The Coach Who Never Punts

If you are someone who hates to hear the phrase, “because we’ve always done it this way” then watch this video. Coach Kevin Kelley of Pulaski Academy in Little Rock, Arkansas, instructs his players to never punt and only do onside kicks. Kelley is a great example of “thinking outside the box” and he isn’t driven to do so just because he wants to be different, he does it to because he wants his team to be successful. Kelley has coached his teams to three state championships and along the way his teams have learned a valuable lesson, the importance of thinking differently and using stats and data to drive results.

At 3:38 in this video, Kelley talks about how he reads to open his mind and in doing so has become willing to embrace different ideas. This is so important for all leaders to understand.  In order to think differently you have to challenge your current way of thinking and be open to unconventional ways of doing things. Kelley mentions four books he has read that have helped him question “why” behind everything he does.

If you want to take start expanding your mind then a good place to start is by reading these books by Malcolm Gladwell:

In addition take the advice from Chris Hughes, co-founder of Facebook:

“…create some habit that makes it easier for you to get out of your bubble. Follow someone you disagree with on Twitter. Buy a subscription to a newspaper or a magazine that will tell you the most important news of the day. Install an app on your phone that doesn’t just filter the news by your social network, but by what you need to read…”

Doing creative work is hard and finding time to be creative while holding down a day job is extremely challenging. Mason Currey’s book, Daily Rituals may be a nice read for those of you who are working so hard and are questioning the efforts you put in on a daily basis. Allow yourself to be inspired by other creative artists and keep doing the work.

Currey’s interview on Huffington Post Live is an added bonus, he explains how the idea for the book came to be and what he learned along the way. Enjoy.


As leaders we have an opportunity to influence others by sharing what we have learned.  It is important to never forget where we started, how we struggled and what we learned along the way to get where we are today. We all have a story. 

Fresh out of college I did not have a mentor, I did not have a network, and I didn’t have a career counselor. I was not business savvy, I didn’t understand office politics and I made mistakes. What I did have was true grit, the willingness to dig in and do the work, a willingness to learn and a willingness to be authentic. I doubted myself…all the time, yet, I pushed on. 

A few lessons I have learned  through my experiences are:

  • Be curious, ask questions
  • Be a lifelong student
  • Do the work well and give more than expected
  • Lean into your strengths 
  • Broaden your mind
  • Be vulnerable
  • Admit mistakes and learn from them
  • Take ownership
  • Listen well
  • Push your comfort zone
  • Smile
  • Be empathetic
  • Manage time well
  • Be intentional 
  • Don’t just show up
  • Prepare for everything

Fast forward to today, I now have mentors, a network and my own personal board of directors. I continue to learn, push my comfort zone and  share my story with others. For all of you interns and graduates to be, congratulations and good luck, you will do fine, so be calm and be super at whatever you do.

I just found a brilliant team building exercise, thanks to Adidas. This makes me smile.

Some interesting facts on Roald Dahl, author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

1. Dahl wrote many of his books in a garden shed , sitting upon an old battered armchair. He balanced a specially designed writing board on his lap and wrote with an HB pencil on yellow legal pads.

2. He wrote the screenplays for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and the Bond movie You Only Live Twice.

3. Dahl passed away from a blood disease on November 23, 1990 at the age of 74. Per his request, he was buried with his favorite things: snooker cues, a bottle of Burgundy, chocolate, HB pencils, and a power saw.

4. He wrote everyday from 10 am to 12 noon and then from 4 pm to 6pm.

5. He was friends with Ernest Hemingway.

6. His teachers didn’t think he was very good at writing when he was at school, Dahl excelled at sports. He was a very good footballer and he enjoyed playing squash.

7. Dahl’s birthday, 13th September, is celebrated every year in libraries and schools as Roald Dahl Day.

Art work at Haus Love. I like!

Art work at Haus Love. I like!

Perfect ending to the day:)