Our guest this week is Mike Fairman.  After a distinguished career as an athlete at West Point and a platoon leader in the US Army, Mike has steadily climbed the ranks in the scouting community, and now works as a national scout and adviser for the Florida Panthers organization—traversing the country in search of the right talent and culture fits for his franchise.

In another long and topic-rich conversation, David talks with Mike about the evaluation process of a professional scout—from leadership, culture, and sports diversity, to the importance of being one’s self.

“I wish athletes had more knowledge about how hard work and culture trump talent.  Too many kids get to this point where they don’t feel like they have enough talent, and they quit.  They’re afraid to fail.  But if they just kept going, they might have a breakthrough.”

– Mike Fairman

Episode Highlights:

– Evaluating character and athletic potential

– Growth mindset in athletic development

– Citizenship and team culture

– Leadership behaviors

– The importance of self efficacy

– Finding culture fits

– Leadership styles

– Interviewing players who’ve been prepped for the scouting process

– Hard work and performance improvement

– Leadership behaviors

– Behaviors associated with a growth mindset

– Character or talent?

– Difficulties associated with a fixed mindset

– Leadership and performance

– Sport diversity and the importance of expanding your range

– Heart and passion