Corrections or additions?

This article by Joe Summers was prepared for the August 16, 2000

edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All

rights reserved.

In Basketball, As in Business

Notwithstanding all the corporate tie-ins at the recent

Senior PGA tournament at Jasna Polana, golf is not the only sport

that business people turn to for camaraderie and inspiration. U.S.

1 on several occasions has quoted former Princeton basketball coach

Pete Carril — especially from his book, co-written with Dan White,

"The Smart Take from the Strong." Duke University alumnus

Joe Summers (Class of 1949), a retired associate dean of graduate

services at Rider University, filed this summary of another insightful

book by a college basketball coach:

Great ideas can come from the least expected sources. Who would

have thought a book by a college basketball coach would contain

nuggets

of management wisdom applicable far from the court? For starters,

anyone who follows Duke basketball, because to do that is also to

be aware of Coach Mike Krzyzewski’s philosophy. Not only does he

preach

it — he practices it, too.

With eight "Final Four" appearances, including back-to-back

national championships in 1991 and ’92, Krzyzewski inspires great

play from his team and, typically, player-reverence long after the

season. This happens for a reason. He knows how to make his players

feel special while still part of a team. His graduates thank him for

that.

Krzyzewski’s new book, "Leading with the Heart: Coach K’s

Successful

Strategies for Basketball, Business, and Life," chronicles his

background in a Polish neighborhood of Chicago, where he was guided

by parents who demanded honesty and integrity. The coach reveals his

personal principles for leadership, from dealing with adversity in

life or on the basketball court, to learning how to trust your

heartfelt

instincts. It deals too with descriptions of how to build an

"emotional

bond of trust" that gives his players the confidence and freedom

to succeed "both on and off the court." The result is a book

that shows how you can be successful in any leadership situation.

Each chapter concludes with tips that would apply in the board room,

as well as the locker room. A "top 11" of these nuggets follow.

Reflecting classic management theory, they are bound to score with

management students and practitioners alike.

Recruit great individuals who are willing to be part of a

team and are coachable. Always try to get the best people possible,

but be sure they will fit in with the rest of your team and are

willing

to grow.

The level of cooperation on any team increases

tremendously

as the level of trust rises. Mutual respect and trusting

relationships

are the cornerstones for success on any team.

Success is a matter of preparing to win. Careful,

detailed,

painstaking planning sets up the process that allows you to win.

Without

this preparation, winning is accidental.

Every season is a journey. Live it with exuberance and

excitement. Live it right. In all we do, the process is the key to

obtaining a good product.

Communication skills are just as important as technical

skills.

Most people are unsuccessful on a team or on the job because they

can’t get along with others, not because they lack the skills to do

the work.

Two are better than one if two act as one. In

basketball

and life, success is usually a group effort; it seldom comes from

one person’s actions alone.

Courage and confidence are what decision-making is all

about.

Once all the facts are gathered, be brave, believe in yourself,

and make a decision. You’ll probably make the right move.

Business, like basketball, is a game of adjustments. So

be ready to adjust. "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of

little minds," wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson. Always be ready to

change

as situations change.

Have people around you who will say no to you. If you

screen out all contrary opinions, you’ll probably miss the very point

that separates success from failure.

Always respect your competition. To disrespect your

competition

is to disrespect yourself. Keep focused, don’t let up, play the full

40 minutes — or 40 hours — all out, always.

Find a way to win. This approach separates the champions

from the very good teams. There is always a way to win, and you must

find it.

In 1992 "The Sporting News" named Coach K sportsman

of the year, making him the first college coach ever to win that

honor.

The magazine said, "On the court and off, Krzyzewski is a family

man first, a teacher second, a basketball coach third, and a winner

at all three. He is what’s right about sports."

— Joe Summers


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