Shirts & Skins

Teaming up for success, in business and in life
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SHIRTS & SKINS tells the story of Gregory R. (Greg) Nelson, Sr.’s entrepreneurial rise in the worldwide medical orthopedics industry. Interspersed throughout this motivational book are insightful Coaching Notes that serve as a business bible of DO’s (“Your first task as a leader should be to listen.”) and DON’Ts (“Vanilla is not a flavor. Be a flavor. Stand out!”).

We first meet Greg as the eldest of two young sons raised by a hard-working single mother in Carlsbad, California. His second home became the Carlsbad Boys Club. It was at the Club and on the basketball court where he honed the teamwork skills that would propel his career and life success.

The book title refers to pick-up basketball games still played by kids around the country. The players on one team wear SHIRTS. The players on the other go shirtless: SKINS. The winning team holds court and competes against the next group. From an early age, Greg understood that to win, being a good player was not enough; you had to surround yourself with a great team of players and coach them to succeed.

GregNelson_SpinsBallwithKidsGreg’s SHIRTS & SKINS strategy led to multiple business successes that he credits primarily to the teams he assembled and led. Time and again, Greg rose above what he calls “the floor burns of life” to excel.

In this retrospective, published in Fall 2015, the author shares the secrets of building a winning team. As he notes, “When you have a good plan and the right people, work hard and persevere, you give yourself an excellent chance to achieve your goals.”

Discover the secrets of Greg Nelson’s success, then build your own winning team!



Coaching Notes

Vanilla is not a flavor! It’s what you fall back on when you can’t make a choice. Be a flavor! Stand out!

Some people never learn to delegate and instead try to do everything themselves. You can accomplish so much more in life if you learn to work with and through others.

During some of my darkest hours of doubt about our business, I would ask myself, “What is the worst thing that can happen to us?” When you realize it is all about “stuff” and not about the people you love, business takes on a different priority.

A wise man told me once that sometimes a person’s criticism of what you are doing is actually a compliment for what you are accomplishing.

If you do what you say you would do when you said you would do it, people will learn to trust you and trust IN you. Credibility is without a doubt the foundation for leadership.

In times of trouble, you simply never give up. You. Never. Give. Up!

Capital needs for almost every business are always more than the figures stated in your initial business plan. Experience has taught me that, whatever your number is, add at least 50% more – you’ll need it!

Your reputation is what other people think you are. Your character is who you really are.

You learn more from your losses than from your wins.

You are never too old or experienced to learn new lessons in life.


Risk vs. Reward

In any business and on any team, there will be “no guts, no glory” moments. How important is the prize to you? Is the potential reward worth the risk? Ultimately, you cannot worry about what anyone else might think or say about you, as long as you follow your own convictions. Find your inner peace with God. Receive the love and respect of your children and spouse. I call that a win!