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You Win in the Locker Room First: The 7 C's to Build a Winning Team in Business, Sports, and Life
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You Win in the Locker Room First: The 7 C's to Build a Winning Team in Business, Sports, and Life

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  1,209 ratings  ·  90 reviews
NFL head coach Mike Smith lead one of the most remarkable turnarounds in NFL history. In the season prior to his arrival in 2008, the Atlanta Falcons had a 4-12 record and the franchise had never before achieved back-to-back winning seasons. Under Smith's leadership, the Falcons earned an 11-5 record in his first season and would go on to become perennial playoff and Super ...more
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published September 21st 2015 by Wiley
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Average rating 4.16  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,209 ratings  ·  90 reviews

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Rick Marcello
May 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Solid read on Leadership

This book follows a similar format to the Hard Hat. It was short and easy to read. My only issue with the book is that it will not wow you in terms of material. With so many sports leadership books out there, this does not stand out.
Sep 03, 2018 rated it liked it
The book is set up like a lecture or motivational speech where you get the perspective of Mike Smith (former NFL coach) and Jon Gordon (leadership expert) going back and forth as though they were on stage.
It is an easy read that provides two perspectives as they guide you through the 7 C’s to building a winning team. Of note there is a section regarding Murphy’s law. In the book they reframe the concept of things going wrong and how to prepare emotionally and mentally to handle these undeniable
Logan Thune
Aug 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Not a huge fan of books like this (read it for work), but this one was pretty good—and I’m pretty sure Scott Frost has read this book, so....
Jan 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook
A short, to the point book on leadership written by former NFL Head Coach Mike Smith and Leadership guru Jon Gordon. Smith and Gordon guide the reader through the core areas they focus on as leaders, with various examples from Smith's NFL past and Gordon's business consulting. A lot of the advice is similar to what you'll find in other books, but the passion with which Smith speaks about his players and his goal to shape them as men rather than just on the field players would make anyone ready t ...more
Nov 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
John has picked this book to do a presentation on leadership. I really liked the book and the information is spot on about leadership.

Great read!!
Ryan Morton
Nov 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
The world needs better coaches, and I'm not talking just for sports. The coaching mindset of helping others, of believing in others, and even dedicating their lives helping others pursue their goals, is lacking in our current society. This book highlights the need for winning the locker room as a coach in sports, business, and other organizational settings.

If you read leadership books, aspire to be a better leader, are a coach, or find yourself wanted to get more of the people with which you int
Dave Hutcheson
Sep 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A book for everyone who wants to lead a team and develop people. Succinct, with multiple examples and stories. A quick read that is easy to digest and will give you the essentials needed to develop a team that delivers results. Note implementing the suggestions is always harder than just reading about it. People are complex and have different situations. The information in the book is a solid foundations to align your behaviours around. If you truly care and are committed to developing the best ...more
Nov 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I feel as though this is a must read for anyone who is a leader or coach of a team. The book reinforces several leadership concepts and also discusses some that are new to me.

I enjoyed the dual perspectives of both Jon Gordon and Mike Smith. The discussion of each topic was very easy to understand and while I read I found myself thinking about how I would incorporate this into my work place.

One of the most valuable pieces of this book for me is the last few pages: the action plan of the 7 c’s.
Jan 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
I think that this book has really shown me what a true leader is. Throughout this book, Gordon Smith talks about what a leader really does instead of just a follower. What surprised me about this book is that he talks about his life and his job in the NFL and he told us exactly what he did in real life as he did in the book. Gordon Smith really goes into depth about the 7 C's to build a winning team in Business, Sports, and Life. My take away from this book would be to think about how I can inco ...more
Blake A
Cliche leadership principles

The book isn’t bad but it’s pretty generalized. It feels like a quick surface level summary of every other leadership book you’ve ever read. However, I like the author’s positive style of leadership and there are still some good nuggets to take from it. The best “C’s” to me were about communication and connecting with your teams. One of my takeaways is the difference between pressure and stress. Put pressure to perform in the areas you can control (lead measures like
Liang Gang Yu
Jul 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is a concise summary of sportsmanship and leadership principles from a renown NFL coach Mike Smith. 7 "C" principles guiding the off-court activities, starting from Locker Room, are critical to the success of sport teams, as well as business and life. The core ideas are well supported by example; however, the book might not wow you as many reads on the topic are out there.

Overall, the book serves as a review of familiar principles of building lasting successful teams; yet, it fails to
Kelsey Johnson
Aug 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
I happened to listen to two of Jon Gordon's audiobooks (The Energy Bus and The Training Room) on a long road trip followed by reading this book. It was a lot of Gordon in a few days! He writes in fables, and I often rolled my eyes at times with the childish metaphors. You Win in the Locker Room First veered away from the fables and metaphors and used examples -- mostly from the NFL, which makes sense. I earmarked a few pages throughout of stuff to remember and bring to my own team. While I do no ...more
Dec 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Coach Mike Smith teams up with Jon Gordon to share what it takes to build a winning team. With 7 years experience as a head coach in the NFL Coach Smith has learned through both triumph and failures. Looking over his tenure with the Falcons, Smith teaches the importance of building a strong culture, how to maintain it and the pitfalls of neglecting it. Jon Gordon joins in the discussion by sharing conversations he had with other successful coaches. All of this information comes together for a bo ...more
Tim Genry
Dec 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'm re-reading this and taking notes because it was so inspiring to me. This book is both instructional and motivational and deals mainly with leadership of yourself and others. I appreciate Jon and Mike collaborating on this project. Sharing their wisdom on winning in life is something many of us need because what limits us - the pressure from outside or inside forces - can be controlled or even eliminated. ...more
Lauren Winkler
Oct 31, 2017 rated it liked it
I found this book helpful. I like the coaching/leadership philosophies of the authors with include always putting the team before yourself as an individual player, staying positive, and trusting the process. It's a good refresher on how to be a good leader to any team and helps you stay aware of these principles at all times. ...more
Jared Adams
Feb 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent read!

Great insight on leadership, building a winning team, and establishing a winning culture. Each C provides excellent examples and highlights how to apply it to your own team and/or organization. Highly recommend this for any coach, manager or anyone looking to improve.
Jan 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Solid book with great little nuggets of truth. We use a few of the principles found inside when we speak of culture in our church staff meetings. I recommend this book for those that want to grow as a team of team leaders.
Jun 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: coaching
Good read, easy and short but contains some really good pointers. Did this as part of a coaches book study, and it generated some really good conversation about culture, communication and how to engage team members as well as parents and others involved in the team.
Oct 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

While this book does not really have any "Aha" moments, it does a really nice job of putting tried and true strategies in a concise and easy to digest book. Another solid Jon Gordon performance!
Aug 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-club
As someone who is totally indifferent to sports, this book was tolerable to read. I basically glossed over the sports metaphors. There's good stuff here. So even if you don't like sports, it's worth a read. ...more
Mobolaji Olagbemiro
Oct 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lori Unemori
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Excellent read. Love the 7 Cs to contribute to a winning team and creating a winning team. I don’t have a team yet but I’d love to use this for my team. But first I need to be that great leader that is a winner.
May 08, 2020 rated it liked it
I think I would have ranked this higher if I hadn’t already read another one of Jon Gordon’s books. He repeats himself a lot. I have also read books by Wooden in the same subject which I liked better.
Mar 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fantastic read about laying the foundation for building a winning culture in your sports/family/team/business setting. Jon Gordon strikes again!
Will Parker
Jun 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the focus on building a team
Jul 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: wwdb
The concepts were good, but I'm not a fan of football, so it was difficult for me to read through all of the football-related anecdotes. ...more
Jason Heinritz
Aug 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Every leader of a team needs to read this book
Justin R. Weston
Great read

I thought this was a great read. Highly recommend it to anyone that wants to be a great leader and coach.
Oct 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Jon writes in a way that keeps you moving forward easily.
Perfect for a new coach.
Dec 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Not my favorite book by Jon Gordon, but he always has a way of putting things into perspective. This book has motivated me to become better for the kids I coach, and a better partner in the office.
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Jon Gordon is an American business consultant and author on the topics of leadership, culture, sales, and teamwork.

Jon Gordon's best-selling books and talks have inspired readers and audiences around the world. His principles have been put to the test by numerous NFL, NBA, and college coaches and teams, Fortune 500 companies, school districts, hospitals and non-profits. He is the author of The Wal

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