Lead or Get Off the Pot!: The Seven Secrets of a Self-Made Leader

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Pat Croce's management and motivational expertise are world-renowned. His fresh, daring leadership philosophy launched a small physical therapy practice into a nationwide franchise and revitalized Philadelphia's famed 76ers basketball team -- stories that were relayed in his bestselling memoir, I Feel Great and You Will Too! Now, in Lead or Get Off the Pot!, the irrepressible count of carpe diem offers a unique leadership prescription that turns conventional wisdom on its ear. Everyone -- regardless of age, ...
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Lead or Get Off the Pot!: The Seven Secrets of a Self-Made Leader

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Overview

Pat Croce's management and motivational expertise are world-renowned. His fresh, daring leadership philosophy launched a small physical therapy practice into a nationwide franchise and revitalized Philadelphia's famed 76ers basketball team -- stories that were relayed in his bestselling memoir, I Feel Great and You Will Too! Now, in Lead or Get Off the Pot!, the irrepressible count of carpe diem offers a unique leadership prescription that turns conventional wisdom on its ear. Everyone -- regardless of age, position, or station in life -- has the opportunity to take control and improve the lives of those around them. You can become a true leader: one who challenges, mediates, motivates, communicates, and inspires those in your workplace, community, or personal life.

In this practical and accessible guide, Pat shares his bold and unorthodox strategies for developing personal passion, a can-do attitude, and the motivation essential for cultivating leadership skills. His advice includes: Twelve Ways to Build a Passionate Team; Croce's Three Rules for Praise; Learning to Listen with a Leader's Eye; and much more. Lead or Get Off the Pot! is an informative and highly practical collection of leadership lessons that can be used by everyone. Don't wait to gain a so-called leadership position to lead. Do it now!

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Editorial Reviews

Soundview Executive Book Summaries
The Seven Secrets Of A Self-Made Leader
Leadership author and motivational guru Pat Croce has once again encapsulated his greatest thoughts and lessons about leadership into an inspirational page-turner. Full of personal stories and useful ideas about leading others, Lead or Get Off the Pot! turns practical advice about business and life into numerous action lists, including "Twelve Ways to Build Passion," "Croce's Three Rules for Praise," and "Team Building's Dirty Dozen." The latter includes such timeless gems of wisdom as, "Praise in public and criticize in private," and "Be more curious and less critical." Stories from Croce's childhood and professional life make this an exciting read that reverberates with colorful anecdotes and memorable take-away points.

When Croce explains that one of a leader's most vital jobs is to make people feel good, he draws from his credibility as a leader who during his five-year tenure as president of the Philadelphia 76ers led the team with the worst record in the league to become first in the NBA standings, breaking franchise attendance, revenue, merchandise, and consecutive win records on its way to the NBA Championships against the Los Angeles Lakers. Croce's high-energy entrepreneurial spirit and depth of common sense make him one of the most enthusiastic leadership experts to put his ideas into a framework anyone, anywhere can use to lead others to success.

'Pat Croce Pointers'
Using examples from his experiences as a business leader and public figure to dramatize the lessons he imparts, Croce communicates valuable business truths in as few words as are necessary to take leaders to the next level of success. Throughout Lead or Get Off the Pot!, he uses dozens of "Pat Croce Pointers" — brief yet eloquent sidebars that sum up the book's leadership principles — to express the crux of his ideas. These pointers include:

  • One of the most crucial promises a leader makes, whether she knows it or not, is that she'll consistently rise above the bar that she herself sets.
  • What's worse than making a mistake is not admitting it and correcting it.
  • The leader must be fully aware of the goals, roles and tolls that affect each member of the staff. Knowing these things will lead to proper action, and effective interaction.
  • Customer service can be boiled down to two words: Listen and React - with action!


Croce's book overflows with advice that can make the job of being an effective leader, or becoming one, easier. Simple yet relevant tips include how to remember somebody's name, how not to treat customers, how to inspire a creative team of staff members, how to lead while practicing the Golden Rule, and how to celebrate successes, both big and small.

Inside Sports and Business
Croce illustrates his lessons with many stories about his own experiences inside the world of sports and business. From the touching story of a boy and his family who were deeply moved by Croce's telephone call after the child underwent brain surgery, to the valuable lessons about customer service learned by Croce and his business partner while the two went on a shopping spree for their employees, the stories contained here illustrate Croce's remarkable ability to turn stories from his exceptional life into timeless leadership lessons about listening, restraint, respect, curiosity, honesty and trust. His success, insightful wisdom and positive attitude provide the right mix to make his practical lessons about improving workplace, community and personal life hard to ignore.

Why We Like This Book
Lead or Get Off the Pot! is written in such a compelling, conversational tone that the lessons Croce imparts come to the reader as if they were imparted by a close personal friend or mentor. By offering up his experiences and knowledge in an accessible way, Croce provides his readers with memorable milestones with which they can better guide their own personal journeys into a full life of fulfillment and leadership. Copyright © 2004 Soundview Executive Book Summaries

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780743246811
  • Publisher: Touchstone
  • Publication date: 5/4/2004
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.88 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Meet the Author

Pat Croce is a minority partner of the Philadelphia 76ers, founder of Sports Physical Therapists, Inc., in-studio commentator and venture partner of Slamball, NBC commentator for the 2004 Summer Olympic Games, columnist for Fortune Small Business magazine, creator of Pirate Soul Museum in Key West, and a knock-your-socks-off motivational speaker. He and his wife, Diane, have two children and reside in suburban Philadelphia.
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Read an Excerpt

Lead or Get Off the Pot!

The Seven Secrets of a Self-Made Leader
By Croce, Pat

Fireside Books

Copyright © 2004 Croce, Pat
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0743246810

Introduction


In everyone's life, there are major influences and defining events that help shape who -- and what -- you are.

A pivotal moment in my life happened on a typical Sunday afternoon when I was a boy. My mother returned from church and was beaming -- not so much because of the weekly mass, but because of something that happened afterward.

As my mother made her way outside, a lady tapped her on the shoulder and asked, "Are you Mrs. Croce?" My mom answered, "Yes." The lady said that "Mr. Croce" used to be her insurance man, and explained how his generosity of spirit gave her sustenance, support, and most of all, hope, in her darkest hour. In those days, my dad would travel from door to door to collect his customers' insurance payments. Premiums were pretty low then, yet this lady found it difficult to keep up payments when her husband contracted a terminal illness that dragged on for months. After all corners had been cut, she decided to stop paying the insurance premiums. Following her husband's death, she was shocked to receive an insurance cash settlement; after all, she knew that the policy should have been canceled. Then she learned from the insurance company that my dad had continued to make the premium payments -- and even triggered the payment of death benefits -- without telling her. Instead of facing her twilight years not only alone, but completely broke, she would have the resources to live her final days with dignity and some measure of comfort.

Who knows why my dad did it? When my mom told us the story later that day, my dad just smiled and shrugged it off.

I may not have understood at the time, but my father's actions, in retrospect, taught me the most important lesson I've learned: You make a living by what you get, but you make a life by what you give.

We will never know the final tally of random acts of kindness performed by my father in his lifetime. But I do know this: in every way, by word and by deed, the original Pat Croce was a leader. I have tried mightily to follow in his footsteps, and in the process discovered much of what I know about leadership.

Leadership is not about getting the money or the fame or the accolades or the status. It is not about one person making decisions and giving orders from a lofty perch, pulpit, or vacuum. Leadership is not possible without a leader who genuinely cares about the cause and those behind it. Leadership is not a dictatorship, but a fellowship.

Leadership is about compassion, and hard work, and dedication, and tireless enthusiasm for what you're doing and for the people you're doing it with. A leader challenges and mediates and motivates and communicates and inspires. Sometimes with a shout, sometimes with a whisper.

And always by example.

Ironically, the month my father died, in 1993, I was putting the finishing touches on the deal to sell my Sports Physical Therapists franchise, marking the earnest beginning of my journey as a speaker and motivator. (Of course, becoming minority owner and president of the Philadelphia 76ers was on the horizon, too, though no one knew it at the time.) All of the theories and practices and ethics and ethos that I would begin to advocate with massive adrenaline had started with my father. And though he would not be there to witness the next stage of my life, his guidance and exemplary, seamless leadership would be put to great use.

I have always believed that if I can do it, so can you. And I am not afraid to tell you so. Now, in Lead or Get Off the Pot!, I lay out all of the concepts and systems and skill sets, as well as the overall philosophy of leadership, that I've used from the training room to the boardroom and beyond. Some of these I got from my dad. Some I learned from the many books I've read and other influences that I cherish (you'll see that I have a tendency to refer to these things often, and with great passion). And some I learned from experience -- questioning, listening, reacting, erring, learning, challenging, and always growing.

These skills and this mind-set apply everywhere, from the playground to the office of the CEO, because the laws of leadership are universal. They apply to every circumstance, grade school through retirement home. And they work for everyone, from the quiet and meek to the loud and sleek. You don't have to be the top dog to stir up the pack; every dog can have his day -- every day. And every man or woman, boy or girl, can develop the qualities that make a great leader, whether you're rubbing elbows with the titans of industry or the common man.

I see leadership as a bold and daring adventure, and I challenge you to attack it in the same way that I do. You don't have to tattoo a pirate ship on your forearm (like me) to express your insatiable desire to set out and conquer. But I do urge you to take every chance you can to get on the ship! Every day offers an opportunity to lead; it's up to you to grab the wheel with both hands and steer your journey toward that glittering treasure chest of dreams.

It is my hope and intent that this book will enable you to become a leader -- or to become a better leader -- no matter in what venture, situation, or station in life you find yourself.

Copyright © 2004 by Pat Croce

(Continues...)


Excerpted from Lead or Get Off the Pot! by Croce, Pat Copyright © 2004 by Croce, Pat. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Foreword xiii
Introduction xix
1 Paint the Vision in Vivid Colors 1
The Vision Quest 4
The Vision Keeper 8
Write It Down ... Please! 13
The Vision Breakdown 17
Whose Choice Is It Anyway? 20
Oh No! The Fred Incident 22
76ers Vision Breakdown 24
2 Build a Passionate Team 30
Triple A: Attitude, Assets, and Ambition 32
Delegation Built a Nation of Forty 43
Slogans Don't Guarantee Success 46
What About Chaplain Bob? 48
Goals, Roles, and Tolls 51
R and R on the Rocks 53
Team Building's Dirty Dozen 58
3 Preach the Mission ... from Every Mountaintop 62
An Equilateral Attack 63
The Strongest Muscle 66
A Leathery Negotiation 69
I Found Six Cs in Communication 73
The Meat of the Message 75
Lights, Camera, Action! 78
The 93 Percent Rule 80
A Cigar, a Top Hat, and a Silver Tongue 84
4 Walk the Talk 87
Me, Myself, and Integrity 88
"Trust Me" or "Screw You"? 99
Influence or Influenza 103
Inspiration in a Habit 107
Intensity Sets the Vision on Fire 111
Insomnia Is Not in My Dreams 115
5 Listen with a Leader's Eye 120
Listening Between the Lines 121
Keep Your Attention on Your Intention 125
Presence with Presents 129
The Ladder of Flattery 132
That's a Slammin' Idea! 134
Keep Your Finger on the Pulse 136
The Daffodil Principle 139
6 Slay Them with Super Service 143
The Golden Rule 143
The Ten Commandments of Service 146
A Hole in One! 162
Short Circuit to Success 164
One-of-a-Kind Special Delivery 167
Lifters and Leaners 170
7 Celebrate the Journey 172
Celebration Education 174
Sharing in Others' Success 184
A Cause to Celebrate 186
Atlantic City or Bust 191
Conclusion 195
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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2005

    Real live advise and examples

    I have read many books with business practices, but this is the best. Pat gives examples of everything from failures to success. Simple and easy to understand advise on how to improve your leadership style, interface with your staff and most important, how to develop into a great leader. I have read this book twice and still find powerful advise. This should be a textbook in every business 202 class. This is a true insight on how he makes decisions with real examples. THIS IS A MUST!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2004

    Highly Recommended!

    This book by former Philadelphia 76ers president Pat Croce doesn't break any new theoretical ground about leadership, but Croce makes the heavy lifting required of exceptional leaders look and sound attainable. Good leaders, Croce says, should be servants, not dictators. His fast-paced, motivational primer is an entertaining, anecdote-filled, step-by-step guide for starting and leading change, complete with no-nonsense tips and salty, locker-room exhortations ('If you rest, you rust,' 'Don't let your thinkin' become stinkin'' and several that are less printable). Particularly compelling are Croce's homespun tales about the boyhood lessons he picked up on the mean streets of north Philadelphia. His local heroes include a Catholic nun who turned a dream into a homeless shelter and his father, 'the original Pat Croce,' who taught his son how to out-negotiate a hustler for a great deal on a leather coat ¿ but to do it with integrity. Croce dispenses advice in a series of to-do lists peppered throughout the book, including 'Twelve Ways to Build a Passionate Team,' 'Croce's Three Rules for Praise;' the 'Six C's of Communication;' the 'Ten Commandments of Service' and more. We recommend this book as a lively and colorful read, and a worthwhile reminder that good leaders are made ¿ not born. They are reflected by the teams they create and the values they live by day to day.

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