His clients have included some of Louisiana’s biggest sports rivals—the Atlanta Falcons and Clemson Tigers—but best-selling author Jon Gordon is crossing the centerline to commend the strength of the LSU Tigers’ culture this year as the team has dominated college football.
“The most important thing is the love he has for his players,” Gordon says, referring to LSU football coach Ed Orgeron. “To see Joe (Burrow) crying like that, to see they have that connection; that tells you they have something special there. He really cares about his players.”
There are innumerable lessons in Orgeron’s leadership that apply to any industry, any business, any organization’s leadership. That’s the message Gordon, as keynote speaker, plans to deliver to those attending Business Report‘s Elevate Your Leadership and Your Team event Feb. 20 at the HPC Arena. Click here for details and tickets. He’ll be speaking to community leaders, and hopefuls, about positive leadership principles and practices.
Gordon has written 16 books on leadership, team building and success. His most recent book, Stay Positive, is a collection of quotes and messages centered on his years of work motivating leaders to take on daily challenges, pursue goals, and create positive momentum.
“If you look at a coach like Coach O, the way he leads, we can all lead that way,” Gordon says, drawing on lessons from LSU’s undefeated season.
Coach O is beloved, that love transformed the team, transformed the fan base. It takes the same passion, drive, purpose, love, vision, optimism to create success in any business; that’s the foundation of Gordon’s work.
“No one thought LSU could be this great this fast. They always had the raw talent, now they have the belief,” Gordon says.
Business and community growth operate under the same tenants, evolved through skill, time, education, optimism and practice, Gordon says.
Gordon’s first book, The Energy Bus, came out 13 years ago and is now a major best-seller. Since then, he’s traveled the country, speaking to athletic teams, CEOs, education leaders— while also learning from them.
“I started to see all these different businesses and organizations and how they were doing; their cultures. I really just began the foundation of my work on seeing what makes great leaders great, what makes great teams great,” Gordon says.
In those 13 years, leadership principles haven’t really changed, he says, they’ve just been given more attention. Philosophies of love, building relationships with your employees and creating a shared goal weren’t talked about then. Gordon jokes that’s why his first book languished in South Korea for so long before finding its popularity in the U.S.
“It’s like the times have caught up with the book, he says. “Now, I feel leaders know this is how they have to lead.”
These are the demands of the new working generation, he says. They want a leader who cares about them, who invests in them, they want a relationship with their leader, they want an organization that has a purpose, and they don’t just work for a paycheck.
“If you don’t develop a relationship with the people you lead, you don’t lead them effectively,” Gordon says.
As a city, a state, a community, it’s essential to build a culture with a shared vision, leading from the inside out. Louisiana, which too often finds itself coming in second-to-last in national rankings, can benefit from that positive thinking, he says.
“Use the power inside you to impact your community,” Gordon says. “You have to believe that we have everything we need to make our state and our city successful.”
As for Monday’s national championship game, Gordon says he’s just glad Alabama’s not competing.
“Whoever wins, I think it’s two great teams, two great leaders, two great quarterbacks, two great Tigers going at it, and that’s going to be a great game. Go Tigers.”