How Do You Create a Culture of Excellence with Colin Cerniglia

Individuals have the power to influence entire organizations. That’s why it’s critical for leaders, coaches, players, and coworkers to invest in personal development and making connections in order to have successful outcomes. This week, Colin Cerniglia, CEO and founder of the Talent 409 Leadership Academy, talks about building a culture of excellence in sports, business, and life, and why digging deeper than surface level is a key component.

He draws many of his stories from the cultural shifts of the New York Yankees. Cerniglia has long been a fan of the team, but became interested in the Yankees’ team dynamics and how they’ve changed over time. He explores that history in his new book, which shows that the example set by team leaders can have a profound effect on everyone and on the way the group works together to achieve their goals.

Key Moments You Don’t Want to Miss:

  1. A Conversational Spark How recruitment talks with entry-level hopefuls spurred Colin Cerniglia to start a leadership academy, which now works predominantly with women
  2. Building Bridges How the “entitlement” buzzword can hint at missed opportunities for intergenerational connection
  3. Culture Change Why Cerniglia decided to write a book on the Yankees and what he learned from it about building a culture of excellence
  4. Under the Surface How deeper connections among teammates and coworkers can help them invest in each other’s development

What You’ll Learn:

  • Translate your strengths into marketable skills
  • Set the tone of your organization thoughtfully
  • Dig deeper to understand your team or players
  • Strive to go beyond surface level
  • Focus on personal development


“It’s one thing to be a coach and be able to teach skills and make up plays and those types of things, but if you’re struggling to connect with somebody for one reason or another, it’s another thing entirely to be able to dive a little bit deeper into that and take the time to uncover what may be going on.” -Colin Cerniglia

“As a society, we have to be better than surface level. It is way too easy to put up the good post on social media and pretend life is all rainbow and sunshine. … You have to be able to dive deeper and to understand everybody a little bit more. It doesn’t mean you need to be best friends with everybody on the team, but you need to be able to have deeper conversations.” -Colin Cerniglia

“We vastly underestimate the power of the word and what we can say to someone else and how we can build someone else up. … A lot of times, we forget the power of us speaking life into others and the importance of finding those people to encourage you, to challenge you, to really hold you accountable and you, them.” -Jake Thompson


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Episode 224