Calling All Leaders!

by  David Dye  |  Self Leadership

I Don’t Care

I’m sure it’s happened to you.

It happens to all of us…you hear the words coming out of your mouth and before you finish the sentence, you realize you’re saying something an adult told you when you were a child. Something you haven’t uttered in decades.

When I was eight-years-old, I joined a youth soccer team. When the coach asked me what position I wanted to play, I said, “Goalie.”

My reasoning was that the goal-keeper didn’t have to run. It’s probably not a surprise that I didn’t last very long in that position.

The next year, Coach Tom moved me to defender. I had to anticipate where the ball was going and run to cut off the next pass or shot.

After a game where I failed to get myself in position, Coach Tom pulled me aside.

“David, you need to see where the ball is going and -“

“I know, Coach!” I interrupted, “You gotta see the angle and block it off.”

Coach Tom looked at me, took a deep breath, and said, “David, I don’t care what you know. I care what you do with what you know.”

I don’t care what you know. I care what you do with what you know. -Coach Tom

Many years later, I was an assistant coach for my daughter’s basketball team and it was my job to help the girls with their layups.

I pulled aside my daughter’s friend after she continued to struggle with her off-hand.

“When you go up with your left hand, you -“

“I know, I know!” she said.

I took a deep breath, smiled at my daughters friend, and before I knew what was happening, Coach Tom’s words tumbled from my mouth.

What Do You Know?

If you’re reading this post, congratulations!

Unlike many leaders, you’re taking time to invest in your own growth.

You live at an amazing time in history. You have access to more leadership wisdom than anyone who’s ever been alive before you!

And yet…

Depending on the research you read, employees are still disengaged, people continue to struggle with each other rather than their mission, and hardly a day goes by where you don’t hear a report on the consequences of poor leadership in politics, business, or even faith communities.

Clearly, there is a great need for leaders, not just to know more, but to do what they know.

Tiny Revolutions

A quick glance at the last ten posts on the Lead Change Group will give you plenty of ideas for inspired action.

Imagine what would happen for your credibility and influence if you took just one of those ideas and mastered it over the next six months? Over the coming year?

Now, what if you committed to one specific inspired leadership action each month for ten years? What would you and your team accomplish together?

Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years. -Bill Gates

I bet you would amaze yourself!

This is more difficult than it might seem at first glance. After all, I teach leadership and employee engagement, but just last week I dropped the ball. I didn’t set clear expectations and the results were predictable. Confusion and disappointment.

We get distracted.

We forget.

Sometimes our frustrations get the better of us.

But we don’t stop there. We take responsibility. We make it right.

We keep going and we take someone on the journey with us.

That’s the leadership revolution…one small step. One leadership moment. One leader at a time.

Your Turn

What will you do with what you know?

Leave us a comment: What one inspired leadership action will you commit to for the next 30 days?

I’ll go first: I commit to clarity with my team and not assuming they can read my mind!

How about you?

Take care,


Creative Commons Photo by Joel_47

What’s Next? Please leave a comment below to join the conversation…

About The Author

Articles By david-dye
I work with leaders who want to build teams that care and get more done with fewer headaches.  »  View Profile

What People Are Saying

Carey  |  17 Apr 2014  |  Reply

Do one thing, every day, no matter how small, to move toward my goals.

David M. Dye  |  17 Apr 2014  |  Reply

Love it, Carey! One thing, every day will change the world :)

Daneena Dixon  |  17 Apr 2014  |  Reply

Great post! As a leader I too find myself repeating the words of wisdom from my own training in leadership! My favorites are ‘be the change you want to inspire in others, you can only control you’, and ‘naked people cannot offer you clothes’. Both from respected mentors in my life. I’ll take you up on the leadership challenge with a commitment to stay engaged for the long haul, realizing that everyone has a different learning style and rides a different curve. Thanks for the inspiration!

David M. Dye  |  17 Apr 2014  |  Reply


That’s a new one for me: naked people cannot offer you clothes. What a great sentiment. Your commitment to be aware of people’s individual journeys is powerful. Thank you!

Anna Bernstein  |  17 Apr 2014  |  Reply

Hi David,

I commit to using my Google calendar to book time for personal study and growth.

Thanks for a great article! I look forward to reading future posts. Anna

David M. Dye  |  17 Apr 2014  |  Reply


I respect your focus on developing yourself. I know from my own experience how difficult it can be to care for and invest in you. Critical to sustaining leadership over time, but takes discipline. Kudos!

Londell  |  18 Apr 2014  |  Reply

I will continue to understand I am a work in progress and I will never reach perfection because that does not exist. I will honor, acknowledge, and celebrate my faults just as I learn from them. I will allow myself to be human.

David M. Dye  |  18 Apr 2014  |  Reply

Londell, what a positive and uplifting commitment!

Progress, not perfection…

Be well,


Mike Henry  |  20 Apr 2014  |  Reply

When I’m working, I will focus on doing the best of what I can. When I’m not working, I will stop focusing on what I need to do. Today’s Easter Sunday. What I do must be enough. Thanks for the great post David. Much appreciated.

David M. Dye  |  20 Apr 2014  |  Reply


What a vital exercise for all of us. This is one of my 2014 actions – to not work when I’m not working. Easier said than done. I’ve been surprised just how much discipline it takes to not work. (And consequently surprised at how my productivity increases when I am working.)

Thanks for the reminder – this was an important day to keep that commitment!

Take care,


Mary Claire Farnell  |  23 Apr 2014  |  Reply

I love this article. It’s loaded with insights so often neglected, but still holds very true. ” I don’t care what you know. I care what you do with what you know” – this lines is a spot on. Most of the time, yes we know, but fail to act on what we know. It maybe because it’s not the normal thing to do, or when we act, we go against the current and run the risk of being an “outcast”. How many times have we caught ourselves in a dilemma, over a decision that we know is the right thing to do, but will we know that some of our colleagues will be badly affected by that decision. Have you stood for what you know is right? Or fail to cause action , because we are afraid to be criticized.? Today I resolve to stand by what is right, no matter what the costs are.

David M. Dye  |  28 Apr 2014  |  Reply

Wow, Mary – great commitment. One I know challenges all of us to do the same.

I appreciate you’re highlighting how much we really do know!

Take care,


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