Posts Tagged ‘Books’

Here is a great book co-written by one of the late John Wooden’s former players, Andrew Hill, who went on to be a greater success off the court than he ever was on the court. He attributes much of his success to the 21 secrets he learned while playing for John Wooden at UCLA. Take a look at the list then pick up the book it is a great read. 

Be Quick-But Don’t Hurry

Andrew Hill & John Wooden

Secret #1: The Team With The Best Players Almost Always Wins

Secret #2: Be Quick-But Don’t Hurry

Secret #3: Focus On Effort, Not Winning

Secret #4: Keep It Simple

Secret #5: Make Your “Yes” Mean Yes

Secret #6: Balance Is Everything

Secret #7: A Good Leader is First & Foremost, A Teacher

Secret #8: Game Time Is When The Coach’s Job Is almost Over

Secret #9: A Great Leader Cannot Worry About Being Well Liked

Secret #10: Great Leaders Give Credit To Others, But Accept The Blame Themselves

Secret #11: Seek Consistency—Avoid Peaks & Valleys

Secret #12: Fairness Is Giving All People The Treatment They Earn & Deserve

Secret #13: The Team That Makes The Most Mistakes…Wins!

Secret #14: Surround Yourself With Strong, Opinionated People

Secret #15: Teamwork Is Not A Preference, It’s A Necessity

Secret #16: Rules Are Made To Be Followed, Not Broken

Secret #17: Concentrate On Your Team, Not The Opposition

Secret #18: Adjust To Your Players—Don’t Expect Them All To Adjust To You

Secret #19: Failing To Prepare is Preparing To Fail

Secret #20: Practice Doesn’t Make Perfect, Perfect Practice Makes Perfect

Secret #21: Be Honest, Direct, & Willing To Risk It All For Your Beliefs


Marcus Buckingham

  • Standout

Michael Hyatt

  • Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World

Patrick Lencioni

  • The Advantage

Bernie Marcus

  • Built from Scratch

Urban Meyer

  • Urban’s Way: Urban Meyer, the Florida Gators, and His Plan to Win

Mark Sanborn

  • Up, Down, or Sideways

Andy Stanley

  • Enemies of the Heart
  • The Principle of the Path
  • When Work and Family Collide

Soledad O’Brien

  • The Next Big Story: My Journey Through the Land of Possibilities

Truett Cathy

  • Wealth, Is It Worth It?

Sheena Iyengar

  • The Art of Choosing

Laura Ling

  • Somewhere Inside: One Sister’s Captivity North Korea and the Other’s Fight to Bring Her Home

John Maxwell

  • The Five Levels of Leadership
  • The 360 Degree Leader

Tim Tebow

  • Through My Eyes

General Hugh Shelton

  • Without Hesitation: The Odyssey of an American Warrior

Jeremie Kubicek

  • Leadership is Dead/Making Leadership Come Alive
  • Humble for President

Marcus Buckingham

Strength strategist, best-selling author and researcher


Stand Out-His newest book 

  • Started out by discussing many of the choices he had made in his life concerning his career and how it unfolded over the years.
  • These choices I have made just felt right, felt authentic. 
Authenticity is your most precious commodity!
If you lose your own authenticity you have lost everything!
Leadership Development in the Age of the Algorithm
  • Every content deliverer, has to say to the customer:  Who are you?
  • Have you noticed the first question content providers ask today is: who are you?
  • Netflix gives you a movie quiz and as a result your home screen is different than mine.
  • NY Times, far right column is things you will be interested, your algorithm for their content.
  • Google, Amazon, Facebook all have your algorithm in place and that determines the book recommendations and ads you see on your home pages each day.

The only places we notice it now is where it is not at yet!

  • Leadership is idiosyncraticleadership does not fit into the competency models, that person does not exist in real life, those are only models, someone’s compilation of what an idea leader should and should not be, leadership just does not fit into that box!
  • Studied various companies to see what made them successful, what made them great at what they do (Evaluated companies such as Best Buy and Hampton Inn)
  • Discovered these companies had various leadership styles, and those leaders used different techniques to come up with excellent results. 
  • People often capture the technique but mess the concept of what the technique has captured. Many times companies try to roll out techniques across the entire organization without fully understanding the true reason for that techniques success. 
  • You must remember that you can teach any leader the right concepts like reflecting back when you find excellence happening in your organization, but this often gets confused with teaching the techniques instead.
  • Everyone got fixated on the “technique” being used and not on capturing excellence and reflecting it back to the people who are exhibiting the great behaviors that lead to the great results.
  • Many companies then create culture of rules for the techniques being used and totally nullify the effectiveness of the “technique” because it was being executed without an understanding of what actually made that work for that location.

Techniques of one leader are not easily transferred to the practices of another leader!
  • You have to pick your own algorithm.
  • What’s your edge as a leader, you particular competitive advantage?
  • If we understand this, we can teach you the proper techniques that fit your edge
The 9 Strength Roles
  • We measure you on 9 strength roles and you are defined by your top two.
  1. Advisor: What is the best thing to do? You are a practical, concrete thinker who is at your most powerful when reacting to and solving other people’s problems.
  2. Connector: you are always looking to see what is best in us, you are a catalyst, your power lies in your craving to bring two people or ideas together to make something bigger and better than it is now.
  3. Creators: what do I understand? I need time to process information, I don’t like surprises, I need quiet time, you make sense of the world, pulling it apart, seeing a better configuration and creating it.
  4. Equalizers: what is the right thing  to do, you want to make things right, you see world as moral commitments, you do what you say you are going to do, you are a level-headed person whose power comes from keeping the world in balance, ethically and practically.
  5. Influencer: always selling, everything about you is moving me from where I am to your agenda, you engage people directly and convince them to act. Your power is persuasion. 
  6. Pioneer-what’s new, what’s next, walk around corner and see for ourselves what is there, you see the world as a friendly place where, around every corner, good things will happen. Your power comes from your optimism in the face of uncertainty.
  7. Provider: No person gets left behind, you go one by one and ask each person, are you OK? You create an environment where I believe you care in genuine manner, this creates innovation and creativity. You sense other people’s feelings, and you feel compelled to recognize these feelings, give them a voice, and act on them.
  8. Stimulator: You ask how can I raise up the energy level in the room? You feel responsibility  for the emotional status in the room, you invigorate us. You are the host of other people’s emotions. You feel responsible for them, for turning them around, for elevating them.
  9. Teacher: how I learn? How can you learn? You see yourself as a work in progress, you see others as a work in progress as well. We are never done learning. You are thrilled by the potential you see in each person. Your power comes from learning how to unleash it.
  • When you study the best performers in a particular field you don’t necessarily find the same profiles in the top performers.
  • There is no perfect leadership profile, only perfect practices that fit your profile.


What is the greatest value you bring the team?

Steve Jobs example of how the 2nd time at Apple he was better version of himself, more persuasive, more effective, got fired from his own company first time around but was much more effective the second tenure.

How do you take what is unique about you and make it the most effective?


  • Situational Judgment Test is to determine which are your top two strength roles. The Stand Out test put you in different types of situations and ask what would you do? From this your top two strength roles are determined.
  • Your summary of your results will be a summary of what you would do, not based on what you see yourself as, or what you think you are, it is based on your behaviors.

Patrick Lencioni

Best-selling author & president of The Table Group

  • Your single greatest opportunity for competitive advantage is free, accessible to anyone and is virtually untapped in most organizations.
  • CEO SW Airline, Gary Kelly: Asked him why don’t your competitors do this? So many companies believe it is beneath them
3 types of bias in many organizations
  • Sophistication bias: most organizations believe that working on organizational health is beneath them.
  • Adrenaline bias-need quick fix, I need something that I can do immediately, right now
  • Quantification Bias-can’t quantify how organization health impacts bottom line and therefore I can’t make it important to pursue this

Organizational Health: Any organization that succeeds, has to be good at 2 things:

  1. Smart: good decision processes, systems, makes good decisions, has good communication, good marketing and sales, etc.,
  2. Healthy: minimal politics and confusion, really good people relations, (good people rarely leave healthy organizations)
  • Almost impossible to build a competitive advantage based on knowledge because it can be copied so fast these days with the speed of information transfer via internet and other means.
  • Your competitive advantage will be the health of your organization.
  • Chick-fil-A and SW Airlines are not smarter companies than their competition, no, instead they have built culture where the make better decisions.
  • Building culture is a rigourous process.

Four disciplines of a healthy organization
1. Build a cohesive leadership team

  • Key is vulnerability
  • Great leaders are vulnerable
  • Great leaders build great trust on their team, vulnerability based trust. 
  • If a leader can’t be vulnerable first you will not get vulnerability and trust on the rest of the team.
  • Unhealthy teams make bad decisions, have poor strategies, make product mistakes.
  • When you are a leader people see you sweating before you even know it.
  • I am not sure that you can be too vulnerable.
  • The people we lead know what is going one with us and the organization. They see our weaknesses. 
  • Be vulnerable, learn how to embrace that!

 2. Create Clarity: intelligently aligned around 6 questions

  1. Why do we exist?
  2. How do we behave?
  3. What do we do?
  4. What is the thing that makes us unique?
  5. What is the most important thing that we do right?
  6. Who needs to be doing what in order for this to work?
Behavioral Values
  • What are your 2-3 key behavioral values
  • Great orgs identify these and be brutally intolerant about these two things
  • You have a great value when you know you are willing to be punished for it CFA-not open on Sundays SW Airlines-humor
  • Make decisions based on your core values
  • Sometimes this pushes people away
3.  Over communicate the Clarity you Create
  • Can never get tired of repeating ourselves , we must repeat ourselves over and over
  • We have to be so comfortable over communicating
  • If you want to be cool don’t be a leader

 4. Put structure in place that reinforces the clarity you created, the values you hold as most important

  • The structure will reinforce the behaviors that support these values (the structures are how you hire/fire, behave, treat one another, etc.)
  • Great leaders are comfortable making the distinctions that separate them from the people who won’t follow their values. Leaders are willing to draw a line in the stand and accept the consequences for those who cross it.
Apply these same principles in your home!
  • Husband/Wife must be vulnerable with one another.
  • Have to be vulnerable as parents.
  • Define and be clear who you are as a family, define your 2-3 core values.
  • Have core values defined, what are the two or three things that make us who we are
  • Who are you? You must communicate those over and over, and put structure in place to support core values and the behaviors that represent them.

Be sure to understand that when we change the organizational health of our companies we impact the families of the people who work for us in a positive way.
Great leaders are humble people who are  willing to be vulnerable to those they lead!

Sheena Iyengar

Author of The Art of Choosing & world-renowned expert on choice

  • What is leadership?
  • How is effective leadership defined?
  • How did you get to your position of leadership?
  • How did you get where you are today? 
  • How did you achiever your level of success?
  1. Fate?
  2. Chance?
  3. Choice? This results in critical actions taken at critical moments

No matter how you tell your story or any story of success there will be elements of truth for each of these three!

  • Choice is only one of these that puts control in your hands!
  • Choice is the powerful tool for determining our future.
  • We are all the sum of our choices.

Impactful leaders surround themselves with many opportunities for choice!

She displays picture of 7 cans

  • How many choices of soda? 
  • Most of us would say 7 choices, but there are some who see this as just one choice. It depends on your perspective.
  • It is all just soda, to some that is just one choice, soda or no soda.
  • Residents of excommunist countries all commented that there is only 1 choice, soda or not soda.

Our culture teaches much about how we should make our choices.

  • Residents of ex-communist block countries were overwhelmed with all the new choices when they came out of those cultures.
  • Our cultural assumptions impact our choices.
  • Effective leaders see choices through others eyes.
  • People making a choice actually buy more when there are fewer options.
When faced with choice overload we: 1) Delay 2) Make Worse Choices 3) Less Satisfied with what they have chosen ( Ask themselves what if? continually
How do great leaders make choices?
  • Great leaders are great practitioners in the art of choosing.
  • Effective leaders spend time only on the choices that matter
  • 50% of decisions CEOs make is in 9 minutes or less, only 10% take an hour or more
  • Great leaders are choosy about the choices they make
  • Making good choices is an art, in order to do it well it requires you to examine and discover yourself
  • Great leaders are great at the art of choosing
  • Choice has its limitations, have to be willing to relinquish it at times

People become greedy when they loose the value of that which is free!
  • The trick to take advantage of choice while not becoming subject to it
  • A leader is someone who can live with nothing but has everything.

You can write your own story. When you choose with wisdom and compassion you are on your way to mastering the art of choosing.


  • We make a decision that is important then we manage it the rest of our life!
  • When I was asked what my growth plan was back in my 20’s I had nothing to say because I had none, I did not know that I needed one.
  • Growth is not automatic, it requires intentionality 
  • “15 Laws of Personal Growth”, John’s new book coming out this fall.
First 4 Laws of Personal Growth 

Law #1:  Law of Intentionality-growth doesn’t just happen, we have to grow on purpose 

  • We must make a choice to grow!
  • For years I never found a person that did have a personal growth plan 
  • We don’t automatically get better.
  • We don’t automatically grow.
  • Only thing automatic in life is death. 
  • There’s a choice you have to make in everything you do. So keep in mind the choice you make, makes you. John Wooden
  • His dad paid him to read good books from junior high up, not paid an allowance to do chores 
  • I will put my money where my values are! 
  • My Dad put good books in my hand. 
  • My father was very intentional about helping us grow. 
  • James Allen-“As a man thinkith” Book 
  • We want to change everything around us except us! 
  • Everything gets better when we get better 
  • You have to crock pot leaders, it is a process, you must intentionally grow leaders.

Key to this law: The secret to growing intentionally is growing every day


  • My Secret of success is determined by my daily agenda 
  • Be intentional every day 
  • Your Growth Plan must be: Simple, Basic, Practical, Applicable so you can do it every day. 
  • Daily learn how to grow and develop myself
  • Your greatest investment that you will ever make is in yourself, your personal growth.
  •  If you wouldn’t bet on yourself, then why should anyone else?
  • You want to bet on yourself and investing in your personal growth is betting on yourself. 
  • Make a decision to live daily a life of personal growth and development 

 Law #2 Law of Awareness

  • I have to know me to grow me
  • How do I do this?

#1 Requirement?

  •  What is required of me?
  •  What do I have to do?
  • What is expected of me in life?
2. Return?
  • What gives me the greatest return?
  • What do I do well?
  • Strength Zone, what is your strengths?
  • I work on what I do well
  • Take your personal growth effort and put it to your strengths, focus on your strengths!
  • Weak only becomes average after lots of work, no one wants to be just average
  • Discover what you do well and then put all your energy into developing what you do well
  • If you work on your strength then you can become excellent! 
  • You can become the best you that you can become if you focus on your strengths.

#3 Rewarding?

  • What is rewarding to me?
  •  What do I enjoy doing?
  •  Find what you like doing.
  • I have a problem, I can’t discern between what is work and what is play.
  • I love what I do.  

Add these three up and you get Passion!

  • When people have passion they have energy
  • I love being around people with passion 

#4 Law of Environment

  • Growth thrives in condusive surroundings
  • Many of us are not in a good growth environment
What Makes Up A Growth Environment?
1. Growth environment is a place where others are ahead of me, smarter, faster, better leader, etc
  • If you are at the head of the class you are in the wrong class

2. Place where I am continually challenged.

3. Place where my focus is totally forward, yesterday ended last night, it is over get over it, not where I was, it is where I am heading

4. Place where atmosphere is affirming, like minded, growth oriented and directed.

5. Place where I am often out of my comfort zone, over my head, doesn’t matter how deep it is, you are over you head

  • Always want to be out of comfort zone, it will cause you to stretch, but not out of your strength zone 

6. Growth environment is a place where I am excited everyday

7. A growth environment is a place where it is understood that failure is not my enemy, there will be a lot of failure, lots of mess ups, learn to fail forward. 

8. A growth environment is a place where other people are growing.

9. A growth environment is a place where people desire change.

10. A growth environment is a place where growth is modeled and it is expected of me to grow.


A Minute with Maxwell

Leadership Shorts-Abraham Lincoln

Good to Great #4: Confronting the Brutal Facts

Leaders, Not Managers

Good to Great #6 A Culture of Discipline

Necessary Endings-Dr. Henry Cloud Simulcast Part 1

Do you know when to quit?

The 5th Quarter: Leadership born out of Tragedy

Good To Great #8: The Flywheel & The Doom Loop

Good To Great #7: Technology Accelerators

Jeremie Kubicek
President & CEO, GiANT Impact

Follow on TwitterFacebook or LinkedIn

Jeremie Kubicek is currently President & CEO of GiANT Impact based in Atlanta, GA, co-founder of GiANT Partners and other GiANT entities, and the author of Leadership is Dead: How Influence is Reviving It (a Wall Street Journal and INC. Magazine bestseller). They own and operate brands and events such as Catalyst and the Chick-fil-A Leadercast.

  • An empowering leader trains, mentors, and apprentices someone to help him or her grow.
  • To be a positive influence and a leader worth following, you must deal with your own insecurities and fears before you can empower others.
  • The combination of character and high competence leads to the outflow of trust and credibility.
  • Overpowering leadership suppresses people and prevents them from performing with enthusiasm and creativity.
  • To empower is to enable someone else to accomplish something. It is a transfer of authority.
  • To lead in the modern world, you have to focus on what the world wants and needs instead of what makes you comfortable.
  • Empowering leaders tend to be very self-aware. Their intent is to use their skills to serve and benefit others.
  • Influence is the most potent and underutilized professional resource on the planet.
  • The greatest strategy for business, success and personal fulfillment is not based upon getting all you can. Instead it is centered upon giving all you can.
  • To have true influence, you must embrace a lifestyle of giving for the benefit of others.
  •  To empower is a positive act of service for the benefit of others, and it should be the goal of every leader.
  • To have true influence, you have to move beyond the transactional approach to life and into the relational.
  • To believe is to eliminate the fear of missed expectations.
  • The eyes and heart are interrelated. What the eyes are fixed on reveals what the heart was already set on.
  • Wisdom is far better than knowledge. Wisdom is good for both they who speak it and those who hear it.

Frans Johansson
Best-selling author of The Medici Effect


  • How does innovation happen?
  • I wrote The Medici Effect. The idea for the book is based on intersection.

  • Groundbreaking ideas come when we combine very different ideas.
  • Put words together like: termite-architecture; ice and beds; and bikinis and burqas. 
  • Diversity drives innovation
  • A man in Harare, Zimbabwe learned from the way termites built their home structure to build a large office building that cooled itself without air-conditioning. 
  • This man was able to combine ideas from two drastically different fields to break new ground by learning from termites how to build an energy-efficient office complex that remained cool and comfortable without air-conditioning.

At the intersections of  different ideas and cultures, the Medici effect happens!

  • The Medici effect was named after a family in Florence, Italy with the same name. 
  • Several hundred yeas ago they gathered the leaders of different disciplines in one place. The result was one of the most creative times in all of Europe’s history.
  • The key to this happening was in how they brought people together to collaborate.
  • How did these people in Florence Italy interact in such a way to make this come about? 

The best ideas emerge when very different perspectives meet!  At this point an idea can change the world!

  • Normally when we associate a new and creative idea for female swimwear we would associate that with the beach. 
  • Discussing bikini+beach is an easy association for us to make.
  • But how about bikini+burqa, this is not a normal association for most of us.
  • One lady who had move to Australia took the idea of bikinis and combined it with the burgas that most Muslim women went swimming in and she designed a burqa style swimwear for Muslim women that incorporated the material and colors of bikinis she observed on the beach. She made them stylish, and attractive. Now the are being sold all over the world.

Innovations seems obvious after the fact, the trick is to come up with them before they are discovered!

People that change the world come up with new ideas, strive for new ideas!

  • The people who change the world try a lot more ideas than other people because we are actually terrible at predicting what will work!
  • For example, Einstein published 240 papers and most of these were not referenced in any way.
  • Google has launched 100 of products that have failed.
  • Picasso painted 20,000 works of art, most of which did not make it to the walls of museums, but instead are dusty in basements around the world because they were not very good.
  • Richard Branson—Virgin Brand, tried lots of businesses that have failed, but has a number that are very successful.
In order to be successful you must first understand you won’t always be successful, failure is part of the journey to success. 

  • Many fail to reach their goals because they have an idea and lofty goal that they are shooting for. Due to their approach they use up all resources trying to reach the goal right out of the shoot. They have then failed and no resources to move forward.
  • Now I know what the goal should be, but have no resources…

Is there better way to do this?

  • Let’s take the example in Sweden now known as the Ice Hotel.
  • His original idea was to sell the winter which they have an abundance of it in Sweden.
  • He did not start trying to build a hotel made of ice, but instead took a stair-step approach to building his dream of attracting people to Sweden during the winter. 
  • He first begins with an idea to sell the winter.
  • The first winter sells ice sculptures from Japan, he had an exhibition and it was only modestly successful. The sculptures began to melt due to an early spring and this was a set back. 
  • The second winter he tried a snow gallery. He had artist hang paintings inside an ice building. 
  • The third winter he created an event hall with everything made of ice. This even included a movie screen.
  • Some skiers wanted bed made of ice and he made them a bed out of  ice and they loved it.
  • The next year made whole hotel made of ice which became The Ice Hotel, which Newsweek named one of the ten coolest hotels in the world.
  • The rest is history.

The Path to Success

  • Let’s take a look at the path to his success.
  • The path of any successful idea.
  • Could you have done this?
  • He didn’t know it was going to be ice hotel.

Your first step to change the world.

Once you think of idea, just get started!

  • He built The Ice Hotel after putting together an intersection of  ideas over several years of trying different things, some of which were failures until he eventually reached his summit.

Steps to Success

  • You have to start with an idea.
  • You have to take a first step with that idea, take your first step to change the world.
  • The best way for you to come up with an idea is at the intersection of different cultures and ideas.
  • You must figure out something you can do and then make it happen.
  • This man had no idea he would create a hotel out of ice, he just had an idea and took a first step, acted up on it and over time he connected the dots into his creation, The Ice Hotel.
  • What will be your Ice Hotel?
  • Yes, the world is connected!
  • Ice=sleeping, does not seem like a logical connection, but it is.

Yes, the world is connected and there is somebody is making those connections and I think it should be you!

Erin Gruwell
Founder & President of Freedom Writers Foundation

Catalyst for Change

  • I am just an ordinary person who had an extraordinary experience.
  • The catalyst for this extraordinary experience came when I saw a young man stand up in Tiananmen Square. This man was an example of how one person can give many people a voice.
  • I had never stood up for anything at this point in my life.

Am I am willing to stand up for something?

  • At this point I decided I no longer wanted to be a lawyer, but instead I wanted to be teacher.
  • When I first arrived in L.A. I went in thinking I would change these kids with literature.
  • This community and these kids had been greatly impacted by the LA riots.
  • These students had never read a book from cover to cover.
  • These kids mission in life was to make my life miserable and they did.
Getting Perspective

These kids ask me, “Why did we have to read books by old, dead, white guys wearing tights?”

  • I asked my principal, “Who are these 150 students I have?” He told her that she had lowest 150 kids in the area of 97,000 kids in tough neighborhood.
  • All these kids were below 25 percentile on all their test scores.
  • The principal had giving up on these kids, he was not a leader. He saw no hope for them and used stats to back up his opinions.
  • I began thinking of ways to make a connection with these students.
  • One student had ankle bracelet monitor and a probation officer with her when she came into my classroom. She was a 14-year old girl.  She had been in a juvenile home and had a black eye.
  • I gave all the students a journal and asked them to write their stories in them.

All students have an odyssey, a journey they had been on,  a story to tell!

  • I wanted to hear their stories.
  • I set up a game to get students to tell story. I wanted them to stand up and be proud.
  • I drew a line down the middle of the room.
  • I said to the class, “Stand on the line if you are poor.” 150 kids stood on the line.
  • “Stand on the line if you have ever been homeless”
  • I wanted them to stand for something.
  • I wanted their voice to be heard.
  • I followed up with questions about drugs, alcohol, suicide, and murder.
  • Quickly I learned that all these kids had a story to tell.
  • One kid had his first overdose at age 5, while another hated all teachers because one had sent his sister to Child Protective Services after his parents had hit him and his sister.
Giving them a Voice

  • I realized I could not change these kids, but maybe I can give these kids a voice.
  • Maybe the could rewrite their history.
  • Many of these kids felt they were in a war, so I wanted to have them read about other kids who were at war like Anne Frank.
  • The chair of English department said they were all too stupid to read a book.
  • When kids are repeatedly told they are dumb, stupid and worth nothing they begin acting as such.
  • She bought 150 copies of The Diary of Anne Frank and a couple of other books for the kids to read.
  • Could I get these kids to identify with the kids in the book?
  • Well, they did identify with them. Anne states, “Sometimes I feel like a bird in a cage and sometimes I just want to fly away.” The 14-year old in an ankle bracelet could relate to this.

Anne Frank provided these kids an opportunity to rewrite the endings to their stories.

  • The students wrote to authors and we began to ask, “Could we follow in the footsteps of a girl like Anne Frank?”
  • “Could we write our own stories?”
  • Our class began to write our own stories. We sent it to a bunch of publishers who all rejected it, except one.
  • It was published and has become a phenomenon in this country.
  • These 150 kids had written stories of kids everywhere.
  • The title of the book is, “The Freedom Writers Diary.”
Rewriting History
  • It is my hope that we can learn from these kids how to rewrite our own endings.
  • These kids went on to become the first kids in their families to graduate, the first to go to college.
  • Remember the 14-year old with the ankle monitor bracelet, she rewrote her ending. She stood up in front of Congress and spoke up for all who needed a voice. She then told them she would be the first Hispanic female Secretary of Education.
Today I am here as just and ordinary person who had an extraordinary experience with 150 kids. Our job now is that we go out and pay it forward to every student in every community in this country.