Available Today, If Gold Is Our Destiny Shares the Journey of How the 1980s U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team Overcame Significant Obstacles to Become the Best in the World

Seattle, WA (Newsworthy.ai) Wednesday Jul 13, 2022 @ 5:00 AM Pacific —

SEATTLE, July 13, 2022 – Launched today, If Gold Is Our Destiny: How a Team of
Mavericks Came Together for Olympic Glory,
by leadership training and organizational
development thought leader Sean Murray, is the true story of how a group of
talented volleyball players learned to overcome their differences, become a
team, and ultimately changed the sport of volleyball forever. Published by
Rowman and Littlefield, If Gold Is Our
Destiny
features original interviews with players, coaches, and staff,
along with a foreword by three-time gold medal champion Karch Kiraly. It is
available on Amazon and other leading retailers.

“Up until 1984,
the U.S. Men’s Volleyball Teams had never medaled in a major international
tournament. While the players excelled at volleyball, they struggled to work
together effectively. Team dynamics were fragile, the players lacked trust in
and respect for one another, and significant work was needed,” said Murray,
co-founder and president of RealTime Performance. “So, the coaches and team
psychologists took risks with unconventional team building activities,
implemented creative teamwork, and built a culture of excellence. Trust and
respect grew, and the team rose to new levels – eventually achieving Olympic
gold. Readers of If Gold Is Our Destiny will
see how extraordinary things happen when individuals believe and trust in one
another and commit themselves to a shared purpose. The lessons shared in this
book can help anyone achieve success.”

Virtual Launch Party

The virtual
launch party for If Gold Is Our Destiny is
today at 1 p.m. ET. In
addition to covering the core concepts in the book, this event will feature
special guests, including Bill Neville, Assistant Head Coach of the 1984
Olympic Gold Medal Volleyball Team, as well
as Aldis Berzins,
Member of the 1984 Team and Head Men’s Volleyball Coach at Stevenson
University. Launch party attendees will have the chance to win free “Gold
is My Destiny” branded journals and ask questions of the author.
Interested participants can sign up here: https://tinyurl.com/mr2jpytj.

Book Overview

In If Gold Is Our Destiny, readers will see
that the 1980s U.S. Men’s Volleyball Team was a group of free-spirited players
who were unable to get along or respect each other on and off the court. For
more than a year, both coaches and team psychologists discussed the idea that a
significant life experience outside of volleyball would bring the team together.
In an unfamiliar environment, they would be forced to beat the odds by working
together to achieve a common goal.

The answer,
mandated by head coach Doug Beal in 1983, was a controversial three-week
Outward Bound winter hike across one hundred miles in Utah. The team climbed
11,000-foot peaks and carried 70-pound packs, all while surrounded by a
landscape of snow, mountains, and trees in every direction. In the wilderness
the players were reliant on each other for survival. The plan worked, as
players began looking out for one another, opening up about their individual
positions’ pressure and stress, and admitting that a pecking order had emerged
based on playing time and everyone’s contribution to the team. During those
three weeks, egos were set aside and a path forward was recognized. The team
learned how to collaborate, trust, and respect each other. Their resiliency
increased.

Soon after the
trip, the men used their newfound trust to implement an innovative approach to
volleyball that changed not only their success on the court but the sport
itself. By 1984, the team’s collaboration reached new heights, and they competed
in the Olympics – easily winning against Brazil in three sets. The team then
went on to win the 1985 World Cup, the 1986 World Championships, and a second
consecutive gold medal at the 1988 Olympics.

In If Gold Is Our Destiny, Murray shares
the story of effective leadership in action, and reveals how important it is
for everyone to have a role – no matter how big or small. He includes examples
of when extremely talented team members, if unwilling to make sacrifices and
place the success of the team above themselves, must leave because the team is
stronger without them. Murray uses the journey of the 1984 gold-winning team to
highlight the importance of resilience, and the difference it can make when
team members look out for one another, listening to others’ ideas as part of
the process. If Gold Is Our Destiny is
a real-life example of how risk-taking and creative teamwork can transform any
environment, from the volleyball court to the boardroom.

About Sean Murray

Sean Murray is the founder and president of RealTime
Performance, a leadership training and organization development firm based in
Seattle, Washington. He creates and delivers learning experiences for clients,
including courses on Leadership, Decision Making, Business Acumen, Time Management,
Well-Being, and Leading in the Age of AI. Sean
is also the host of a weekly podcast called The
Good Life
, where he interviews authors and business professionals on
leadership and how to get the most out of life. He writes regularly for his
blog, RealTime Performance, and
publishes a bi-weekly newsletter, “Murray on Leadership.” He
co-authored the book, The 5A’s Framework:
Getting More from Your Investment in Training.

Sean’s father,
Don Murray, was a pioneer in leadership and organizational development who
worked with the U.S. Men’s Volleyball 1984 Olympic gold-winning team. Sean’s
interest in his father’s stories about the team (even attending their matches
as a 13-year-old at the 1984 Olympics) drove him to research the team’s road to
success. He chronicled their struggles and triumphs in If Gold Is Our Destiny: How a Team of Mavericks Came Together for Olympic
Glory
, published by Rowman and Littlefield. Sean is the first author to
provide an in-depth look at the team’s evolution from the early 1980s through
the Olympics, and its groundbreaking team-building approach and lessons learned
along the way.

Previously, Sean worked for GE Capital at the Center for
Learning & Organizational Excellence. Sean began his career in sales and
marketing for Quando, a Portland, Oregon-based
start-up providing event information online. Sean received his MBA from the
University of Oregon and a B.A. in Mathematics from the University of Puget
Sound.

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