Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Lifelong Coach

I saw a segment on ESPN today that highlighted Mike Krzyzewski, head coach of the Duke
University Blue Devils and the USA men's national team. There were four sports journalists talking about his career and influence and three of them were former players of his. I have great respect for Coach K, but was left with more appreciation for his character and leadership after listening to his proteges. There were several leadership principles that he obviously practices and should be applied by compassionate leaders as well.

He always wants his players to be better.
This wasn't just geared towards better athletic performance, but in being a better person overall. Being a better person makes you a better teammate and overall contributor.

He never stops coaching you.
One of his players said that even though it had been over 30 years since he had played basketball for him, he was still coaching him in life decisions and character development. This shows genuine compassion for the long haul and not just for immediate results.

He wouldn't tell us what to do, but would ask you the right question to get you to think.
The most effective leader will help you discover the best path as you discover more about yourself.

He's not just about basketball, but is about developing people.
Coach K understands that basketball can help to teach life lessons and shape our character more than just teach us how to play a game. A career as a basketball player will eventually come to an end, but the lessons learned will carry on throughout the rest of life.

His players would do anything he asked them to do because they trust him.
Effective leaders have committed followers because of the level of trust they have established with each other. Earning complete trust comes through consistent servant leadership and a belief that the leader is invested in you and not just what you can produce.

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