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Cultivating Leadership: 5 Qualities to Improve Company Culture

  • By Emma
  •  Apr 04, 2019

How would you define Leadership? Is it merely the act of leading a group or organization?  

Leadership is one of the few words in the English dictionary that largely expands beyond its definition. It is an umbrella word, encompassing an association of influential character traits: action, perseverance, service, motivation, risk-taking, empathy.

While our culture likes to feed the narrative that Leadership is an innate quality and only a lucky few of us are born with the necessary traits, genetics is not the only factor in determining a successful leader.

Leadership is cultivated- it is a skill that can be built and improved upon.

One of the greatest pieces of evidence for this is Sports: the greatest coaches and leaders of all time have proven that players can be shaped into great leaders on and off the court, field, or rink.

This is why Leadership has become one of the most sought after lecture topics, and Sports Stars the most sought after Keynote Speakers: they understand better than anyone the practical knowledge and skill it takes to become a leader. They are not only inspiring and relatable, but their roles help redefine Leadership as a whole.

Here are five Leadership qualities to help improve your company culture and the Sports Star Speakers that represent them best:

  1. Jake Olson- Positive Attitude

Jake lost sight in his left eye at 8 months old, battled cancer eight times in his right eye, and eventually lost sight in his right eye at age 12. But he has never let blindness stop him from achieving his goals. He is a single digit handicap golfer with aspirations to become scratch, and on September 2nd, 2017 Jake became the first completely blind football player to ever play in a Division I game when he successfully snapped a PAT against Western Michigan. On top of his athletic endeavors, he has had the privilege since the age of 12 to travel the country as a motivational speaker. Jake is also the co-founder and president of Engage.

2. Kendall Burton - Perseverance

Only 22 years of age, Kendall Burton's story is nothing short of compelling. Being born with a cleft/lip & palate she went through 23 surgeries by the time she was 17. At age 18, she survived an acute ischemic stroke as a freshman in her first semester in college. As a determined young woman, she fought her way back onto the field. After transferring schools three times, she found her forever home at the University of Georgia which led her to achieve her dream of playing at the Women's College World Series. Kendall Burton is on a mission to impact lives with her story of resilience by sharing the most vulnerable and victorious times she has experienced.

3. Mirinda Carfrae - Risk-Taking

Mirinda Carfrae is an Australian professional triathlete and an Ironman Triathlon world champion. Carfrae has achieved podium positions in six of her seven attempts at the Ironman World Championships: 1st-place finishes (2010, 2013, 2014), three 2nd-place finishes (2009, 2011, 2016) and a 3rd place. She also won the 2007 Ironman 70.3 World Championship. Professionally, the reigning Ironman World Champion expanded her horizons to Europe, claiming victory against a highly competitive field at Germany’s iconic iron-distance race, Challenge Roth, and confirming that all eyes will be on her yet again in Kona.

4. Yogi Roth- Empathy

Yogi Roth is a storyteller: seeking and uncovering the humanity in sports around the globe. A Pac-12 Networks college football analyst, Award-Winning Filmmaker, Scholar, New York Times Best-Selling Author, accomplished Coach, Motivational Speaker, Media Personality, Host and World-Traveler. Over the past 15 years Yogi has been driven by the power of sports and story. Yogi began his storytelling career after coaching football at USC, co-authoring the New York Times best-seller Win Forever with Pete Carroll, as well as his second book From PA to LA. As a filmmaker, he has produced and directed multiple documentaries with the Pac-12 Networks, NFL Films, Bleacher Report and ESPN, including the Emmy-nominated film Keep Climbing: 2013 Elite 11, and the award-winning film Life In A Walk. As a media personality, Yogi has been a host/college football analyst for ESPN, Fox and the Pac-12 Network, as well as a correspondent for Entertainment Tonight on CBS and beach volleyball on TBS for the last decade. Yogi also joined the Pac-12 Conference task force, formed to protect student athletes and address systemic issues threatening college athletics.

5. Usama Young- Service

Usama is an 8 year veteran of the National Football League and Super Bowl XLIV champion. A leader on the field and of carries that quality off the field into the community as well. He earned a degree in Educational Studies from Kent State University. His passion to educate youth developed into building the Usama Young Youth Foundation in 2009, later changed to Believe In U. A 501c3 nonprofit organization that empowers young students through mentoring, leadership development, and college preparatory activities. The goal of Believe In U is to assist students in their transition to higher education and eventually adulthood.

Before you book a Keynote Speaker for your next company event, consider hiring these inspiring Sports Stars and many more on

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