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Don’t Let Fear Keep You From Learning From a Great Mentor, with Don Yaeger

Don Yaeger

Don Yaeger is a nationally acclaimed inspirational speaker, longtime Associate Editor of Sports Illustrated, and author of over 30 books, eleven of which have become New York Times Best-sellers. He began his career at the San Antonio Light in Texas, and also worked at the Dallas Morning News and the Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville before going to work for Sports Illustrated.

As an author, Don has written books with, among others, Hall of Fame running back Walter Payton, UCLA basketball Coach John Wooden, baseball legends John Smoltz and Tug McGraw, and football stars Warrick Dunn and Michael Oher (featured in the movie The Blind Side). He teamed with Fox News anchor Brian Kilmeade to pen the 2013 best-seller George Washington’s Secret Six, a look at the citizen spy ring that helped win the Revolutionary War and then again in 2015 for Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates: The Forgotten War that Changed American History, and in 2017 for Andrew Jackson and the Miracle of New Orleans: The Battle that Shaped America’s Destiny.

Don left Sports Illustrated in 2008 to pursue a public speaking career that has allowed him to share stories learned from the greatest winners of our generation with audiences as diverse as Fortune 10 companies to cancer survivor groups, where he shares his personal story. More than a quarter-million people have heard his talks on “What Makes the Great Ones Great.” He collaborated with the Florida State University School of Business’s Continuing Education Program to build a corporate webinar program focusing on lessons building a culture of success within an organization. This naturally led to another keynote speech on “What Makes the Great Teams Great.” The release of his tenth New York Times best-seller, Teammate, was the inspiration for his newest keynote on “What Makes a Great Teammate: Becoming Invaluable Without Being Most Valuable.”

What you’ll learn about during this episode:

  • The importance of taking lessons from those who’ve discovered and successfully pursued a passion in their lives, achieving what seemed impossible
  • Not letting fear of rejection stop you from approaching someone you admire to form a possible mentor relationship
  • How Don learned to draw up a game plan of what he wanted to learn from his sessions with mentor John Wooden
  • The important lesson Don picked up from John Wooden about surrounding himself with other achievers who wanted to see him be successful
  • Don’s realization that mentors should be gaining insight from their sessions with mentees and give them their entire focus
  • Making sure you’re mentally as well as physically present when you’re with your family or business contacts
  • Don using his awareness of his own performance gaps when making hires to fill those weaknesses and make his team stronger
  • How you need to find the right people to get your story out to help leave a positive impact on their lives once you’re gone
  • Making sure to find the right creative process that works for your mentality and lets you create content fully expressing your ideas
  • How Don wants to change the world in whatever way he can in the time he’s been given
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