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Home   /   Greatness and the Art of Playing Off Ball

It was my honor to be on Professor Fred Opie’s podcast a few months ago. We had a great conversation about leadership, integrity, lacrosse, Cornell, and so much more.

Fred Opie’s podcast focuses on helping young people make smart decisions that set them up for success. I love his mission, and so I want to share the recording and a few main points from the conversation.

You can listen to the full podcast, “The Art of Playing Off Ball” below.

Episode Highlights

  • Hall of Fame Coach Mike Messer instilled in me a mindset of discipline, fundamentals, basics, and the importance of doing your job. As he taught, “The little things matter.”
  • I had the pleasure of playing for the 1987 Cornell lacrosse team that went to the national championship undefeated. My father was a huge supporter of the Big Red, and never missed a game.
  • Fred Opie tells a lot of students to go to the best school that they can go to as little debt as possible. We outlined how I was able to earn a state academic scholarship and get a state grant. This put me on a great path and I hope that other students can take advantage of the same path.
  • A summary of greatness and what it was like to play with Hall of Fame Goalie, Paul Schimoler, and how he made me better every day.
  • My passion in business and my first job (at a company where I stayed for 23 years).
  • How internships are incredibly helpful when it comes to finding out the kind of environment and leadership style that works for you.
  • The importance of resumes in the job search process. In my opinion, a good, well-written resume that depicts who you are and what you’ve done gets people through the screening process and through the door. Once you’re in the door, how you present yourself and how you work in a culture with different bosses will often dictate whether you get a job.
  • When I’m looking at resumes, I like to see self-starters who take on challenges. I also look at teamwork and the roles people played in creating success.
  • When I hire I don’t worry about the technical fit for a job. Instead, I hope to get great employees with a strong alignment of expectations, culture fit, and rapport with the leader they will work with.
  • If I could give a life gift to anyone who is getting started in life, it would be to help get people comfortable in front of people. It’s so critical to be able to work with teams and with groups.
  • How to look for what other people on your team don’t have, and then develop the skills they need so you make yourself indispensable. At Cornell, this meant working hard on my left hand and play off the movement of the person with the ball.
    • If you want to read more about making yourself indispensable, Fred Opie recommends Seth Godin’s book, “Linchpin.”
  • How greatness is being a genuine human being who treats people well, helps people, and has the ability to take people who are in difficult situations and give them hope. It’s all about how you help people as a human being.
  • The crease game and how important it is to use great game sense and keep moving in lacrosse.
  • Why it’s so important to play the hand you’re dealt.

Fred Opie is an incredible mind with a lot to offer. When you get the opportunity, I highly recommend listening to his podcast.

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