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  • Writer's pictureChuck Cusumano

Our Top 5 Thornisms

By Jillian Broaddus and Chuck Cusumano

If you didn’t already know, The Joshua Group has taken on a new, exciting, and different project in 2022. While the majority of what we do is to help you do what you do, better – through coaching, consulting, training, and speaking seminars – we also pride ourselves on being a team of storytellers. Whether this involves learning the “why” of your people and framing a narrative to motivate your team, or digging beneath the surface to find out what mechanisms are leading to success or failure, or even deducing your unique sales proposition to help create a marketing campaign, we believe stories are invaluable in forming relationships, executing in business, and succeeding in life.

However, our new storytelling venture is different than anything we’ve done before. The project was born out of knowing a man whose way of living was a story in and of itself – and one which needed to be told. It’s a story that has already touched the lives of thousands, and we hope will reach even further. It’s the story of Coach Bill Thorn!

We won’t spoil the ending now – (although, if you’d like to learn more about the project and be kept up-to-date on the book release, please visit – but we wanted to use this blog to discuss some of the key principles (“Thornisms”) ingrained in Coach’s legacy. And while there are many (you can find a full list, and submit your thoughts here), we wanted to showcase our top five:

“Hard work, over time, defeats talent – or takes talent to a higher level.”

When’s the last time you got truly uncomfortable? Whether exemplified through his 15-man football team outlasting squads of 50 in the fourth quarter, or through Coach Thorn’s dedication to being the only person to complete 53 Peachtree Road Races, perhaps the Thornism that most defines his life is this nod to the importance of discipline and resilience.

“Winners find a way.”

Whether we’re justifying to ourselves why an outcome didn’t go as planned, or putting off to tomorrow what could get done today, excuses seem to be rampant in our day-to-day lives. However, Coach Thorn – whether through running six miles at 91-years-old on a swollen ankle, or by setting up track hurdles in a Walmart parking lot when nothing else would work on a road trip – abides by the motto that “Winners find a way” and losers find excuses.

“If you think you are beaten, you are.”

Often, our mindset alone will dictate the outcome, as the detriment of negative thoughts proves as impactful as the power of positive thinking. So, give yourself the upper hand from the start – again, no excuses!

“Your teammates keep your opponents off your back.”

Who do you have in your corner? As Jim Rohn famously said, we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. So, who do you have as your support squad, advisors, companions, and – as Coach said – teammates through life? It might be time to re-evaluate your future by re-evaluating your surroundings!

“He who won’t be advised can’t be helped.”

In sports and in life, a willingness to be “coachable” underlies almost every great accomplishment. As Carol Dweck coined it, the highest achievers are those with growth – rather than fixed – mindsets. To piggy-back off the previous Thornism, “If you think you are beaten as good as you’re going to be, you are.”

Whether you knew of Coach Thorn prior to this blog or not, we encourage you to learn more about our project at! Subscribe for updates, submit your stories, and be first in line when the book is published early next year!

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