Most helpful positive review
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Life & Leadership Tips from a Master Motivator
on June 30, 2003
Lou Holtz, currently the head football coach at the University of South Carolina, has written one of the best, and most enjoyable leadership books I have ever read. His game plan for success was largely told through his gridiron experiences, but this plan is about much more than just football-it is a proven, common-sense guide for succeeding in the game of life.
What makes Holtz's life and leadership insights so compelling and believable are his dynamic life experiences and his incredible list of accomplishments: parents were divorced; fiance' broke off their engagement, but they later married and remain so after 40 years; only coach to lead 4 different programs to top-20 finishes and 6 different programs to bowl games (William and Mary, N.C. State, Arkansas, Minnesota, Notre Dame, South Carolina); 23 of 32 college teams he coached have received bowl bids, with 18 top-25 finishes, 8 top-10 finishes, and one undefeated national championship; 3rd winningest active coach and 7th place all-time with 243 victories; wife's heroic battle with throat cancer; fired or let go as assistant coach more than once; polled as the best motivational speaker in the country two years in a row, and his motivational video "Do Right!" is the all-time best-seller; guest speaker at most Fortune 500 companies; and was invited to the Oval Office by four different presidents.
Holtz's game plan consists of ten steps. Each step is explored in detail in its own chapter. The colorful, real-world stories and humorous anecdotes Holtz used to present the steps' lessons perfectly complemented his conversational writing style. The final chapter is considered the "end-zone" of success-where you can be if you have the courage, desire, and character to apply the lessons described within the plan's steps.
The book is jammed full of common-sense, spiritual, philosophical, and motivational life and leadership perspectives. The most memorable passages for me as a father, leader, and follower were Holtz's thoughts about discipline:
"For me, a disciplinarian is someone who requires that people understand the consequences of their decisions. You use discipline to reinforce choices. Our athletes and my children knew that if they chose to misbehave, they were also choosing to pay the consequences...In each case, I never punished anyone; the offenders chose the punishment themselves by their actions."
He illustrated his commitment to being a disciplinarian by describing the circumstances that led to him suspending his top three Arkansas players before the 1977 Orange Bowl (against Oklahoma), and to suspending two of his best players before his top-ranked Notre Dame team played the second-ranked University of Southern California in 1988:
"[They] recklessly violated our Do Right rule, which governs personal conduct...These were not bad guys; they simply made a bad decision...I didn't want the keys to our offense to miss our biggest game of the year, but when they decided to break our rules, they also decided to miss the game. Now I had to support that choice."
Holtz is a master motivator and a proven true winner in football and life. My highest recommendation for this book is best captured by Holtz himself when he wrote, "As you know, the only things that will change you from where you are today to where you want to be five years from now are the books you read and the people you meet." I hope I someday get a chance to meet Lou Holtz and thank him for his outstanding book on life and leadership.