Forged In Steel


Be transformed by the championship ways of the Pittsburgh Steelers like never before.

Forged in Steel Stars


Forged in Steel is intended to help readers, as leaders in their organizations, communities and family, to tap into the enduring truths behind the well-honed values that make the Steelers great. What does it mean to be forged in steel? For a leader truly wanting to embrace these values, it means the following:

Inspiring Standards – Identifying and living your values and mission establishes and sustains trust with those you lead.

Contagious Humility – Humility becomes contagious in your team, resulting in greater interdependence and teamwork.

Servant Leadership – You live to serve and add value to others, the only type of leadership that will bring out the best in others and consistently outperform other leadership styles.

Strategic Team Making – Your team has a plan for success — and is crystal clear about it.

Passionate Execution – Your team cares deeply about the game plan and will go the extra mile to execute it.

Continuous Improvement – You are willing to pay the price for excellence, will improve every day and never settle for mediocrity.

Mental Toughness – When things get hard, you have an integrity that chooses the right attitude in every situation and demonstrates the ability to bounce back.

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"[It's] about football and life and come[s] with our heartiest recommendations.... Ilkin knows how to spin a tale... [and] manages to weave some sense of humor and perspective into it.... worth the price."
– Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

"Tunch Ilkin and Damian Williams have done a great job of capturing the life changing leadership principles that were modeled and taught to us by the Steelers organization. These timeless values can be applied to any leader regardless of age or occupation."
– Mel Blount, Pittsburgh Steelers

"You’ll enjoy it. You really will. I hope it sells a zillion copies."
– Stan Savran, Savran on Sports,

"Forged in Steel captures the essence of the Pittsburgh Steelers."
– Tony Quatrini, Director of Marketing, Pittsburgh Steelers

More Reviews


“…examines 'The Steelers Way' and how you can put it to work for your organization. The book explores the management style that the Pittsburgh Steelers implement to motivate players and staff throughout the organization.”
– Bill Flanagan, Our Region’s Business, WPXI-TV and Executive Vice President, Allegheny Conference on Community Development

"A tremendous how-to leadership book if you’re in any business, or even if you’re a college kid or a kid in high school looking to try to better yourself. It’s worth every penny."
– Ron Cook, Vinnie & Cook Show, 93.7 The Fan (KDKA-FM), Pittsburgh

Make sure you look at this book for your Christmas list this year. I’m telling you, it is just outstanding, and every little anecdote, you read one, and you can’t wait to get to the next one, which is really time tested, true to life stuff."
– Kathy Emmons, It's the Ride Home Show, WORD-FM

Tunch Ilken


Author of Forged in Steel

The popular two-time Pittsburgh Steelers Pro Bowl tackle who today is a Steelers television and radio analyst and executive partner of Leadership League. His insights into the Steelers way of organizational leadership, motivation and success make him a highly sought speaker for events such as Forged in Steel, the annual conference held at Steelers facilities. He played offensive tackle for the Steelers for 13 years, from 1980 to 1992, and reflecting his abilities as a leader, served as vice-president of the NFL Players Association from 1989 to 1994. In 1998, he joined the Steelers broadcasting team of Myron Cope and Bill Hillgrove, and after Cope's retirement, took on the color-commentary duties.

Currently, Tunch serves as the Steelers television and radio analyst. He is also the Director of Men's Ministries for South Hills Bible Chapel. Tunch resides in Pittsburgh with his wife, Karen.

Damian Williams


Author of Forged in Steel

Damian Williams, CEO and co-founder of Leadership League, brings more than 20 years of entrepreneurial leadership experience to the team. Damian learned the value of hard work as a teenager sweeping floors in his father’s plastics factory.

In his college years, Damian began a lifelong journey of learning leadership under the teaching of John Maxwell. Damian has launched multiple enterprises including Sports Vacations, Purpose Sports, and Steel City Church, a nonprofit organization in downtown Pittsburgh. In addition to real estate investing in western Pennsylvania, Damian owns and operates Travelers’ Services, a premier travel agency that serves the Pittsburgh Steelers.

In 2009, Damian launched Leadership League to focus his energy on helping other leaders grow people, profits and purpose.

In the Pittsburgh region, Damian is best known for the “Forged in Steel” both the leadership event and a recently-released book by the same name co-authored with Tunch Ilkin. “Forged in Steel” captures the transferable concepts from the winning tradition of the Pittsburgh Steelers organization.

He holds an undergraduate degree in leadership from Geneva College and completed Masters work in leadership at Regent University. He and Anne are the proud parents of Jerica and Markus and enjoy traveling, hiking and sports.

Mark Miner



A pioneering public relations and marketing advisor, he has helped craft the image of professional service firms as they became key decision-makers at the table of business and civic leadership.

In 2005, he was inducted into the prestigious "Renaissance Hall of Fame" of the Public Relations Society of America, the world's largest organization for PR professionals, for his trail blazing work in the fields of law, engineering and accounting. For more than a decade, he was head of media and public relations for the law firm of Buchanan Ingersoll.

Today he is CEO of Mark Miner Communications, LLC and Publishing, LLC, publisher of Forged in Steel and Well At This Time. He co-authored the award-winning Beaver Town of the Beaver Area Heritage Foundation.


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Pittsburgh, PA 15211



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