Greatness – What It Is And What It Is Not – A Bestselling Author Explains

Greatness…What It Is And What It Is Not

by Don Yaeger

At a speech to Chicago’s Hamilton Club in 1899, two years before he became president, Theodore Roosevelt spoke about Greatness.Don Yaeger Books “If we are to be a really great people, we must strive in good faith to play a great part in the world,” Roosevelt said. “We cannot avoid meeting great issues. All that we can determine for ourselves is whether we shall meet them well or ill.”

These powerful words from one of greatest presidents resonate with me and shed light on my own personal pursuit of Greatness. After spending more than 25 years as a sports journalist, I’ve come to realize that there’s no metric or method we can use to precisely measure Greatness. It is something that can’t be quantified.

An excerpt from my book Greatness: The 16 Characteristics of True Champions provides context that explains what many in the world of sports interpret as Greatness and my interpretation of what makes the Great ones Great.


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Grit Matters – Your Journey from Ordinary to Extraordinary

Grit to Great bookFor most people, even with natural talent, there is no such thing as overnight success. More often, success is a result of something my brother, Robert Fripp calls “discipline.”  In case you didn’t know, Robert is a legendary guitarist who is included on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of “100 Greatest Guitarists” of all time – so he knows something about success. As an executive speech coach and Hall of Fame keynote speaker, people ask me, “Can I become good enough to get paid to speak?” My response is, “I guarantee you do not lack the talent to do this. You might lack the patience. Learn to love the process.” This approach to success can also be called “grit.” Robin Koval and Linda Kaplan Thaler have just released a book on the undeniable power of grit. A few years ago, I was delighted when they included one of my stories in their bestselling book, The Power of Small. I share this excerpt from their newly released Grit to Great: How Perseverance, Passion, And Pluck Take You From Ordinary To Extraordinary with you: (more…)

Opportunity Does Not Knock Once

Screenshot from Fripp Virtual Training

Executive Speech Coach, Patricia Fripp, CSP, CPAE

Opportunity does not knock once, it knocks all the time. The trick is, we don’t always recognize the sound. The key to becoming more successful is to find opportunity in everyday life – not just wait for that life-altering, retire-in-the-Caribbean bolt from the blue.

Here’s how to start: Each day this month, you’re going to take a good, hard look at one aspect of your job, business, or presentation…and improve it. (more…)

Public Speaking – Are You Afraid of Failure?

Legendary Guitarist, Robert Fripp with Guitar

Legendary Guitarist, Robert Fripp (My Brother)

My brother, the legendary guitarist Robert Fripp says that with music as with speaking, “When you do something well, everyone says, ‘Oh, he’s a natural.’ ‘Oh, she doesn’t have to worry; this comes naturally.’ However, even when it appears effortlesseven with natural talent – you still need the discipline of following the process and doing the work.”

Sometimes “following the process” means pushing through experiences that feel like complete failures. My friend, Sims Wyeth, author of The Essentials of Persuasive Public Speaking, offers this perspective to help you better handle moments of “failure” in your public speaking:

Fail Your Way to Success
by Sims Wyeth (more…)