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  • Blue-White Scrimmage - October 27, 2014 - Rupp Arena - 7:00 PM EST - SEC Network

All aboard ‘The Energy Bus’

In between a couple of recruiting trips today, I decided to stop by our practice facility and talk to my team for a little spur-of-the-moment meeting. It isn’t out of the norm for me to call meetings like the one I called today, but I knew they were all together for media photo day and I had something I wanted to share with them.

As you may already know, my good friend George Raveling was in town this weekend for the Fantasy Basketball Experience and loves to read. Every time he comes in he has a stack full of books, and this trip was no different.

He left me with about six books I’m going to work my way through over the next few weeks, but the first one I picked up, “The Energy Bus” by Jon Gordon, really caught my attention. After finishing up on the plane, I decided there were a few things I wanted to share with my team from the book.

It’s a story, written as a fable, which talks about positive energy and discusses how to lead from the heart. A lot of what I read reminded me and brought me back to my days at UMass when there was a bunch of stuff happening around us that tried to bring us down.

This book reminded me that you just start the bus and be positive. People used to come to my office to tell me all the negative stuff going on and I didn’t want to hear it. Unless they were solutions, get out. I wanted positive stuff. Obviously, I could see all the other stuff. I don’t need other people telling me that.

The biggest thing I took out of the book was leading from the heart, which I spoke to our team about. There is emotion in what we do. It’s not just about numbers and stick figures. This is about people and doing this together.

I told them, for us right now, this is a bunch of young guys coming together. We’ve got to get rid of the anxiety and stay in the moment. When there is adversity, we have to look at it as a learning opportunity. If you’re not shooting the ball well, it’s an opportunity to work on your shot; it’s not some big crisis to get bent out of shape about.

The book has 10 rules for approaching life and work with the kind of positive, forward thinking that leads us to true accomplishment. We got them the book and I told them I want them to read it. We’re going to talk about it more once they get through it.