Cover image for Greatness : the 16 characteristics of true champions
Greatness : the 16 characteristics of true champions
1st ed.
Publication Information:
New York : Center Street, c2011.
Physical Description:
x, 226 p. ; 24 cm.


Material Type
Call Number
Item Available
Book 650.1 YAE 1 1
Book 650.1 YAE 1 1

On Order



GREATNESS is a motivational book whose target audience is found in business and self-help. It is a life book, aimed at inspiring others to achieve their personal and professional best. Opening with an in-depth discussion of the nature of Greatness-what it is, what it is not, and why it is worth pursing-each subsequent chapter of the book consists of a detailed story illustrating one aspect of Greatness with examples from the sports greats that Don has interviewed over the years. This will be followed by a discussion and other related examples. There are also practical tips and plans for assisting the reader in implementing new habits, routines, practices, and philosophies of Greatness into his or her daily life. As each characteristic is outlined, the reader is challenged to look for areas in his or her professional and personal lives that can be improved by embracing these lessons.

As Don often says during his speeches, "Though these characteristics are culled from some of the greatest winners in sports, not a single one requires you to be able to touch your toes! These iconic figures in sports have provided a classroom for us to learn about their pursuit of Greatness. You don't have to be good at sports - heck, you don't even have to like sports - to benefit from their lessons."

It is the strong belief of those who Don has talked to over the years that greatness is available to all of us. Not in the same way or on the same field, mind you. But we all have the capacity to achieve greatness if we'll give the same dedication to these characteristics as do the winners presented and interviewed in GREATNESS.

Author Notes

Don Yaeger was an Associate Editor at Sports Illustrated magazine. He is the co-author of Under the Tarnished Dome: How Notre Dame Betrayed Its Ideals for Football Glory, Pros and Cons: The Criminals Who Play in the NFL, and George Washington's Secret Six: The Spy Ring That Saved the American Revolution, Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates: The Forgotten War That Changed American History, and Andrew Jackson and the Miracle of New Orleans: The Battle that shaped America's destiny.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Table of Contents

Introduction: Defining Greatnessp. 1
Pillar 1 How They Think
1 It's Personalp. 19
2 Rubbing Elbowsp. 28
3 Believep. 40
4 Contagious Enthusiasmp. 51
Pillar 2 How They Prepare
5 Hope for the Best, But ..p. 65
6 What Off-Season?p. 76
7 Visualize Victoryp. 88
8 Inner Firep. 99
Pillar 3 How They Work
9 Ice in Their Veinsp. 113
10 When All Else Failsp. 125
11 The Ultimate Teammatep. 135
12 Not Just about the Benjaminsp. 146
Pillar 4 How They Live
13 Do Unto Othersp. 159
14 When No One Is Watchingp. 168
15 When Everyone Is Watchingp. 177
16 Records Are Made to Be Brokenp. 188
Afterword: The Greatness Challengep. 199
Appendix 1 Greatness Quotesp. 201
Appendix 2 Recommended Readingp. 223