Last month, I attended a basketball tournament at the University of Kentucky. It was a blast!

I hit a game winning shot, in game two, with 2 seconds left on the clock in Rupp Arena.

Believe me, It doesn’t get much better than that.

The teams were coached by the likes of John Calipari, Jerry Wainwright, Tony Barbee, and my coach, Seth Greeberg.

We raised over 1 million for charity while having a great time playing ball.

But it’s not all fun and games…

It’s hard work. It takes a lot of mental endurance, physical sweat, and the application of fundamentals. By day three your body wants to completely shut down and you do everything possible just to keep moving.

Since most of us on the court are CEOs, executives, and business owners… there was a palpable hate for losing. We win. It was war.

In the semi final game I had the chance to shoot the last shot.

Picture this: 6 seconds left on the scoreboard. I’m at the top of the key, handling the ball while waiting for the screen.

It was the perfect set up as I shook my defender and managed to get the exact look at the rim that I wanted. I was on fire that game, so I felt confident in having the ball and taking the final stab at the basket.

Coming off the screen, I bolted around the 3point line and took the shot. Perfection. Technical perfection. My arms were extended, my eyes were glued on the basketball as it flew through the air, propelled by the skills I work so hard to perfect. Time stood still as both teams eyed the fate of my attempt to win.

Anyway, the point?

A couple weeks after the tournament I got a letter from Jerry Wainwright. He took the time to hand write a letter and send me some of his thoughts/wisdom.

I wanted to pass this along to you guys. Because when an old man talks, you better listen.

They tend to see things a lot clearer than the rest of us.

Here is what he said.

“Life isn’t about money. It’s about people, commitment, loyalty and relationships. I didn’t always know this but I know it now. In the end, we won’t be measured by our bank account, sales numbers or wins and losses but by the difference we made in people’s lives…and we make a difference through relationships.”

“Don’t chase dollars or success. Decide to make a difference an build meaningful relationships and success will find you.”

“Don’t be a networker. Invest in relationships not because you want something buy because you want to build something!”

“Don’t ignore those who are closest to you. Identify the relationships in your life that need to be stronger and then make a conscious effort to focus on them, make time for them, develop them and invest in them.”

“And be nice to everyone. Because you never know.”

“Outwork your talents!”

And then some

These three words are the secret of success. They are the difference between average people and the top people in most companies and on most teams…..

  • The Top people always do what is expected…and then some
  • They care about the team, they are considerate…and then some
  • They meet their obligations and responsibility fairly and squarely…and then some
  • They can be counted on in and emergency…and then some
  • They have a great attitude…and then some
  • They have a great passion…and then some


My shot? …hit the back of the rim and rattled out.

We lost in triple over time.

That’s just the way it goes. Sometimes you hit the shot and sometimes you don’t.

The key is to keep shooting!