Create an Edge

What did we Learn from the Super Bowl?

Did you watch the Super Bowl?

As a former coach, I typically view games through a very unique lens.  While most might be watching for the excitement and thrills of the game, I am watching for teachable moments.  Things we can learn from moving forward.  While watching the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history last week, I picked up on a few things.  Here are three things that I learned from Super Bowl LI.  Enjoy.

  • Power of perseverance. The Patriots were down 28-3 in the second half of the biggest game of their lives.  In any sport, that is normally an insurmountable deficit to overcome.  They stuck to their game plan and persevered through unlikely odds to come out victorious.
  • Sticking together in adversity. Some might say the definition of adversity is being down 28-3.  The Patriots could have folded, but they stuck together and remained calm as a team.  Had they panicked, there would have been zero chance for a comeback for the ages.
  • Failure to adapt. The Falcons, on the other hand, did not do a great job at adapting to the flow and style of the game.  Had they done a better job playing with the lead and recognizing their situational surroundings, they could have been in the winners’ circle.

Did You Know?  Coach Jim Johnson is re-releasing his anniversary version of his book in honor of the 11-year anniversary (February 15th) of the J-Mac game on March 1st.

Life Tip #32:  The harder you work, the luckier you get

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

Coach’s Dozen – Inspirational Books

What are your favorite inspirational books?

Last week, I introduced my 12 favorite leadership books.  This week, I will give you my top 12 books that I found to be tremendously inspirational.  If you wish to make changes in your life, you must implement consistent routines that will lead to positive change.  For me, I read at least 30 minutes each day to grow my mind.  Take a look at the Coach’s Dozen this week and pick a few books that you can add to your list.  Trust me, it will be worth it.

  • Success Principles – Jack Canfield
  • The Power of Positive Thinking – Norman Vincent Peale
  • The Last Lecture – Randy Pausch
  • Season of Life – Jeffrey Marx
  • Over the Top – Zig Ziglar
  • Every Day I Fight – Stuart Scott
  • The Purpose Driven Life – Rick Warren
  • Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill
  • Mindset – Carol Dweck
  • 177 Mental Toughness Secrets of the World Class – Steve Siebold
  • The Bible
  • A Coach and a Miracle – Jim Johnson & Mike Latona

The more you read, the more you learn and grow your mind.  Try your best to make it an appointment with yourself each day to grow your mind.  Reading (especially the books above) helps to feed your mind and allow it to become strong.  The most motivational books have a call to action.  The best leaders develop a plan of action.  Which type of person are you?

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

Leadership Keys (Series)

How do you develop as a leader?

Becoming a leader isn’t something that can be done overnight. This development takes time and effort over many years.  Throughout my coaching career, I have learned many new skills on leadership and how to lead others.  This week in the #CJJblog I am starting a two-part series on developing into a leader.  Here are some tips and tricks I have learned through my 30+ years in coaching and living.  Enjoy.

  • Lead yourself first. It all starts with you. Remember that. Each morning when you wake up, look in the mirror and ask yourself “what is my purpose?” This establishes a sense of responsibility for your actions that will show as you interact with others. How do you define success?
  • Clarify your vision. What do you believe in? What are your values? What is your personal vision? Live each day abiding by your answers to those questions. Reinforce this to others and never assume they are aware of your leadership beliefs. Also get feedback on this vision to help create a sense of unity among your team.
  • Build trust. Trust is the foundation of any group attempting to achieve success. Always remember to do what you say and say what you do. Build trust with others every single day. This is an aspect of your life you cannot slack on. When is the last time you made a sacrifice for someone to help build their trust as a leader?
  • Create an edge. Constantly grow as a person and never stop perfecting your craft. This will make it easier to help grow others and be someone they can count on. Always seek new ideas and be open to improving yourself. What is your edge that you’ve created for yourself?

March Madness has been exactly that and here in upstate New York, we are equal parts proud, excited, and shocked that Syracuse is in the Final Four. It will be an interesting weekend to see how it all plays out, but it’s truly astonishing that the Orange have made it this far.  As I enter into the summer months of my professional speaking schedule, make sure you reach out if I can be of any help to you.  Have a great week, everyone!

Life Tip #28: When people think of a person with integrity, they think of you

Change is here. Deal with it.

Are you adapting?

As we progress through time and our environment changes so frequently, it’s always important to adapt to what’s going on around us. Make an effort to be open to new thoughts, practices, and methods that may alter how you go about your daily life.  If you fail to adapt to the ever-changing society we live in, you will fall behind and hurt your chances at achieving success.  Here are some tips on how to adapt with the changes.  Enjoy.

  • Accept it. It’s here and it’s not going anywhere any time soon. Change is apparent in nearly every aspect of life. Technology is advancing at such a rate that we cannot stop it. We must simply join the party and hop on the wave. Get your mindset right. Are you accepting the changing world or fighting it?
  • Learn it. Research the features of the change. Whether it’s in technology or the way people live, you must obtain the necessary information to make a decision. Learn about your industry and what makes others successful. What are you currently doing to feed your brain?
  • Assess your options. What works best for you and your team? Just because technology is changing how we operate, doesn’t mean that it should completely dictate your business. Take a look at your options and make the best decision for your team. This will make your team better and ultimately stay focused on your vision.

Last week was a bittersweet ending to an absolutely fantastic coaching career. We lost in the NY State sectional final, but I will always be proud of my team for sticking together and becoming a family.  I will update you all further as I close out my coaching career and gravitate toward becoming a full-time professional speaker.  Have a great week, everyone!

Life Tip #104: Develop an hour of power

Preparing for the Big Game

How do you prepare for a big game?

Big games happen all the time (Super Bowl, anyone?). How do we properly prepare for these momentous events?  As I watched the Super Bowl, it got me thinking about how to go about getting ready to play in such a big game in comparison to a regular season contest.  Below are some tips I came up with while laying out a game plan for your next big event.  Enjoy.

  • Prepare thoroughly. This starts with you, the coach. Your game plan, strategy, and plan of attack must all be laid out in detail and given to your team. Outline the steps toward success and create the expectation that it must be followed in order to emerge victorious.
  • Utilize resources. Get feedback, possibly from others who have experienced the same type of pressure. Take in their opinions and evaluate the best course of action moving forward. Gather facts from outside sources and make the best decision for your team. What resources do you have access to that you can dip in to?
  • Build confidence. Present your plan to your team in the manner of “We can do this… And here is how…” They must feel confident that they can achieve greatness and it’s your job to make them feel as such. Is your team confident?
  • Stay focused. Stick to your plan and also have a backup plan in case the initial thought process falls through. If something doesn’t work, how can you fix it? Success comes from adjustments made on the fly. Will you be prepared to make the necessary adjustments?

This is a big week for the Greece Athena basketball program. We have our senior night game, J-Mac ten-year anniversary event, and a fundraiser for!   Also, ESPN personality, Roy Firestone will be by our side throughout most of the process.  Come join the fun!  Have a great week, everyone.

Life Tip #34: Perfect Planning Prevents Poor Performance

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