Sunday, February 9, 2014

Olympic advice

I love the Winter Olympics and watch it as much as I can during these weeks. Gracie Gold did so well during her long skating program and in an interview they asked her what had made the difference this year with her new coach.  She said they had been reading Phil Jackson's book so of course I looked it up.

I remember him as a basketball coach and he really is a great leader. Here are just a few quotes that I found as I researched his book and as I try to become a stronger leader as well.

"What I’ve learned over the years is that the most effective approach is to delegate authority as much as possible and to nurture everyone else’s leadership skills as well. When I’m able to do that, it not only builds team unity and allows others to grow but also, paradoxically, strengthens my role as leader."

"I told Shaq he needed to find his own way to inspire the Lakers. He needed to express his confidence and natural joy for the game in such a way that his teammates, Kobe especially, felt that if they joined forces with him, nothing would be impossible. A team leader’s No. 1 job, I explained, was to build up his teammates, not tear them down."

"By midseason, it became clear to me that it wasn’t competition per se that was driving the team; it was simply the joy of the game itself. This dance was ours, and the only team that could compete against us was ourselves."  

(I think I always need to remind myself that it's the joy of the "game" that should propel us forward.)

"The key to sustained success is to keep growing as a team. Winning is about moving into the unknown and creating something new. Remember that scene in the first Indiana Jones movie when someone asks Indy what he’s going to do next, and he replies, "I don’t know. I’m making it up as we go along." That’s how I view leadership. It’s an act of controlled improvisation, a Thelonious Monk finger exercise, from one moment to the next."  

“One thing I’ve learned as a coach is that you can’t force your will on people," Jackson writes. "If you want them to act differently, you need to inspire them to change themselves.”

Hope these inspire you too! 

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