunity + preparation
    4. Bill Walsh with the 49ers had a player who would get frustrated because they weren’t making progress – won very few games. But they went from being the worst 2-14 team ever to the best 2-14 team ever. The rest is history.
  10. You talk about the impact Larry Fitzgerald’s work ethic had on others in the Arizona Cardinal’s lockerroom in Chapter Five: Leading Others. Tell us more about that, and in particular, encourage the quite/introverted types in the audience who might be feeling like they can’t lead because they aren’t the dynamic, loud, public speaking type.
    1. Great example of someone who provides a great example
    2. Goes about his business
    3. First one there/last to leave/dives for balls/ plays the way you want stars to
    4. Doesn’t do a lot of the talking, but lets his actions speak
    5. But don’t let your introversion be a crutch to give you permission not to talk; be a verbal leader with those close to you who you talk most with
  11. Where can people go to connect with you and find out more about the book?
    1. – bulk orders; additional resources
    2. as well

Thank Yous/Acknowledgements:

  1. Antioch Live/Clear Day Media Group – music
    1. More here.
  2. Jonathan Davis – production
  3. Clint Musslewhite – voice over

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