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5 Leadership Lessons You Can Learn From Coach Carter



Image Credit: Coach Carter

Kenneth Ray Carter is an American businessperson and education activist. He grew up in Richmond, California where he attended Richmond High School and set records in basketball. He loved sports like most young men but early on he learned the value of having a good education in life.

As fate would have it, he would go on to coach basketball at his former school with his son playing for him. His son Damien would go on to break the records he set – how amazing. The movie Coach Carter is based on his time as the basketball coach of Richmond High in the late 90s.

In the eyes of some, he was something of a controversial leader but he had a vision to change lives. He saw something special in his players, that they didn’t realize themselves and helped change their lives.

Here are 5 powerful leadership lessons you can learn from his life:

1. Set the tone from day one

The thing about leadership is that you have to be at least one step ahead of your followers. This is because you have the vision of where you want to lead them so it’s necessary that you stand out. At his first practice session, Coach Carter made it clear what he expected of his team to do. Communicating your expectations is one thing, and ensuring that they are met is another.

Coach Carter communicated his expectations to the team and threw out some of the players who didn’t want to cooperate. Doing that showed the rest of the team that he was serious about what he was doing which established his authority. Leaders who fail to back up their expectations with the corresponding action are ineffective and limit their potential.

2. Get rid of the bad apples

A team is only as strong as its weakest link, which affects the overall team dynamic. The way you handle bad apples on your team determines how the rest of the team members will see you. If you fail to deal decisively with bad apples, you will lose the respect of your top performers. When that happens it becomes difficult to accomplish anything significant with your team.

Getting rid of the troublesome individuals on the team cements your authority and earns you respect. Ken Carter did this regularly during his time as coach of the Richmond High basketball team. He dismissed players if they weren’t following instructions to maintain a good team dynamic. If you watch the short documentary about his tenure at Richmond, the common theme is he was a big disciplinarian.

As a leader, it’s not always easy taking extreme measures to get things done but sometimes it’s necessary. However, getting rid of bad apples gives you an opportunity to achieve your team goals and realize your full potential.

3. Embody your values

One of the things that Coach Carter wanted his team to understand was that there was more to life than basketball. For some of the players, winning championships felt like it would be the highlight of their lives. He constantly tried to make them see that apart from basketball, a good education would give them more opportunities in life.

Through his personal accomplishments and being a good citizen, it made his leadership a lot more authentic. Leaders who embody their values and preach what they practice, earn the respect of those that they lead. I guess that’s why to effectively lead others you need to successfully lead yourself first.

People don’t take you seriously if you’re a hypocrite who doesn’t do the things he expects of his team. If you realize that your team is a reflection of you, it will make you think differently about what you do. When you see things that you don’t like in your team, it may be good to check yourself as well.

“Now just because you deserve this doesn’t mean they’re gonna give it to you. sometimes you gotta take what’s yours.” – Coach Ken Carter

4. Lead with conviction

The most influential leaders lead with passion and conviction. Their enthusiasm is infectious and gets the rest of the team going in the same direction. People are emotional beings after all and are moved more by emotion than they are by logic. It doesn’t necessarily mean that all of them are loud but when they speak, others can feel their passion and intensity.

When you get your team members to feel what you feel, and you have the same heartbeat, amazing things happen. It’s almost impossible for anything to stop a team that speaks with one voice and has unity of purpose. Coach Carter was a pretty eloquent man and whatever he said carried weight. He exuded passion for hard work and commitment to achieve excellence in life.

5. Stand alone if necessary

The ultimate test of a leader is when they come face to face with the opposition without a backup squad by their side. When it seems like the whole world is against you, it’s easy to question your conviction and give up. Every leader at some point will go through this kind of situation and their response determines their ultimate destiny.

For the most part, Coach Carter’s players and their parents hated his rules regarding playing basketball. He went to the extent of banning basketball until his players improved their academic performance in the class. His stance drew national media attention and somewhat negative publicity. To make it worse, even the teachers were against his pro-education stance. It got to a point where he was willing to give up coaching because he couldn’t support the wrong values.

To his surprise, after it was voted that basketball should resume, his players decided to finish what he started. Instead of immediately going back to playing, they dedicated themselves to improving their grades as originally agreed. They finally did and continued playing basketball after that. Most of Coach Carter’s players went on to get scholarships to university as he had desired for them.

Sija Mafu is an Online Enthusiast and Personal Development Fan. His vision is to see young people take responsibility for their lives and create bright futures for themselves, their families and society at large. He runs the Motivated2Inspire blog to inspire young people to pursue their life purpose. Also check out his free training courses to set you up for a life of success.

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Success Advice

How Your Beliefs Can Supercharge or Sabotage Your Success

Your life is dictated by beliefs and biases that drive your thinking, behaviors, and decisions



Your Beliefs Can Supercharge or Sabotage Your Success (1)
Image Credit: Midjourney

Pause for a moment and ponder two pandemic-era beliefs: First, closing schools will control the spread of a serious virus. Second, the consequences of such school closures—particularly social interruption and the prevention of immunity—are worse than becoming sick with the virus. (more…)

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How to Break the Cycles of Mediocrity and Manifest Your Greatness

There is no greatness without becoming and there is no becoming with authenticity



Image Credit: Midjourney

In just a few weeks, we will be wrapping up 2023. Can you believe it? This year has been absolutely incredible for me.

I have seen amazing doors opened, new relationships formed and I am seeing dreams realized in my life. While this seems like the hallmarks of a great year, this has also been the most challenging year of my life. With all of the change happening in my life, I have been forced out of my comfort zone and challenged to grow in every area of my life.

I can truly say that I have made the most of my moments this year and I have used everything as a catalyst for maximizing my greatest potential.

As a revolutionary leader, I have the pleasure of consulting and advising leaders around the world to fulfill purpose, realize their greatest potential and make an impact.

I want to share some insights with you that will help you to break cycles of mediocrity and manifest your greatness

Everything legal must come through the matrix

I am sure that some of you are wondering why I am using the term matrix. However, what you have to understand is that I am trying to make a highly complex spiritual principle practical to understand.

Regardless of your spiritual beliefs, every life has an origin and I believe that origin is divine and begins with eternity. You are birthed from eternity and into time to fulfill a unique purpose and assignment in your lifetime and generation.

The matrix is simply the portal or vehicle that brings something out of the invisible realm and into tangible form. The problem with much of the teaching today is that it excludes the matrix. We are told to believe that success is instantaneous and overnight.

Nobody talks about how a dream progresses through stages beginning with visualization and ultimately culminating in manifestation. Without a matrix or portal then everything that you attempt to birth and build will be illegal.

The matrix not only makes you legal but it gives you the authority and power to function as the greatest expression of who you were created to be. 

Every matrix has an incubation process

While many people admire and respect me today, I remember a time when nobody knew who I was or the significance of my message. How did I get to where I am today? I got here through an incubation process.

In other words, everything that has been destined for your life is incubating and awaiting a set time of manifestation. The problem is that most people live their entire lives idle and never initiate the incubation process.

What do I meany by that? Most people are living reckless and very few people are living intentionally. I am amazed at the number of people I have conversations with that have no vision, goals or strategies for their lives. They show great promise and they have undeniable potential.

However, without development they will die with their dreams still in them.

Everything that has been destined for your life must be incubated and converted to become realities born to time. 

“Visualize this thing that you want, see it, feel it, believe in it. Make your mental blueprint and begin to build.” – Robert Collier

You must give expression to that which is not yet born to time

When you think about a matrix or a prophetic incubation process, you have to understand that potential is often unrealized and untapped. In other words, your potential is in raw form and your potential cannot serve you as long as it is untapped.

The thing that makes me valuable is that I have the ability to convert potential into power. I have done it in my own life and I have empowered leaders around the world to do the same. How do you convert potential into power?

First, it is important to note that you have to perceive potential. If you cannot perceive your potential then you can never cultivate your potential. In addition, you must take the time to cultivate your potential. We often get excited about our capabilities; however, we never expand our capacity in order to realize our greatest potential.

In other words, the strength of your potential is only discovered through your willingness to stretch. The more we are challenged the more we are empowered to expand our capacity for greatness. Most of all, you must begin to express your potential. The expression of potential is different for every person.

For example, the expression of my potential is best demonstrated through the thoughts, ideas, products, services, books, etc.

For another person the expression of potential may look like a screenplay, artwork, sports, scientific discoveries, medical breakthroughs, etc.

Regardless of the form of expression, I know that you will live empty and unfulfilled until you make the decision to express your potential. The expression of your potential gives voice to your dreams, life to your vision, significance to your moments and activates your true power.

You must manifest your greatness

As a revolutionary thinker and leader, my work has impacted people around the world. I am grateful that my life is a source of empowerment to so many people. However, before anyone could ever benefit from my life, I had to make a non-negotiable decision to become who I was born to be.

I wish I could tell you that this journey is easy and that you will get there overnight. However, in a world that celebrates us for doing we are often criticized for being. As a result, I wasted a lot of time trying to be who other people wanted me to be instead of being who I was born to be.

There is no greatness without becoming and there is no becoming with authenticity. It is through our bravery to be vulnerable that we ultimately manifest our greatness. We do not bless the world by being a duplicate. We bless the world when we honor our difference. When you honor your difference you honor your potential.

Ultimately, your difference is how you manifest your greatness.

When you present anything but your authentic self to the world, you are playing small and you are robbing the world of your significance. Manifesting your greatness requires you to master your gifts.

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Here’s a Young Man’s Antidote for the Uncertainty of the Modern World

Why do a lot of young guys lack confidence in today’s world? 



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We all have been told that confidence is a key factor in achieving success and happiness in life. But what is it exactly? (more…)

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Toxic Leadership: 5 Ways to Identify a Bad Leader

if you have a leader who displays any of the toxic traits, it’s time to move on to greener pastures.



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Let’s be honest, we’ve all crossed paths with a toxic leader in our careers at some point. Unfortunately, while some toxic leaders don’t even bother to hide their behaviour, some know very well how to conceal their true selves behind a strong-built facade. The latter is the most dangerous of the two. (more…)

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