Intentional Performers with Brian Levenson

Don Yaeger on Curiosity and Writing

March 13, 2019

Don Yaeger joins us on this week’s episode of the podcast. Don is an award-winning keynote speaker, business leadership coach, 11-time New York Times best selling author and a long-time associate editor for Sports Illustrated. Don is a writer, but what has made him a great writer over the years is his thirst for curiosity on how people compete at their highest level. As a speaker, he has worked with audiences as diverse as Fortune 500 companies and Cancer Survivor groups, where he shares his personal stories. In this episode, you will hear how Don is a story-teller and many of the stories he tells involve elite competitors. He loves to share the human side of those elite performers in these stories.

In this episode, they discuss when writing first came into his life (4:00), what life was like for him as a kid (6:40), how faith was a big part of his upbringing (8:50), the values his parents passed down to him (9:40), when sports came into his life (11:20), what he loves about sports (12:10), what inspired him to pursue a career in sports journalism (13:35), the similarities he observes in different environments that he’s involved in (16:20), if curiosity and/or competition can be developed (18:40), David Ross story about how he developed his leadership (21:05), what allowed David Ross to interpret something as feedback as opposed to criticism (25:20), what David Ross learned that makes a great teammate (27:20), how he saw people mentally prepare and then shift when they got between the lines (31:30), why he pivoted to do other things in his career besides journalism (35:40), when he feels most alive (39:50), his biggest fear (42:10), what he intentionally does to make sure his greatest fear doesn’t happen (42:40), if you can be great in your career while being great in your home life (43:50), what he does to be present (45:30), how he writes a book a year (46:40), and what he learned from himself from this conversation that he’ll take with him (51:30).

Thank you to Don for coming on the podcast. You can follow him on Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter @DonYaeger and he shares a quote a day with a group of about 50,000 people at 8 am ET. He has also built an online learning class that has a meaningful purpose and takes them from point a to point b. Their first course just went live a few weeks ago, and it’s called Journey to Greatness, and they go through the elements of what he’s learned from the greatest winners he’s had a chance to work with.

Lastly, if you liked this episode and/or any others, please support us at Patreon or follow me on Twitter: @brianlevenson or Instagram: @Intentional_Performers.

Thanks for listening.

-Brian