Write Everything Down

Late on Tuesday evening, June 16, Golden State Warriors basketball coach Steve Kerr was handed the Larry O’Brien trophy for leading his team to the NBA championship. It was Kerr’s first year as a head coach.

Kerr’s success was not beginner’s luck. He played as a pro, then worked as a TV analyst before taking the job with Golden State. Two years ago while he was still calling games for TNT, he ran into former coach and current analyst Jeff Van Gundy. Van Gundy told him to write everything down: “everything you’ve learned, everything you want to do, everything you’d change. It’ll organize your thoughts. Develop your philosophy.”

Chris Ballard explains in Sports Illustrated:

“Kerr created a Word file on his laptop. Some days he added a few notes, other days he filled pages. During four years of college and 15 seasons in the NBA, Kerr had played for Lute Olson, Lenny Wilkens, Phil Jackson and Gregg Popovich; his teammates had included Mark Price, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Tim Duncan. There was a lot to draw on. He jotted down offensive sets and defensive philosophies, but also minutiae like a policy for families traveling on the road. Kerr began collecting plays, too, pausing the flat-screen in his San Diego home whenever he saw an action he liked. . . .Week by week, Kerr’s file grew.”

When Kerr was asked to interview with Golden State, he took his Word file and turned it into a PowerPoint presentation, outlining his philosophy and strategy to the Warriors’ brass. He got the job and a year later brought Golden State its first championship since 1975.

If you want a particular job or role, start preparing now. Whether you’re a student or a seasoned leader, write everything down. Learn from those around you. Pick their brains. Observe what works and what doesn’t. Develop your ministry and leadership philosophies. Keep a collection of notes ranging from broad philosophy to your thoughts on how to run a meeting or how exactly you’ll continue to nurture your personal health. When the time comes, you’ll be ready to hit the ground running and put your learning into action.

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The Greatest Spectacle In Racing

On Sunday, I had the opportunity to attend my first-ever Indianapolis 500. This has been a long-time wish on my Bucket List, and the experience was perfect in every way. From a sunny 82-degree day to one of the best races in history, the day was a dream come true.

A few facts about Sunday’s race, which was won by Ryan Hunter-Reay of Florida:

  • The race is 500 miles, or 200 laps of the 2.5-mile oval track.
  • This was the fastest first 100 laps in history: the average speed of 211.871 mph blew away the previous record of 177.687 mph.
  • This was the second-fastest Indy 500 in history, with an average speed of 186.583 mph.
  • This was also the second-closest 500 in history. Hunter-Reay beat Helio Castroneves to the finish line by .06 seconds, just 17/1000 of a second “slower” than the closest finish of .043 seconds in 1992.
  • Kurt Busch attempted the famed “double-double”: racing 500 miles at Indy, then flying to Charlotte, NC to race in the NASCAR Coca-Cola 600. He fell short of completing the challenge when a blown engine took him out of the nightcap with 200 miles remaining.
  • The famed Borg-Warner trophy weighs 110 lbs.
  • The Indy 500 is the world’s largest single-day sporting event in the world, with around 400,000 people attending each year.
  • Churchill Downs, Yankee Stadium, the Rose Bowl, the Roman Colosseum and Vatican City can ALL fit inside the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval, which covers 253 acres. (It’s so big, you can’t see to the other side.)
  • How fast are the cars at Indy? This fast…

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