Character Is Key To Sustaining Momentum


Dr. John C Maxwell

Character – The Key to Sustaining Momentum

By John C. Maxwell


Tiger Woods exploded onto the national stage in 1997, when, as a 21-year old, he won golf’s most prestigious event, the Masters. Not only did Tiger win the tournament, he shattered records along the way, making the world’s best golfers look like amateurs. Within a year of becoming a professional golfer, Tiger had attained the sport’s number one ranking.

Consistent Winning Produces Momentum

Early in 2001, Tiger captured his second Masters title to complete an unprecedented feat: winning all four of golf’s major championships consecutively. Golf’s popularity soared as its youthful star dominated event after event. People who had never before been interested in golf tuned in to see Tiger. Inspired by him, kids dragged their parents to the local golf course so that they could learn the game. Recreational golfers around the world patterned their swing after Tiger’s while practicing on the driving range.

Advertisers flocked to Tiger’s side to take advantage of his gathering momentum. He inked multi-million dollar deals to wear the Nike logo, hit Titlelist golf balls, and endorse everything from General Motors to American Express. Forbes described Tiger as “a marketer’s dream.” Virtually every product he pitched seemed to turn into gold. Thanks to his sizeable sponsorship deals, in September 2009, Fortune estimated that Tiger had become sports’ first billionaire athlete.

Character Defects Halt Momentum

Tiger-mania came crashing to a halt in December 2009 after Woods had a bizarre traffic accident in his driveway. The incident initiated a cascade of rumors about Tiger’s marital infidelity, which he later admitted. As news coverage intensified, more incriminating tidbits surfaced, and the scandal gained steam.

As this article is being written, a shamed Tiger remains in seclusion. By all accounts his marriage is in shambles. Accenture and AT&T have already cut ties with him, while other advertisers such as Gillette and Tag Heuer have distanced themselves from Tiger by pulling his ads. As for golf, Woods has taken an indefinite leave of absence, and it remains to be seen if he will recover his on-the-course greatness.

Lessons Learned from Tiger’s Tumble

1) Momentum can be a leader’s best friend or a leader’s worst enemy.

In his early days as a professional, Tiger Woods’ hard work and talent earned him a flood of victories. As the wins mounted, Tiger’s momentum took off. His confidence intimidated opponents, his personality attracted business deals, and every move he made seemed to draw the praise of an enraptured media.

Revelations of Tiger’s sordid behavior have generated a mountain of negative momentum, which will be difficult for him to overcome. The tide of public opinion is now squarely against him. Whereas people used to cheer Tiger on to success, many will now root for him to fail. The influence he once had has been dealt a serious blow, and it will be an uphill struggle for him to regain it.

2) Momentum can reverse direction in an instant.

Momentum can be a fickle friend, changing sides at any moment. One day Tiger was being coronated as the athlete of the decade by the Associated Press. Then, seemingly overnight, his name was being dragged through the mud on every conceivable news outlet.

3) Winning generates momentum, but character sustains it.

Tiger’s story is a cautionary tale about character. All of the momentum you build through decades of hard work and dedication can be erased if you do not craft the character to support it. Character is forged daily through the decisions we make. It comes from within and cannot be purchased. Be diligent about working on your character so that you become a person worth following and someone worthy of harnessing the momentum of success.


John C. Maxwell is an internationally respected leadership expert, speaker, and author who has sold more than 18 million books. Dr. Maxwell is the founder of EQUIP, a non-profit organization that has trained more than 5 million leaders in 126 countries worldwide. Each year he speaks to the leaders of diverse organizations, such as Fortune 500 companies, foreign governments, the National Football League, the United States Military Academy at West Point, and the United Nations. A New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Business Week best-selling author, Maxwell has written three books that have sold more than a million copies: The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, Developing the Leader Within You, and The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader. His blog can be read at  


This article is from Dr. John C Maxwell’s “Leadership Wired” newsletter. “This article is used by permission from Leadership Wired, GiANT Impact’s premiere leadership newsletter, available for free subscription at”

Jeff Young on The Quality of Persistence

Jeff Young

The following is an “Inspirational Quote” that I receive from Jeff Young. I first learned about Jeff on an “Outside The Lines” report on ESPN. His story is incredibly inspiring & it caused me to understand anew the real meaning of overcoming adversity. To learn more about Jeff, click on the link at the end of this, his latest email. Thanks for the inspiration, Jeff! 






Monday, January 25th, 2010


“The quality of persistence is to the character of man as carbon is to steel.” – Napoleon Hill

I am always amazed at how many people give up on an endeavor at the first sign of resistance.  Many intelligent, competent people will set a goal, lay out a plan, attack that plan with vigor, and then fold up their tent and quit as soon as the going gets rough.  Are you aware that there is no record of anyone having ever accomplished anything significant without first meeting with temporary defeat over and over again?  Are you supposing that you will be the first person to ever do so?  You will not.  You must fail repeatedly until you have learned the lessons necessary, and developed the character demanded to attain the object of your desire.

If I could communicate just one message to my readers, especially my young readers, it would be this: you are never defeated until you concede that it is game over.  You can accomplish pretty much anything you want in this life if you will do just two things: 1) Get perfectly clear on exactly what it is you want to accomplish.  2) Relentlessly pursue your objective until it is finally yours, paying whatever price is required.  When you get knocked down, get back up.  When you get discouraged, feel sorry for yourself for about three seconds, and then get yourself back in the fight.  Accept that you- like every successful person – will experience temporary defeat, but determine ahead of time that this will only strengthen your resolve. Inoculate yourself against the discouragement that causes one to give up on oneself by anticipating temporary defeat and use its accompanying lessons to catapult you to victory. 

Jeff Young  

To sign up for Jeff’s Inspirational Quotation for Today, send an e-mail to or use the automated link on the website (

The Importance of Self-Discipline In A Leader

Coach Tony Dungy, known for his self-discipline.

As we continue on the journey of learning the mindset of a leader, I have found that ALL great leaders have mastered the art of self-discipline in their lives. Without it, a leader cannot be successful!

In the book. “The Way of the Leader”, author Donald G. Krause, talks about the importance of self-discipline in the life of a leader. Here are some excerpts to stimulate your thinking on this important subject and hopefully inspire you to ACTION:


  • A leader tends to live by a set of rules or principles that he determines are appropriate for him and acceptable to his constituents (followers or team). A leader does not need external motivation to ensure performance.  
  • Self-discipline is the basic ingredient of self-control and the foundation of self-respect. If an executive lacks self-discipline, self-control, or self-respect, even if he is the person in charge he will not, in fact, be the leader.
  • Self-discipline means; at the most personal level, means that you do not attempt to deceive yourself. Always be careful what you think and do, but be particularly careful when you believe you are alone. Practice self-restraint in your private life. Remember a person’s opinion of himself eventually shows in his face and is reflected in his outward behavior. A true leader exercises self-discipline through controlling his thoughts and action even when he believes that no one else can see him.
  • An effective leader exhibits a poised, self-assured, direct, and controlled demeanor under all circumstances. A controlled manner bestows powerful competitive advantages.
  • Above all, an effective leader is dignified without being arrogant. Arrogance comes from ignorance and lack of self-confidence. When a person displays arrogance he is confirming that he knows very little about true dignity and more importantly, very little about true leadership.
  • Few people will admit their own failures and ever fewer will acknowledge that the true cause of failure lies within themselves. But a person who practices self-discipline and continuously develops his level of skill seldom fails in the long run.
  • An effective leader worries about his own shortcomings and seeks improvement from within. When a person demands excellence from others, but never corrects problems within himself, he cannot lead.
  • Study widely; inquire sincerely; adhere steadfastly to your principles; consider carefully your experiences, what works and what does not work for you. It is in doing these things that you will discover the meaning of excellence. Moreover, find the best leaders and emulate their methods. In this way, you will also discover the meaning of leadership.
  • Excellence in leadership or anything else is not something remote or difficult to find. We need only practice self-discipline, and it (excellence) will begin to appear in our lives!

Great Leadership Thoughts On Teamwork

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“Great teamwork is the only way we create the breakthroughs that define our


— Pat Riley

“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.
— Michael Jordan

“Teamwork is no accident.It is the by-product of good leadership.
— John Adair

Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The abilityto

direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.
— Andrew Carnegie

Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a

company work, a society work, a civilization work. 

 ~Vince Lombardi

The nice thing about teamwork is that you always have others on your side. 

~Margaret Carty

Cooperation is the thorough conviction that nobody can get there unless

everybody gets there. 

 ~Virginia Burden

None of us is as smart as all of us. 

~Ken Blanchard

It is amazing how much you can accomplish when it doesn’t matter
who gets the credit. 
~Author Unknown


Get Started Now!

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Mark Sanchez, QB NY Jets


“Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what.

Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.”

— Mark Victor Hansen



Some Fine Thoughts On Leadership

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Jay Wright, Head Men’s Basketball Coach, Villanova

A friend, mentor, natty dresser 🙂 , & leader who is getting better and better

“To be among all those people, I still look at myself as Jay Wright from Council Rock [High School]. I’m a fan. I go down to an Eagles game, nobody knows I’m there. I go to the Phillies all the time. I just love being a fan.”

(Jay’s comments after finding out he’d been voted the Daily News Sportsperson of the Year, December 30, 2009)


“Control is not leadership; management is not leadership; leadership is leadership. If you seek to lead, invest at least 50% of your time in leading yourself—your own purpose, ethics, principles, motivation, conduct. Invest at least 20% leading those with authority over you and 15% leading your peers.”
— Dee Hock, Founder and CEO Emeritus, Visa

“To lead people, walk beside them … As for the best leaders, the people do not notice their existence. The next best, the people honor and praise. The next, the people fear; and the next, the people hate … When the best leader’s work is done the people say, ‘We did it ourselves!'”
— Lao-tsu

“All of the great leaders have had one characteristic in common: it was the willingness to confront unequivocally the major anxiety of their people in their time. This, and not much else, is the essence of leadership.”

— John Kenneth Galbraith
“Men make history and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better.”
— Harry Truman
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
— Margaret Mead

“My own definition of leadership is this: The capacity and the will to rally men and women to a common purpose and the character which inspires confidence.”
— General Montgomery

Confidence, Courage, & Belief

South African Oscar Pistorius, right, is followed by Christoph Bausch of Switzerland as they compete in the 100m T44 during the Beijing Paralympic Games. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

Somehow I can’t believe that there are any heights

that can’t be scaled by a man who knows the secrets of making dreams come true.

This special secret – curiosity, confidence, courage, and constancy,

and the greatest of all is confidence.

When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way,

implicitly and unquestionable.  

– Walt Disney

Leaders Need To Be Decisive

Coach Mike Krzyzewski (Coach K), Duke

“The truth is that many people set rules to keep from making decisions. Not me. I don’t want to be a manager or a dictator. I want to be a leader—and leadership is ongoing, adjustable, flexible, and dynamic. As such, leaders have to maintain a certain amount of discretion.”

– Coach Mike Krzyzewski


The way to develop decisiveness is to start right where you are, with the very next question you face”  –  Napoleon Hill

“Decisiveness is a characteristic of high-performing men and women. Almost any decision is better than no decision at all.” – Brian Tracy

“If I had to sum up in a word what makes a good manager, I’d say decisiveness. You can use the fanciest computers to gather the numbers, but in the end you have to set a timetable and act.”  – Lee Iacocca

“The percentage of mistakes in quick decisions is no greater than in long-drawn-out vacillation, and the effect of decisiveness itself ‘makes things go’ and creates confidence”  – Anne O’Hare McCormick


Decisiveness- a great way to defeat procrasination!