Stick Together
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Stick Together

A Simple Lesson to Build a Stronger Team

Jon Gordon, Kate Leavell

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eBook - ePub

Stick Together

A Simple Lesson to Build a Stronger Team

Jon Gordon, Kate Leavell

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About This Book

Build a stronger team with this illustrated fable From bestselling author Jon Gordon and coauthor Kate Leavell, Stick Together delivers a crucial message about the power of belief, ownership, connection, love, inclusion, consistency, and hope. The authors guide individuals and teams on an inspiring journey to show them how to persevere through challenges, overcome obstacles, and create success together.

Stick Together follows Coach David, a high school basketball coach looking to motivate his team for the new season. The team members are given sticks with words written on them and tasked with a number of missions:

  • To find another player with the same word written on their stick
  • To explain why that word is important for a team to be their best
  • To render their sticks unbreakable

As the players work together to complete their tasks, they discover how to make their team stronger and create an unbreakable bond. Perfect for student athletes and teams in all industries including business, education, healthcare, and nonprofit, and for readers of all ages, Stick Together will resonate with anyone looking to improve their team performance and excel in a group environment.

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Chapter One
Falling Short

Schematic illustration of an alarm clock placed next to a bed.
Coach David tossed and turned as he tried to sleep the night before the first day of basketball season. As a new coach last year, with some of the best players in the state, he was haunted by the fact that the team had failed to live up to their potential.
He thought anxiously about how he could get his players to come together this year. He felt like he had let everyone down, because he had the best athletes and yet they weren't successful as a team. They didn't trust each other. They argued. They were negative on the court, and they didn't communicate or share the ball well.
Schematic illustration of the basketball placed on a table.
Schematic illustration of the milk packet and a mug full of milk labeled Coach David.
At 2 a.m. he hopped out of bed and started pacing around the kitchen. He tried drinking warm milk and snuggling with his dog Joey on the couch, but nothing helped to calm his nerves.
“OUCH!” he yelled as he jumped up from the couch. Something had poked him from under the seat cushion, so he reached down to see what it was. He pulled out a stick Joey must have buried there. It was just one of many presents Joey liked to hide around the house. He gave Joey a look of loving disapproval as he rubbed his leg.
Schematic illustration of dog Joey on the couch and a man looking at the dog.
Schematic illustration of the scoreboard on a wall.
Suddenly, he remembered something his mother had told him at the end of last season when she was in town to watch their dreadful playoff game. Despite being predicted to win the championship, they lost in the first round. He was so embarrassed.
One thing she had said really stood out in his memory. She said his team reminded her of an old fable about broken sticks. He had been too disappointed at the time to listen and ask her what she meant, and he was regretting that now. His mom always had great advice, but he wasn't always the best at listening. She had passed away over the summer and he was missing her advice more than ever.
Schematic illustration of the book labeled Fables.
Schematic illustration of the man tying in fables about sticks in the phone that has internet access.
On a hunch, he jumped up and grabbed his phone for a quick internet search. He typed in “fables about sticks.” He started scrolling through the results until he found it: Aesop's fable about the sticks.
This is it, he thought to himself. He looked at Joey, whose couch burying habit had sparked this idea and shouted, “JOEY, YOU'RE THE SMARTEST DOG ALIVE!” Joey, who already knew he was brilliant, yawned and snuggled in closer.
Schematic illustration of the dog Joey on a couch with the man.
Coach David jumped up, and Joey, who was always up for an adventure no matter what time of day, jumped up and circled him, ready for action.
In the middle of the night, with Joey and his phone flashlight, Coach David crawled around his backyard woods on all fours, looking for sticks to bring to the first day of practice. Joey was happy to assist.
Schematic illustration of the phone flashlight in the night.
Schematic illustration of the hand holding the sticks.
Excitement had taken the place of anxiety and he felt a ray of hope shining in his heart. For the first time, he felt like he had something to guide them that would be much bigger than stats, streaks, or playoffs. He had something meaningful that would give this team a stronger connection and a greater purpose.

Table of contents

Citation styles for Stick Together
APA 6 Citation
Gordon, J., & Leavell, K. (2021). Stick Together (1st ed.). Wiley. Retrieved from (Original work published 2021)
Chicago Citation
Gordon, Jon, and Kate Leavell. (2021) 2021. Stick Together. 1st ed. Wiley.
Harvard Citation
Gordon, J. and Leavell, K. (2021) Stick Together. 1st edn. Wiley. Available at: (Accessed: 15 October 2022).
MLA 7 Citation
Gordon, Jon, and Kate Leavell. Stick Together. 1st ed. Wiley, 2021. Web. 15 Oct. 2022.