Lead to Serve, Serve to Lead • Season 1



A standard is defined as “a level of quality or attainment.” It’s a measure of accountability that directly influences your impact in sports and in the game of life. When you have low standards, you will have low success. However, the opposite is also true. As the level of your standards increase, so increases your success. That’s because with higher standards, comes a higher level of accountability, training, commitment, grit, and focus on goal achievement. Your success in the game of life is directly related to the standards you hold yourself to.

Pillar: Personal Code
Key Topics: high standards, support system, peer pressure, family standards, mentor, personal code


There are two types of mindsets people operate from: a fixed-mindset and a growth-mindset. But there is only one mindset that leads to success: the growth mindset. That’s because the growth mindset isn’t focused on where you’ve been or what you have, it’s focused on where you’re going. It’s focused not on what you have in this moment, but instead on what you’re going to gain in every moment between now and then. “Become perfect” is a growth mindset. “Become perfect” says “I may not be there today, but I’m going to get there soon.”

Pillar: Growth Mindset

Key Topics: growth not perfection, learning from mistakes, consequences, WISDOM, gratitude, strength, creating opportunity, perspective, intention, growth mindset


Who is the most valuable person in your life? You might say your mom, your grandfather, or maybe even your girlfriend or boyfriend. Sure, there’s always an easy answer to that question, but the easy answer may not always be the most accurate. If we zoomed out of your life and looked at the person you value the most, do the most for, and focus on the most, you’d most likely be looking in the mirror. If you want to find success in the game of life, then you must learn to treat every person you meet, from the custodian to the coach that’s recruiting you, the same. Treat every person you meet like they are the most valuable person you’ve ever met.

Pillar:  Servant Leadership

Key Topic: servant leadership, serving others, service, team goals, putting others first, communication


We hear people say “failure is not an option” so often it’s become cliche. It’s right in one sense, though not the way most people mean it when they say the words. Failure is not an option (or is not optional) because failure is a fact of life. We will all fail at some point.The only thing optional about failure is how we fail. We can either fail forwards or backwards. If we choose to fail forward, our failures can help us become better. If we choose to fail backwards, our failures will anchor us to our worst moments. The difference lies in whether we allow ourselves to learn from the failure.

Pillar: Growth Mindset

Key Topics: failure, mistakes, rejection, learning from mistakes, fear of failure, failure is an event not a person, owning mistakes, courage, humility, story state strategy, growth mindset


It’s not fair. Why is this happening to me? These are common thoughts when reality doesn’t meet up with your expectations. Common, but unhelpful. Life isn’t fair. Bad things happen to good people. Everyone makes mistakes.Even if you do everything right, you may still fail, but you have an opportunity to learn from this event and prepare for similar situations in the future. One method for seizing opportunities like this is the OODA Loop, originally developed by U.S. Air Force Col. John Boyd. OODA stands for: Observe, Orient, Decide, Act.

Pillar: Servant Leadership

Key Topics: punishment, discipline, reparations, mindset, expectation, reality, ought vs. is, communication skills, observe, orient, decide, act, OODA Loop, servant leadership


There are a lot of things, when it comes to finding success in the game of life, that are optional. Whatever you might find on that exhaustive list, the one thing you will not find is sacrifice. Sacrifice is required for reaching your goals as an individual and as a team. As challenging as this concept is, it is worth every painful moment. When you learn how to use sacrifice to your advantage, you unlock a door to success that few people are ever willing to walk through. The reality of sports and of the game of life, however, is that if you don’t sacrifice for your goals, then you will sacrifice your goals.

Pillar: Grit

Key Topics: sacrifice required, leaders set the example, willing sacrifice, work now to reap rewards later, sacrifice for family, greater purpose, grit


Our body language will communicate things that our words never will. Words can be misunderstood, misinterpreted, or manipulated, but our body language will always tell the truth. It will always give us away. It’s a universal language.Your legs are burning, lungs on fire and your primary instinct is to bend over, put your hands on your knees, and catch your breath. At that moment, what does Coach say? “Stand tall!”Why? Because when you decide to stand tall, it communicates to everybody around you that you can be trusted. That you will be there when things get difficult.

Pillar: Personal Code

Key Topics:body language, personal code, communication, belief, limiting beliefs, enabling beliefs, stand up for what's right


Conflict is guaranteed, but our response to conflict is not. We choose how we respond when someone wrongs us or when reality isn’t meshing with our expectations. It’s important to understand conflict resolution and practice it well because it limits the damage caused to our relationships and helps us move on together. Conflict resolution teaches us when to respond, what to respond with, and how to respond.

Pillar: Servant Leadership

Key Topic: forgiveness, anger, conflict, conflict resolution, two chairs, gatherings, relationships, servant leadership, reconciliation


Many student-athletes carry heavy loads. These are things that they weren’t meant to carry, yet the burden is dragging them away from their goals and dreams. These burdens are things like pressure to be perfect, fear of failure, and self-doubt. If you are carrying these things, then it’s time for you to make the swap.
Swap the pressure to be perfect for a best yet mindset. Swap the fear of failure for a growth mindset. Swap self-doubt for the belief that you are enough. The swap isn’t necessarily easy to make. But when you make the swap, all those heavy things you’re carrying stop weighing you down. Without that overwhelming load, you can move on to reach your goals, no matter how big they may be.

Pillar: Growth Mindset

Key Topics: pressure, expectations, perfection, become perfect, best yet, growth mindset, mentality, attitude, self-doubt, fear of failure, belief in self


It does you no good to be a five star athlete if you have zero star character. Prowess on the field is temporary. Eventually, sports will end. When it does, you will still have the character lessons you learned while playing, and the skills picked up from the lessons will help you throughout your life… or not.Having a five star character requires caring about others. It means leading a life that makes the world a better place.

Pillar: Growth Mindset

Key Topics: people you spend time with, influence, five star, character, values, know who you are, growth mindset, personal development

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