As a sports writer and author, Don Yaeger has had a front-row seat with some of the world’s greatest winners. Let him share that seat with you! Don has the ability to connect sports with business and share great stories on teamwork, preparedness, goal setting and relationship building. His insights provide a unique perspective on audience’s everyday tasks and responsibilities. Don is a frequent guest on national television programs such as: Nightline, Dateline, 20/20, ESPN and Good Morning America. In the past 22 years, he has penned 23 books, including seven New York Times bestsellers, the most recent being Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain: How I Went from Gang Member to Multimillionaire Entrepreneur with Ryan Blair. He communicates with his audiences in an easy, engaging style, which helps participants realize that they, too, can achieve a higher level of professional and personal success.
Sixteen Consistent Characteristics of Greatness
Don is highly sought after to deliver his most popular keynote presentation on the Sixteen Consistent
Characteristics of Greatness he has encountered while working with the greatest champions of the last 25 years.
What Makes the Great Ones Great
As a New York Times best-selling author and Sports Illustrated Associate Editor, Don has had the opportunity to spend time with some of the greatest winners in the world of sports. Using these rich, personal accounts gathered from more than 20 years of interviews with legends like Walter Payton, Jimmy Connors, Dot Richardson, Shaquille O’Neal, Michael Jordan, John Wooden, Pat Riley, and Dale Brown, Don has distilled “Sixteen Consistent Characteristics of Greatness”.
Turning Adversity into Advantage
Don, a cancer survivor, relates stories and lessons taken from those who have encountered great challenges and become better, not in spite of them, but because of them. In this speech, he reminds his audience that adversity is one of the most potent forces in life – it can build you up or tear you down. Your reaction to adversity – big or small – shapes your character, clarifies your priorities and defines your path. And, as described in this speech, it can fuel your greatness. He has discussed this subject with athletes and
entertainers like Tim McGraw, who watched his father lose a battle with brain cancer. McGraw’s experience
preceded the release of the monster hit, “Live Like You Were Dying.”
All I Really Need to Know, I Learned in Little League
Sportsmanship, Leadership, Teamwork, Honesty and Humility:. Through emotional, personal stories, Don shows how these and other life lessons are learned in little league. Don tells how legendary Alabama Coach Bear Bryant used football to break down racial stereotypes and how Bryant’s decision impacted many in the South. He also details how the US government uses sports to help rebuild the fabric of fledgling
democracies. From his experiences in Iraq, Don reveals that one of the first moves made after Saddam
Hussein was captured was the successful restoration Iraq’s sports community, providing Iraqi youth with
opportunities to compete in soccer, basketball and track. Why? Sports give communities, families and
friends something positive to rally around.
What Will Your Legacy Be, and What Are You Doing to Ensure It?
In today’s “live-for-the-moment” world, few of us have given thought to the legacy we will leave behind.
While working with two exceptional athletes – Walter Payton and Tug McGraw – as they were battling for
their lives, Don spent hours discussing the subject of legacy with them. Both men provided lessons that
changed Don’s life – lessons too important not to share.
“Your ‘conversational manner’ of delivering the message on ‘What Makes the Great Ones Great’, and being able to weave that message into every day activities was truly inspiring for all in attendance. There is no question as I listened to you and watched the audience that you were engaged with them and the qualities you spoke of were from life’s lessons we could all benefit from.”
“After having the opportunity to listen to Don’s message on leadership and Greatness, I immediately decided my team would find significant value by being exposed to Don and his philosophies on both business and personal growth and character. “
“As a sales leader in a highly competitive selling environment, I particularly enjoyed your encouragement of my team to see themselves as winners from the moment they wake up each morning. I speak for all of us when I say that your presentation at this quarterly sales meeting was so well.”
“I particularly enjoyed your encouragement of my team to see themselves as winners from the moment they wake up each morning. That ability to visualize victory is the kind of lesson every sales person can make use of. “
“He may be a sports writer, but he should be a speech writer. Don Yaeger is as polished with the spoken word as he is with the written. His speeches transcend age and gender. School kids and Fortune 500 executives will learn similar lessons about life, told in poignant and humorous anecdotes from Don’s personal experiences. “
“Our attendees were a bit apprehensive at first not knowing how sports could relate to the field of Human Resources. However, you connected the two and shared such great stories on teamwork, preparedness, goal setting and relationship building. This insight provided a unique aspect on their everyday tasks and responsibilities. Not only are they trying to find ‘great’ employees, they are also furthering their professional development.”