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The Hard Hat: 21 Ways to Be a Great Teammate

Jon Gordon, Jeremy Schaap (Foreword by)
ISBN: 978-1-119-12011-7
128 pages
May 2015
The Hard Hat: 21 Ways to Be a Great Teammate (111912011X) cover image


Great teammates don’t just impact you today; they impact you for the rest of your life.

From the moment Jon Gordon heard about George Boiardi and the Hard Hat he was intrigued and captivated. Over the years he visited George’s coaches, attended several “21 Dinners” held in his honor, met his family, talked to his teammates and observed how he inspired all who knew him.

The Hard Hat is an unforgettable true story about a selfless, loyal, joyful, hard-working, competitive, and compassionate leader and teammate, the impact he had on his team and program and the lessons we can learn from him.

The book features:

  • A True Story about George Boiardi, his Team and their Legacy.
  • 21 Lessons to be a Great Teammate
  • Insights from George’s Teammates and Coaches that Bring the Lessons to Life.
  • 21 Exercises to help you Build a Great Team 

Infused with practical insights and life changing lessons, The Hard Hat will inspire you to be the best teammate you can be and to build a great team.

*100% of author’s royalties go to support the Mario St. George Boiardi Foundation

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Table of Contents

Foreword by Jeremy Schaap ix

Author’s Note xiii

Part One The Hard Hat 1

Chapter 1 Unforgettable 3

Chapter 2 We Know Who Our People Are 5

Chapter 3 The Hard Hat 7

Part Two George (Narrated by Coach Jeff Tambroni) 9

Chapter 4 Mario St. George Boiardi 11

Chapter 5 Well Done Is Better than Well Said 13

Chapter 6 Chosen 15

Chapter 7 Selfless Leadership 17

Chapter 8 A Difference Maker 21

Chapter 9 The Heart of a Leader 25

Chapter 10 A Mother’s Touch 27

Chapter 11 A Defining Moment 29

Chapter 12 The Spirit of a Team 33

Part Three How to Be a Great Teammate 37

Chapter 13 George’s House 39

Chapter 14 Learning from George 43

Chapter 15 21 Ways to Be a Great Teammate 47

1. Sweat More 48

2. Remember WD > WS 49

3. Choose to Be Humble and Hungry 50

4. Pursue Excellence 51

5. Share Positive Contagious Energy 52

6. Don’t Complain 54

7. Do It for Your Team, Not for Applause 55

8. Show You Are Committed 56

9. Never Take a Play Off 57

10. Hold Yourself and Your Team Accountable 58

11. Treat Everyone with Respect and Expect Everyone to Do the Same 60

12. Give All and Take Nothing 61

13. Communicate 62

14. Connect 63

15. Become a “Come with Me” Teammate 64

16. Practice Selfless Compassion 65

17. Show You Care 66

18. Be a Loyal Friend 68

19. Love Your Team 69

20. Sacrifice 70

21. Leave the Place Better than You Found It 72

Chapter 16 21: A Way of Life (Narrated by Rob Pannell) 75

Part Four Legacy 77

Chapter 17 Great Teammates Impact You Forever 79

Chapter 18 Live and Lead Like George 81

Chapter 19 What Would George Do? 87

Chapter 20 A Hall of Fame Legacy 89

Chapter 21 21 Exercises to Build a Great Team 91

Afterword 97

The Mario St. George Boiardi Foundation 101

Photos 103

Become A Great Teammate 111

Build Your Best Team 112

Other Books by Jon Gordon 113

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Author Information

JON GORDON is the author of numerous bestselling books and his inspirational talks have inspired audiences around the world. His principles have been put to the test by countless Fortune 500 companies, school districts, hospitals, sports teams, and nonprofits. Jon invites you to visit and connect with him at JonGordon.com or on Twitter @JonGordon11.

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Press Release

May 05, 2015
Jon Gordon’s New Book Shares the Life and Legacy of a True Teammate, George Boiardi

George Boiardi was a 22 year old star Lacrosse player at Cornell University. In 2004 this wonderful young man died on the field after a ball hit him in the chest. It was a devastating blow to the family, team and entire lacrosse community but instead of giving up on their season or playing to "win" for George the coaches and team decided to play to honor George and play the game the way he played it. Wins and losses were secondary. Carrying on George's legacy was paramount. What followed was a miraculous season of dramatic wins and the healing of a group of young man who lost their captain and leader. 

The "Hard Hat" usually worn by construction workers was a symbol Coach Jeff Tambroni and Cornell lacrosse used to instill blue collar values and hard work in his team. Each year a freshman was selected to carry the Hard Hat for a year. As a freshman George Boiardi was the player selected to carry the hard hat. After his death in 2004 George's number was placed on the hard hat and it came to symbolize more than an idea. 

The hard hat came to represent George and the kind of person and player every Cornell lacrosse freshman strived to be. It came to embody the spirit of Cornell Big Red Lacrosse and this spirit of a hard working selfless team. George's impact on his team was so great that to this day his attitude, effort and spirit are still talked about daily in the Cornell locker room and on the field. His teammates 11 years later still live their lives with his giving spirit in mind. 

The Hard Hat is an unforgettable true story about a selfless, loyal, joyful, hard-working, competitive, and compassionate leader and teammate, the impact he had on his team and program and the lessons we can learn from him. Infused with practical insights and life changing lessons, The Hard Hat will inspire readers to be the best teammate they can be and to build a great team, including: 

• A True Story about George Boiardi, his Team and their Legacy.

• 21 Lessons to be a Great Teammate Including

    o Why “well done” is always better than “well said”

    o Humble and hungry are a powerful combination

    o Stay positive and share that positive energy with others

    o Be willing to give of yourself for the greater good of the team 

    o Do it for your team, not for the applause

• Insights from George’s teammates and coaches that bring the lessons to life.

• 21 Exercises to help build a great team 

“George showed up on and off the field every day of his short life and his legacy lives on through so many people impacted by his example,” Jon adds. “Ever since George, the hard hat reminds me to do everything I can to be a great teammate. George embodied everything the hard hat stood for, and now the hard hat embodies the teammate and person George was.”

100% of the author’s royalties go to support the Mario St. George Boiardi Foundation. Please visit boiardifoundation.org to learn more.

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