If someone asks you to go one mile with them, go two instead. In fact, don't wait for them to ask. As a servant leader, be willing to go the extra mile for others because of who you are, not who the other person is. But before you can go the extra mile, know that you've got to have humility. It is impossible to go the extra mile without being humble. That's because humility is giving the best of me for the best of you, even if it costs me. A servant leader will go the extra mile for others, but he or she is only able to do this with humility. A humble heart is a prerequisite for becoming an extra miler.

Pillar: Personal Code


Rock solid confidence depends on your mindset. Mindset is how you see the things around you. When you make the choice to see what's happening around you through the right lens, you will develop confidence that can't be shaken by the momentary circumstances you encounter. To build rock solid confidence, it helps to know what confidence is and what it isn't. Building rock solid confidence means knowing what confidence is, what it isn't, and how to orient your mindset for maximum confidence, no matter what circumstances come up.

Pillar: Growth Mindset


“Humble warrior” might seem like an oxymoron at first glance, but the definitions of both words mesh really well. Humility is giving the best of me for the best of you, even if it costs me. And a warrior is someone who deploys their talents and energy for the good of others, for a cause greater than self. Warriors act not for their personal good, but for the greater good. Humility gives you the strength to work for others even when it costs you, just as a warrior does.

Pillar:  Servant Leadership


A "try" is a tool used in carpentry to ensure the wood is level. The old saying that someone or something is "tried and true" comes from the process of using that tool to level the wood to create a finished piece. You can't level a piece of wood without a painful shearing process, and you can't have tried and true character without going through the process of overcoming adversity. See, adversity reveals the truth about your character, just as a try reveals the levelness of the wood. Adversity will reveal a lot of different things, but three of the most closely related to adversity are humility, integrity, and toughness.

Pillar: Grit


The thing that you do most consistently is the thing you'll be most successful at. You get great at what you get reps at, and whatever you get the most reps at, whatever you are most consistent at, is what your normal will be. When you create a new normal to be consistently better today than yesterday, there's no limit to how successful you can be. Sometimes it's easier to accept a lie or half-truth than to look for the whole truth, but only by making total truth the new normal can you truly h on and off the field.succeed. The more consistently you get reps at creating a new normal, the more success you will find bot

Pillar: Goals


You can come up with all kinds of reasons to procrastinate and to put today's work off until tomorrow. But today's finish line is tomorrow's starting line. Where you stopped yesterday is where you start today. You can come up with all kinds of reasons for why you can put off today's work until tomorrow, but that negative progress is cumulative, just as positive forward movement is cumulative. If you put off today's work for tomorrow, you will find it still waiting for you tomorrow. Maybe worry is holding you back from doing today's work, such as worry about performing well or worry about missing out on something more fun. Worry won't get you anywhere, though. The only way to make progress, the only way to consistently keep moving forward towards your goals and dreams, is to do today's work today.

Pillar: Work Ethic


"Underdog" is a label that others will put on you based on a prediction of the future calculated by looking at what happened in the past. But the future is not guaranteed and the past is over and done with. It doesn't matter if someone calls you an underdog; those predictions are their business. Your business is choosing to press on regardless. Underdog is just a label that others use in their attempts to predict the future. What they say is their business. Your business is choosing to press on by no longer looking at the past and instead moving one step closer to where you want to be.

Pillar: Goals


We are quick to say that family matters, but sometimes there is a disconnect between our words and our actions. If you really stop and ask yourself if your family matters, what do your actions say in response? Put another way, are you bought in on your family? Again, you may be tempted to just say yes, but what do your actions say? When you pay a price for your family, that is when you buy in. Family isn't just your blood relatives. Family is your team, your friends, and your classmates. Family is your community. Here are a few examples of how your actions might show that your family matters to you.

Pillar: Personal Code


Whether you win or lose is less important than what you do in the aftermath. How well your team plays the game determines whether you win or lose, but how well you accept and respond to a win or loss determines whether you will be successful in future games and in life. Winning well makes you better at losing, and losing well makes you better at winning. How you deal with a win or a loss directly reflects your growth as a leader and a teammate. Everyone will lose at some point. The questions to ask are: What will you do when you win? What will you do when you lose?

Pillar: Growth Mindset


The famous fable of the tortoise and the hare teaches us that consistent work ethic will always beat inconsistent talent. If all you have is great talent with no consistency, then like the hare in the story, you'll end up losing to a tortoise when you should have won no question. Slow and steady progress towards a goal will win over fast but faulty progress. The hare lost to the tortoise because consistent hard work will always beat inconsistent talent. Follow the ABCs of consistent work ethic and you'll see how slow and steady wins the race.

Pillar: Work Ethic


Today's leaders in the locker room are tomorrow's leaders in our boardrooms and courtrooms. Every day in the locker room, tomorrow's leaders learn how to lead. And one of the most important things for them to learn is this: The best leaders serve first. If you want to be change in your school, community, or the world, that requires being the best leader you can be, so you can never forget that the best leaders serve others before themselves. The best leaders are change-makers because they serve others first. When you get this in the locker room, you can get it anywhere. Tomorrow's leaders are built in today's locker rooms, and there is no better training ground for servant leadership than on an athletic team.

Pillar: Servant Leadership


The chicken line is the point at which your fear says you can't go any further. It's the point where you chicken out. Developing the will and courage to pass the chicken line despite your fear will mean the difference between success and failure. That's because everything you want, all of your goals and dreams, are on the other side of your chicken line. You will hit a point where fear will try to tell you that you can't go any further. That's your chicken line. Instead of chickening out when you hit that line, push forward to grow and improve so you can reach your goals and dreams.

Pillar: Grit


When obstacles try to knock you down, Giddy up! is the battle cry you can use to get back up and find a way to overcome. Giddy up! is a mindset, but it is also a posturing; it's a way of approaching a problem. When you say Giddy up!, you are saying that you will gladly compete with this obstacle because you know that it's going to make you better in the long run. There are two things that you need more than any other if you want to Giddy up! in the face of adversity: optimism and daring. Obstacles are going to come on the road to your goals. As Marcus Aurelius wrote, “The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.” To "overcome" obstacles, you've got to compete with them. And don't forget your battle cry: Giddy up!

Pillar: Personal Code


Tough people win because they never give up. But tough people also win because they are tough enough to accept correction. Acceptance is not most people's default response to correction, though. In fact, it's pretty common to respond from a place of fear and either ignore or forget the correction. So the three ways to respond to correction or critiques are to ignore it, forget it, or accept it. Let's look at each. Tough people find success because they are tough enough to make the trades necessary to accept correction despite fears of being wrong. Acceptance may not be the default response to correction, but it's the only response that's going to help you find success in sports and the game of life.

Pillar: Grit


In a world that is as quick to break a promise as to make one, let's go against the current and place a higher value on the promises we make. Let's only make promises knowing that we are going to keep them; let's be promise keepers. Promise keepers are on time, they are truth-tellers, and they are tough. And because of these characteristics, promise keepers are winners. Promise keepers are winners because they know the importance of being on time, they tell the truth, and they are tough. Before you make a promise, make sure you can be a promise keeper.

Pillar: Servant Leadership


Before a new gym can host the sporting events you love, it has to be built. There's a long process to get from empty patch of ground to shiny gym, and it involves a very dirty process of growing. In the same way, there's a long, dirty process between where you are now and where you want to be. This isn't meant to be discouraging. If anything, be encouraged that you’re still in the process of reaching your goals. You're growing, learning, and improving every day. But you have to be willing to do the dirty jobs to ultimately reach the shiny dream. Before a gym can host games, there are a lot of dirty jobs that have to be done to build the place. In the same way, you have to do the dirty jobs to build the skills and character needed to reach your goals and dreams.

Pillar: Work Ethic


"Success is never owned, always leased, and rent is due every single day." -J.J. Watt Success is not final. There's no single finish line that once you reach it, you never have to work hard again. There's no one goal that once it's done, there's nothing left in life to go after. There's always another end zone, always another goal post. This is what it means to say that success is never owned, always leased. Success requires self-control. It requires the daily paying of rent in the form of hard work to make your dreams a reality.

Pillar: Goals


When things don't go to plan or when we encounter a crisis, there are two primary ways that people respond: by focusing on what they CAN do or focusing on what they CAN'T do. The most successful people answer the question of Can't or Can? with a definite CAN. When you focus on what you can do instead of what you can't do, you'll find out how much more is within your control than you thought. There's a quote from former U.S. president Theodore Roosevelt that will help you move from a Can't to a Can mindset: "Do all that you can with all that you have wherever you are." When things go wrong, you can either focus on what you can't do or what you can do. Focusing on what you CAN'T do will leave you stuck in place, a victim of circumstance. But focusing on what you CAN do will help you move forward to reach your goals and dreams despite circumstances.

Pillar: Growth Mindset



Stephen Mackey, CEO & Founder

Stephen Mackey is a player development coach, keynote speaker, Wall Street Journal best-selling author, and founder of 2Words Character Development, one of the top Leadership and character curriculums in the country. Building on the Six Pillars of a Championship Character – Toughness, Integrity, Belief, Excellence, Effort, and Service – Mackey equips teams and organizations to elevate their performance by building a culture of character.
Patrick Jones - Course author