What are the Ingredients of a Great Team?

How do you make a great TTEAMM?

A great team is something that can be built.  With the right ingredients and development, any group of people can come together for the betterment of everyone and form a strong unit.  This week, I give you the first three letters (T, T, and E) of my TTEAMM acronym with the focus on building a great team.  As you read them, think to yourself; What is a great team really made of.  Enjoy.

  • In order to have a great team, they must trust one another.  Trust must be earned and awarded at all times.  The instant trust goes away, marks the beginning of the end.  Trust each other, trust leadership, and trust the process.  It can take a while for trust to be built, so stay patient.
  • You must have a unified common goal amongst your squad, bringing everyone together for a sole purpose.  I always liked to take my players out for dinner outside of the court.  These little activities can go a long way in building a team atmosphere.  How do you get your team to stay together?
  • Those who have drive and passion should have a spot on your team.  They know what it takes to be successful and don’t stop until goals are achieved.  It is crucial to stay upbeat and focused throughout the journey.  How is your enthusiasm?

Did You Know?  In honor of the 11-year anniversary of the J-Mac game, Coach Jim Johnson and J-Mac are speaking at a local school in Rochester and also giving a basketball clinic to 6th-graders.

Life Tip #65:  You should always look to add value to others

Are You Using ‘Please’ and ‘Thank You’ Enough?

Do you use ‘please’ and ‘thank you’?

Growing up, our parents always preached manners and politeness.  Do you still have manners today?  In business and leadership, it can become crucial to use your manners and say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ to be more effective.  As we interact with those around us, we must show our respect.  Below are some tips I have compiled on how to use our manners and be upstanding individuals.  Enjoy.

  • Consistently use ‘please’. With strangers, friends, co-workers.  They all deserve to be treated with respect.  Do this consistently, so it becomes second nature.  Whenever you ask for something, attaching a ‘please’ to your request can go a long way.  Do you consistently say ‘please’?
  • Thank immediately. This is the best way to show appreciation toward someone.  As soon as someone does something nice for you, make sure you reciprocate and show your appreciation by saying ‘thank you.’
  • Show it in different ways. Use your words, notes, letters, texts, emails, etc.  There are many ways to show your appreciation toward someone.  No matter who it is, if they deserve your thanks and praise, give it to them.  It becomes a nice added touch that they will remember for a long time.  How do you show your thanks?

Did You Know?  Coach Jim Johnson spoke in front of 230 meeting planners and professionals last week at the National Speaking Showcase in Minneapolis, MN.  His 2017 calendar is filling up quick!

Life Tip #45:  You never get a second chance to make a first impression

Have you thought about Leaving a Legacy?

What will your legacy be?

As we go about our daily lives, it is easy to lose sight of the big picture and what we wish to accomplish.  How do you wish to be remembered?  What will your legacy say about your life?  These types of questions must be at the forefront of your mind each and every day.  It is crucial that you carry yourself in the highest manner as often as possible.  Recently, I was asked about my thoughts on my former team (Greece Athena High School, Rochester, NY) and their 7-1 hot start.  I have thus compiled some tips to help you leave a legacy worth remembering.  Enjoy.

  • Develop a leadership philosophy. Live with the philosophy that everything I touch turns to gold.  This will rub off on others and they will be ready to lead when you are gone.  What is your leadership philosophy?
  • Be a role model. Set a high standard for yourself as well as your team and expect to live up to those standards.  Once you have achieved your goals, raise these standards and set new goals.  Always seek to grow and develop ways to strive forward consistently.
  • Train and develop leaders. Prepare others to take over once you are gone.  This will allow your program or organization to not miss a beat.
  • Have a succession plan. Once you are gone, who will take over?  What will the new regime look like?  How will it operate?  It is important to have these items taken care of while you are still involved.

Life Tip #65: You should always look to add value to others

Do you Have a Financial Independence Plan?

What is your financial independence plan?

In order to achieve financial independence and wealth, much like anything else, we must have a plan to get there.  In my younger years (teens and 20’s), I did not see the value in saving or starting a retirement account.  I wish I had.  Starting your retirement account 5-10 years sooner can result in a significant amount of money when you retire.  Below are some other financial tips for you to include in your financial plan.  Enjoy.

  • Set a financial goal. What do you wish to earn?  What do you wish to have when you retire? What percentage should you invest?  All of this is specific to you and your life, so make sure you set your goals sooner rather than later.
  • Pay down your debt. Student loans, car loans, and even your mortgage can burden you for a long time.  Make sure when you come into some extra cash, you pay down these debts as it will save you much more in the long run.
  • Seek ways to increase income. Whether it’s at your current job or your dream job, find ways to increase your value and ultimately, increase your pay.  Don’t settle for your current situation.  Maybe start a side job to earn extra income.  Live the lifestyle you can afford.  How can you increase your income?
  • Seek advice. Your parents, coworkers, or even other friends can be a great resource of information and advice for you.  Make sure you utilize their knowledge to create your own plan.

Did You Know?  Coach Jim Johnson was a late bloomer when it comes to investing and saving.  He didn’t start a retirement account until he was 33 years old.  It’s never too late to start!

Life Tip #4:  Pay yourself first, make it a high priority to start a retirement account

2017: How can you Create Positive Change in your Life?

Are you creating positive change?

Now that the new year is here and 2017 brings nothing but hope and wonder, how are you creating positive change for your future?  In this week’s #CJJblog I am going to give you a few tips to help ensure your future is bright.  Below are some thoughts I had, but be sure to let me know if I missed anything.  How are you preparing for your future?  Enjoy.

  • Develop a morning routine. This will start your day on a positive note and set the tone for the entire day.  Eat a good breakfast, exercise, or read 30 minutes every morning.  Do this consistently and you will find yourself having more productive days more often than not.  What do you do in the morning to get your day started on the right foot?
  • Organize your life. Whether it’s your car, your office, or your home, get it organized as soon as possible.  The feeling you get after cleaning or organizing something meaningful to you is unlike any other.  Positive actions lead to positive thoughts, which ultimately leads to positive action.
  • Write down your goals daily. Start with your top 3 list of goals, then expand outward.  If you do this on a daily basis, you will soon end up with a master list of your top 10 goals, where you can focus on what really matters to you.
  • Create/join a mastermind group. There are endless benefits to surrounding yourself with like-minded productive individuals who share your goals and values.  A mastermind group will also help to serve as an accountability partner, whom you do not wish to disappoint.  Do you have a mastermind group you can talk to?
  • Change one habit. Whether it’s eating poorly, smoking, or exercising regularly, I challenge you to make one improvement on a bad habit you are trying to break.  Make positive change in your life and positive outcomes will soon follow.

Did You Know?  Coach Jim Johnson will be attending the National Speakers Bureau Showcase in Minneapolis, MN on January 12th.

Life Tip #29:  In decision making, always ask yourself “If I make this decision, then what?”

What is Your Favorite Book?

Do you have a favorite book?

Reading is one of the best ways to grow your mind.  In order to do so, you must do it consistently and strategically.  Depending on where you’re at in your life, it is wise to read books according to what area you wish to improve your professional life.  Me personal library consists of 2,000+ hard copy books as well as a significant number of audio books.  I can grab a book at any time and grow my mind.  I have accumulated some favorites over the years.  I highly recommend reading them.  Enjoy.

  • The Season of Life (Jeffrey Marx). This book helped me develop my coaching philosophy and develop my coaching career at a very high level.  Looking for a real-life story to relate to?  This is the book for you.
  • The Last Lecture (Randy Pausch). I learned some serious life lessons in this book.  It goes in depth bout how to achieve your childhood dreams and really helped me specify what direction I wanted to take my life.
  • 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (Stephen Covey). This is one of many Covey books I have read.  I consider his work to be life-changing and a must for anyone seeking to be efficient and a valued member of society.
  • The Carolina Way (Dean Smith). This book was instrumental in teaching me the proper ways to build relationships with people.  If you are looking to improve your ability to communicate with those around you, look no further than this book form the legendary basketball coach.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. on Leadership (Donald Phillips). I considered MLK to be the most admired American figure and this book helped me become a much more effective leader.  Who do you admire?

Did You Know?  Coach Jim Johnson spoke at the Franklin Covey Summit three years ago and got a standing ovation for his story and work.

Life Tip #42:  What books are you reading?  Take a speed-reading class to read more quickly

Are You Learning From the Past?

What are you learning from the past?

We all have a past that we can learn from. It is extremely important that we learn from our experiences as opposed to dwell on it. There are many things we can identify as learning experiences. This week, I have compiled some tips on how we can use our past to set us up for a successful future. Enjoy.

  • Respond to negative outcomes. For me, I was cut from my college basketball team after try-outs did not go well. I was unable to bounce back from this and allowed it to affect my personal/school life. Later in my career, I was let go from my first coaching job after a 1-18 season. I was then able to learn from that experience to go on and have a successful coaching career. The difference in these two situations? My own personal outlook.
  • Respond to positive outcomes. During the J-Mac senior season (2006), we won the sectional title. I was able to keep the kids focused in the years to come and not be satisfied. We ended up winning multiple sectional titles in the following years.
  • Reflect on the past. After an event happens in your life, make sure you reflect on it and learn moving forward.  What am I doing right?  What could I have done differently?  What did I learn and how can I improve?

Did You Know?  Coach attended the James Malinchak speaker boot camp and was called on stage while the audience was shown the J-Mac video and story.  A great experience last week!

Life Tip #17:  Attend seminars, workshops, conferences, and clinics to increase your knowledge in your field


How Can You Grow Yourself Consistently?

Are you consistently improving yourself?

Each day must be viewed as an opportunity to improve ourselves.  When we get out of bed, that particular day is a unique opportunity to make ourselves better.  Improvement must be done on a consistent basis, not something that gets done once in a while.  For me, one of the best ways to improve myself, while being as efficient with my time as possible, is something I call the “two for one” method.  Below are some tips and tricks I utilize to ensure I am improving myself as I go about my day.  Enjoy.

  • Turn your car into a moving library. We all drive and some of us have extremely long commutes to and from work on a daily basis.  Turn your car into a library on wheels by listening to audiobooks and CDs that help grow your mind.  Keep your music to a minimum and really develop a habit to learn while driving.
  • Exercise and learn. Put in some headphones while you workout and double up with productivity.  Music can be motivational, but developing your mind as you exercise can be a great way to distract you from the workout.  What do you listen to while you workout?
  • Chores around the house. Have to vacuum the living room?    Throw on some headphones with a motivational audiobook.  Have to clean the basement?  Put in some headphones with a business development seminar on it. There are endless ways to grow your mind as you get things done.
  • Bring book when traveling. I went to Los Angeles last week and my most important item(s) on the trip were my personal development books.  Playing games on your phone can kill some time, but provide nothing toward growing your mind.  Who do you want to become?

Did You Know?  Coach Jim Johnson does a book recommendation every week.  Connect with him on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to see what books he is recommending!

Life Tip #14:  Continue to grow as a person with a personal development plan

Are You Reading Enough?

How often do you read?

One of the best ways to grow your mind is to simply read on a consistent basis.  Success can be defined as “a few simple disciplines practiced every day.”  On that notion, we should be reading every day on a consistent basis in order to become successful.  We can learn from our peers, role models, and those who have accomplished exactly what we are striving to do.  I make an effort to read at least 6o minutes every day.  Do you?

  • Tips for reading. Start your day reading something.  End your day reading something.  This will allow your brain to gather information at critical times each day.  Learning to read faster and more comprehensively will also help enhance your reading experience.  As long as you do it on a consistent basis, you will develop a habit to crave knowledge.
  • Why read? If you read for an hour per day consistently, you will be an expert in that field in 5-7 years, which will make you more valuable.  Reading will cause you to be inspired and take action on what you are passionate about.  Reading also takes your mind to other places and allows you to dream. When is the last time you were lost in a book?  Reading consistently will increase your vocabulary and overall understanding of the English language, which could help you become more knowledgeable at work and ultimately lead to a higher position.  Why do you read?

Did You Know?  Coach Jim Johnson will be re-releasing the anniversary edition of his book in February.

“I invited Coach Johnson to talk to my team at the beginning of the season.  It was a phenomenal experience.  Coach is dynamic and motivating.  He helped our team come closer together as a team.  He had 10 high school students engaged!  He is awesome!”

-Todd Esposito, Girls Varsity BBall Coach, Churchville-Chili H.S.-

Life Tip #43:  Leaders are readers

What do you do to Show Appreciation?

How do you show appreciation?

Appreciation can be shown any number of ways.  As a leader, it is important to give back and thank those who work hard for you every day.  Your team must know they are appreciated and their efforts do not go unnoticed.  Throughout my many years of coaching and being a role model, I have compiled some ways I consistently showed my appreciation.  Make sure you look through them and let me know your favorites.  Enjoy.

  • Create a family atmosphere. This is a special method I used to become a little more personal with my team.  I would send birthday cards and provide written congratulations if they accomplished something great outside of basketball.
  • Send out personalized notes. In today’s day and age, it is very easy to send out some sort of congratulations via text, email, social media, etc.  Give the extra effort when the opportunity presents itself.
  • Reward your values. If you emphasize getting in early, make sure you recognize those who arrive 30 minutes early.  Whatever you preach as your core values, make sure you look out for those who are demonstrating it.  What are you values?
  • Celebrate success. At gatherings, practice, or meetings.  Make sure you are taking some time to celebrate the success of your team throughout the year as well.  Working hard is great, but make sure they are recognized for it as well.
  • Outside events. The more you can surprise your team with random events/activities the better.  Take them to the movies, play games at unelected times, and surprise them with new things.  This will create a fun atmosphere where everyone wants to participate.

Did You Know?  Coach Jim Johnson is speaking to the girls varsity basketball team at Churchville-Chili High School in early December.

Life Tip #8:  Treat people better than how you want to be treated

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