Welcome to the Student Athlete Leadership Program, please watch this brief introduction video.
As part of the LEAD experience, coaches receive a 10-month follow-up curriculum for athletes and coaches to use on a monthly basis throughout the next school year. This includes ten 10-12 minute video lessons, which are complemented by workbooks that dive deep into the monthly topic. The monthly LEAD Curriculum is designed to help student-athletes retain what they learned during the LEAD event, as well as to challenge them to take their servant leadership experience even further.


There is no question about it: you are a LEADER.
The question is, what kind of leader are you? Are you a leader that is focused on your own goals, or those you lead? Are you a leader in word, reward, or position only, or are you a leader in action? Are you a leader that others quickly dismiss, or are you a leader that others faithfully follow?
“The mark of a good leader is loyal followers. Leadership is nothing without a following.” – Jewish Proverb
TIER ONE leaders are the kind of leaders who see a problem, know what to do, and bring others along with them to solve it. They encourage, inspire, and equip those around them to take part in the adventure/goal/task/mission in front of them; they are not lone rangers. In fact, there is no such thing as a LONE RANGER leader– if you are leading, and you are all alone, you are no longer leading.


There are leaders that you follow up to a point, and no further. Then, there are REAL leaders that you would follow to the ends of the earth. The difference, as explained by NFL quarterback Case Keenum, depends on four key actions.


It is a simple game that kids across the generations have played: where ever the leader goes, you go; whatever the leader does, you do; however the leader does it, that’s how you do it.
If the leader quacks like a duck, you quack like a duck.
If the leader twists and turns, you twist and turn.
It turns out that childhood game is a mirror to life, and leadership on and off the field. When you are the recognized leader of your TRIBE– be that TRIBE on the field or in life– those that follow you will do just that, follow you. Where you go, they will go. What you do, they will do. With one exception.


Two frogs.
Two ridiculous stories.
Two ridiculously important leadership principles.
It’s rare that stories this silly could drive home something so serious, but that is exactly what these stories do. These stories teach us about the importance of standing firm As leaders, we must never forget that there are always consequences for our actions– sometimes positive and sometimes negative.


To maximize the impact you can have on the world, yourself and your team, It’s not complicated; it’s as simple as two words: character vs. talent.
Too often we’re disproportionately focused on talent over character. We view talent as the way to make it. We strive to develop our talent; maximize our skill; because we think it’s the thing that will drive us to succeed in life. All the while it’s easy to neglect character.
How many division one athletes do you know who are untalented? You see, at a certain level, talent levels out. To maximize your talent, you have to must maximize your character. The strength of your character will determine the success of your talents.


Let me ask you this simple question: as a leader, in your locker room, as one who has influence over others, are you a transformational or transactional leader?
Which word best describes you? Which best describes your leadership style?
Well first, what’s the difference?
A transactional leader is one who is chiefly concerned with the end result.
A transformational leader asks, “How can I help you become more than you are today and in the process achieve all of these goals along the way?”


We’ve all known those people. The ones that throw in the towel the second that things start to get difficult. The second that things start to get the tiniest bit uncomfortable, or inconvenient, or disruptive to their status quo, they’re out. The workout gets too demanding, or the weight on the bar gets to be too much, or the classroom material is too dense, and they take their ball and go home.
So what does commitment mean to you? What is your commitment manifesto? How do you define commitment in your own life?


In part 1 of this 3 part series on commitment, we focused on what commitment is and what it isn’t. After all, how can we make a commitment that counts, if we don’t know what commitment is?
So now that we know what commitment is, we are committing to better commitments. We’re committing to our current-selves, our future-selves, and everybody we come into contact with, to make better commitments.
“True leaders keep their word. Leaders don’t make commitments they don’t intend to fulfill.”
But knowing what commitment is won’t answer this simple question: Why does commitment matter? Why is it important? Isn’t it easier to go through life with a “free-trial” mindset? We commit to something as long as it’s easy and doesn’t cost us anything. Moving through life like one giant Netflix free trial.


In part one of this three part series called, “Commitment Counts”, we talked about what commitment is, and what it isn’t. Commitment isn’t a tool to be used to help achieve a goal or a stepping stone in your personal journey of more. Commitment is a willingness to bring your best work to a worst case scenario.
Now we’ve arrived at the final lesson: How to make a commitment that counts.
Think of the leaders in your life that you look up to the most. What is one thing they all have in common? Leaders do what they say they will do. That’s because leaders count the cost of a commitment before they make it, not after.


It’s been said that humans make around 35,000 choices every single day. Think about that for a minute. That means that when we’re awake, we’re making hundreds of decisions every minute.
And to be frank, some are more important than others, aren’t they? What you’re eating for breakfast isn’t nearly as important of a decision as whether or not you’re going to act with integrity when it would be easier not to.
But the fact is that as leaders, we are faced with choices every single day about how we conduct ourselves and the kind of people that we are going to be. And the kind of examples that we are going to set for those around us. The great John Maxwell once said, “The decisions that we make, make our lives.”

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