How does your purpose inspire you to be the leader you want to follow? How can “playing offense” transform you from a manager into a leader, a dreamer into a doer, and your defensive decisions into offensive power plays?
In his new book The Power of Playing Offense: A Leader’s Playbook for Personal and Team Transformation, Paul Epstein shares the connection between purpose and action and describes the five pillars he believes enables leaders to create positive impact: Live with Championship Purpose, Be the Storm Chaser, Salute the Long Snapper, Embody Gold Jacket Culture, and Leave It Better Than You Found It.
In today’s post I’m thrilled to offer you not only my interview with Paul, but also an opportunity to win signed copies of both of our books!
Paul and I met in 2017 when he was living in the San Francisco Bay Area. We met up for a coffee to explore collaboration together — at the time he was a trainer and consultant for Chapman & Co. Leadership Institute — and it was clear that we were aligned not only in our high energy but also our shared passion about living with purpose and intention.
Over the following two years, Paul generously accepted my invitation to lead two different leadership development sessions for the local Consortium that I run in the San Francisco Bay Area with the Association for Manufacturing Excellence.
In both sessions, I was inspired by Paul’s approach to leadership and coaching — honed through years of working in professional sports and leadership consulting — and his clear, inspirational “why” message grounded in purpose and action.
I’m thrilled for the release his new bestselling book The Power of Playing Offense and for the opportunity to share our recent conversation together with you.
Without further ado, check out our interview!
See below for a list of the questions and time stamps if you wish to jump to specific topics.
Here are my 6 questions to Paul– watch the video for the answers!
- Writing a book in the best of times is a massive undertaking, and even more so in a pandemic. What inspired you to write this book? – 1:14
- Discovering one’s “why” often is a journey. How do you describe your why? And what is one step that someone can take to get more clear on their own why? – 3:58
- Your framework of the 5 pillars of playing offense — Leading Self, Leading Others, Leading the Future — resonates with me. What have you observed in the place most leaders get stuck in moving towards the next level? – 7:02
- You have a ton of great resources and information in the book and on your website. What is one of your top recommendations for people to “start playing offense” on Monday morning? – 10:06
- What has been one of your biggest growth opportunities personally as a leader or coach? – 12:20
- What was something that you unexpected that you learned through the process of writing the book? – 15:08
- What is a question that you haven’t been asked about the book — either here or in other interviews — that you would like to address? What is the question and what is your response? – 17:52
Some highlighted quotes from the interview:
4:35 “Playing offense means to me is somebody that lives with purpose. Somebody that has intent in every single one of their actions they step into each day with clarity and conviction because they are being true to their purpose.”
8:28 “Think of the greatest leader that you’ve ever had in any walk of life — it can be in business or it can be a parent, a coach, a teacher…. Why did you just think of them? How did they show up every day? How did they act, behave, make decisions? … My definition of a leader is that it’s a trainable set of behaviors. As you think of that one leader that has impacted you the most … how do show up every day with those same behaviors?”
12:31 “My biggest growth opportunity was having the courage and the vulnerability to admit that I sold out at one point because I prioritized corporate goals over people…. In my heart cared but my actions didn’t display it.”
Congratulations to the winners of the book giveaway, The Power of Playing Offense & Learning to Lead, Leading to Learn, that Paul and I ran in June 2, 2021.
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