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THE RIGHT PEOPLE | Michael Rubin

Great head coaches hire great assistants who have the potential to also become great head coaches one day.

Then they pour into them and help them develop into reaching their full potential.

How are you developing the people you teach, coach, and lead?

One of my hopes and prayers in life is to be around people who see the potential in me and who are invested in helping me grow and develop so that I can reach that potential.

We all have talents and gifts, and we all have flaws and growth areas. So much of success is having mentors and leaders who see them both in us, and who help us leverage our strengths while showing and teaching us how to grow and/or overcome our weaknesses.

Wasted talent is undeveloped talent.

Undeveloped talent can be because of a lack of passion, work ethic or grit. Undeveloped talent can also be because of lack of leadership.

Have you ever noticed that one athlete can struggle on one team and shine and excel on another? Or the same teacher can be in a growth plan in one campus, and in leadership roles in others?

Have you ever noticed that some teams seem to make athletes better, and others make athletes worse? Have you ever noticed that some coaches always have assistant coaches who become head coaches, or some principals always have teachers who become principals?

One of the clearest and most important predictors of long-term success of athletes is the coach and leadership of the team they get drafted by. If an athlete gets drafted by a team who sees their potential, is aware of their flaws, has a vision and plan for their short-term and long-term futures, and knows how to execute that plan, they are so much more set up for success than if they where drafted to a team without that setup.

The same can be said in any industry.

Michael Rubin is a former owner of the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils and CEO of Fanatics. At the 27:20 mark of the interview below with All The Smoke, he says, “Talent as an athlete can only take you so far. Having the right people around you gets you where you want to go, and having the wrong people around you will take you to places you don’t want to be.”

He said he sucks at a lot of things, but he’s been pretty good at attracting people around him who have been an additive to his life. It’s a gift that keeps on giving.

So many people get themselves in trouble because they don’t have the right people around them to give good information. Having the right people around you is everything.

If you have the right people around you, it’s a completely different outcome than if you have the wrong people around you.

If you look at two people with the same talent, having the right people vs the wrong people will completely change their outcome.

Rubin said his responsibility as a CEO is to be helpful to others.

Mentorship is one of the most valuable resources we can use or give. It can be the difference between someone having a mediocre career or production, and someone becoming the next great industry leader.

In an interview, Alabama coach Nick Saban was asked about his ability to evaluate recruits, and he said it's more about developing who you get to come than just your ability to evaluate talent.

He said, “If you had a litter of puppy dogs, how would you say which ones are going to be the best dogs, and which ones of them aren’t? When the players get here, the focus has to be on their development and what they develop into.”

So many are quick to throw away talent when things aren’t going right, but you have to ask yourself, “Am I creating an environment where they are able to learn, grow, develop, and do their best work?”

There are few things worse than someone who has talent that is undeveloped because of a lack of coaching or leadership.

The best of the best can find, recruit, retain, and DEVELOP talent.


1 - Who are you pouring into?

2 - Who is pouring into you?

3 - Who is someone you can do a better job of getting to know, growing, and developing?

4 - What are you going to do, and how are you going to do it?

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