Once the ball stopped bouncing – A Conversation with Andre Hutson

December 18th, 2014

LISTEN HERE –> http://goo.gl/2srZn5

I sat down with one of my former MSU teammates Andre Hutson to talk about what how he started to handle the prospect of life after basketball. It was interesting to hear about how he approached getting into the business world and how he has continued to grow and develop his business philosophy over the years. As he explained it he went from playing professional basketball to hand washing cars within a couple months after he retired and opened a car wash and detail shop. Dre is the current owner of Conquest Health and Fitness and has recently started a 501c3 foundation to promote healthy lifestyles throughout our local Mid-Michigan communities.

You can find more information about Andre and Conquest by visiting the links below.



Marriage Equality – A Conversation with Gina Calcagno

I sat down Gina Calcagno to learn and listen about the continued fight for marriage equality. Gina is a political consultant, coalition manager for Michigan 4 Marriage and an overall awesome person. I had a great time listening to her and having a chat about this topic.

Follow her on twitter @rbcalcagno and checkout http://www.mi4marriage.org for more information

Listen to the conversation HERE —> http://goo.gl/OKiQ3H

New Podcast: Information Manipulation – A Conversation with MSU Professor Steve McCornack

Download this episode (right click and save)

I sat down with one of my old professors Dr. Steve McCornack to talk about his work in the field of Information Manipulation and the new theory he and his colleagues have publish about the topic. He is a leading researcher in the domains of relational deception and deceptive discourse production. His contributions to deception scholarship include the McCornack-Parks Model of Deception Detection, the Probing Effect, Information Manipulation Theory (IMT), IMT2, and the McCornack Falsification Probability Curve. Dr. McCornack is the author of the interpersonal communication textbooks Reflect and Relate and Interpersonal Communication and You, and the human communication text Choices and Connections. He has received numerous awards for teaching excellence, including the 2013 NCA Ecroyd Award for Outstanding Teaching in Higher Education, a Lilly Endowment Teaching Fellowship, the Amoco Foundation Excellence-in-Teaching Award, the MSU Teacher/Scholar Award, and the MSU Alumni Association Excellence-in-Undergraduate-Teaching Award. Steve was the 1999 and 2010 MSU Nominee for Carnegie Foundation U.S. Professor of the Year. Dr. McCornack has been at MSU since the Fall of 1988, and currently serves as Coordinator for the Undergraduate Program, Honors Advisor, and Faculty Advisor to the Undergraduate Communication Association. His primary responsibilities as Undergraduate Coordinator are to approve credit transfers from outside institutions, review waiver requests, and resolve student problems.

Conversation with Tim “Red” Wakehem on leadership, goals and standards

I sat down with me friend MSU strength coach Tim “Red” Wakeham to talk about his career working within athletics and how he’s learned to coach and teach leadership, goal setting and developing and maintaining a standard within your program.

Listen Here

Crowd Funding Conversation with Robin Miner-Swartz

I decided to take on a new challenge and start my own podcast.  I wanted to start capturing some of the conversations I have with my friends and other smart/interesting people.  Click the link below to hear the first conversation I recorded with my friend Robin Miner Swartz

Robin Miner Swartz Conversation

7 Traits of a Mediocre Leader

The majority of time we spend talking about the characteristics of great leaders and what you can do to start functioning like these people.  That’s all well and good but with self –evaluation being one of the hardest things for people to do, we tend to see most people thinking they are doing an outstanding job and blaming others for any issues.  I figured I would take an opposite approach and try to identify things that mediocre leaders do and how they can play a negative role on your team.

  1.     Delegating work and not authority

 Mediocre leaders don’t put their team members in a position to lead themselves.  Most of the time a mediocre leader is assigning a task they don’t personally want to do.  Delegating authority tells your team members that you trust in their ability to take over a project and gives them individual confidence that their boss believes in them.

  1.     Blaming outside factors for bad team culture

 A winning culture is built from the top down and it has to be something that all parties identify with and buy into.  When you have a bad culture, you have a problem at the top.  Outside factors can impact a team but a strong leader can learn how shield a team from a problem or use that issue to strengthen the bond.

  1.     Never falling on the sword

 Team members are going to make mistakes and suffer failures, some of them are able to handle it and some of them will struggle through them.  A mediocre leader will let that failure happen without stepping up to fall on the sword.  Struggles can easily start to snow ball as they continue to happen and can have a long-term effect.  Mediocre leaders allow that snowball to form and will often give it a push down hill.

  1.     Sacrificing your standards

 Are you willing to have self-inflected cracks in your armor?  The mediocre leader will have a fluctuating line for their standards.  Some members of the team will be able to get away with certain things and others won’t.  When a group of teammates can sit back and watch someone do whatever they want with no consequences you’re in trouble.  That begins the fracturing and resentment.  Those two things will cause damage that can never be repaired.

  1.     Glitz over Guts – Inability to recruit the right talent

 Filling your team with the right people is essential to any leaders success.  We can all go out and find thousands of people who look good on a resume and even sound good in an interview.  But being able to predict who will fit into your team and embody the standards you’ve established is the differentiator.  Mediocre leaders can get caught up in the smoke and mirrors instead of the meat and potatoes.

  1.     Inability to translate knowledge to execution

 Trust me there are a ton of very smart people walking the streets everyday.  Brilliant minds that understand every detail of a subject but lack the ability to translate that knowledge to execution.  Mediocre leaders understand the game but don’t know how to teach you to play.

  1.     Lack of willingness to adapt

 It’s a simple fact that we live in a world that is constantly evolving.  Things and people are changing all the time and we have to be able to evolve with them.  The mediocre leader is stuck in the ways things used to be done and everyone else’s should be adjusting to the old school ways of doing things.

5 Ways Your Team Can Succeed During One and Done Time

The beginning of March gives us one of my favorite times of year……NCAA tournament time.  I’ve been lucky to experience and enjoy the wonder of March.  I went through years where our team made it to the Final Four and I went through years where our team lost early.  There wasn’t a disparity when came to talent on those teams because it was the same players.  Looking back I’ve identified 5 things that were helpful during a tournament run that have translated to other situations I’ve been in after my playing career was over.

 Continue to Evolve

Throw everything that happened before this out the window.  Your previous success has no bearing on how you are about to perform in the future.  The thought that how you’ve been operating will continue to work without any changes is wrong. 

Knowing you are going into a situation where you’re only going to get one shot at winning is exciting and nerve racking all in one.  It’s also the best time to take an introspective look at yourself and your team to make sure everyone is contributing in a matter that propels you forward.

Little Things Make A Big Difference 

Very few tournament games are blowouts and most of them come down to a few possessions that will be the deciding factors.  The more little things you do correctly over time the bigger the impact it will have come game time.

If you look at the game of golf and trying to hit a golf ball straight, the angle of your club face at impact directly correlates to the ball going straight or missing the target by 20 yards.  Every inch and degree can have a direct effect on how your team operates in a one and done environment and those small changes can put you on a successful path.

Make The Most of Your Prep Time

After a win in the NCAA tournament you have to have a short memory and understand how to be efficient with your prep time.  There is an art to being able to prepare a team with only one day between games.  The ability to decipher what is the most important information and the best way to relay that information so your team can absorb it.

Staying In The Moment

Distractions are the most abundant thing at an NCAA tournament.  You have family, friends, fans, and people asking for autographs and pictures, people calling for tickets and so on.  Don’t get me wrong it is an awesome experience but it’s easy to get caught up in a lot of things other than the actual game you’re going to be playing.

Maintaining A Sense Of Urgency

 The great John Wooden said “be quick but don’t hurry” and that is extremely true during one and done time.  Doing your job with a sense of urgency doesn’t mean you’re doing everything at a sped up pace.  A sense of urgency gives you an understanding of the importance of your individual job and why doing it swiftly and correctly will help you team.


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