Recommended Reading: Leading With The Heart (Notes & Quotes)

Coach K Tips (End of chapters):

Chapter 1

  • Recruit great individuals who are willing to be part of a team and who are coachable.
  • It’s important to begin using plural pronouns right away: “Our” instead of “my,” “we” instead of “I,” “us” instead of “me.” Remember that leadership on a team is not singular it’s plural.
  • Demonstrate the principle “we’re all important” by making sure that you are not the only one speaking at a meeting.
  • Teach time management, not only as it relates to individuals, but as it pertains to a group.
  • Stress honor in all things.
  • Don’t be a team of “I got’chas.” Too many rules get in the way of leadership.
  • Preserve the latitude to lead.
  • Set up a family support system for your team. It’s like getting a shot to keep away jealousy.
  • Hand out a laminated card with the telephone numbers of the players and staff. Remind them to call somebody when they’re in harm’s way.
  • Believe in a handshake.
  • Mutual commitment helps people overcome the fear of failure.
  • Each team has to run its own race.

Chapter 2

  • All your assistants should have the vision of being a top leader. That way they’ll want to learn and grow.
  • It’s not wise to force a person into a job description. Job descriptions should not be “ready-made.” Rather, they should be carved out to fit people on the team.
  • Never let a person’s weakness get in the way of his strength.
  • Go through an appraisal and reevaluation process every year. Rotate some responsibilities.
  • The level of cooperation on any team increases tremendously as the level of trust rises.
  • Bonds have to form among all members of the team. An architecture of leadership has to be created so that the wheel is sustained if someth9ing happens to the hub.
  • A real winning attitude is about standards of excellence- which are variable from year to year, from team to team. Being the best you can be-and doing the best you can- are the constants.
  • People have to be given the freedom to show the heart they possess.
  • Leaders have to search for the heart on a team because the person who has it can bring out the best in everybody elseincluding the leader.
  • Every year, you should ask yourself this question: “Where will the heart be?”

Chapter 3

  • Leaders instill respect for authority by having a caring attitude, being direct, communicating regularly, and being honest.
  • Instill the discipline to tell the truth. It’s a waste of time to deal with anything less than the truth.
  • Your team needs “instant belief” in what you say to them.
  • People have to know that your word is good.
  • Embrace the hell out of personal responsibility.
  • Failure is part of success.
  • Discipline is doing what you are supposed to do in the best possible manner at the time you are supposed to do it.
  • Teach good sportsmanship, patience, and the ideal that people should be enthusiastic and energized every time out.
  • A team has to learn the discipline of physical habit collectively- as a unit.
  • If people have a great foundation and the passion and heart to love what they do, they will always love their life.

Chapter 4

  • If your culture is properly developed, then in the heat of competition, when you have to slam home a message, an individual or the team will respond as well.
  • If you’re always striving for success that is defined by someone else, you’ll always be frustrated. Define your own success.
  • Whatever a leader does now sets up what he does later. And there’s always later.
  • Every long-term strategy must be adjustable, and people on the team must be prepared accordingly. Teach them to adjust.
  • Success is a matter of preparing to win.
  • Goals should be realistic, attainable, and shared among all members of the team.
  • Never set a goal that involves number of wins- never. Set goals that revolve around playing together as a team. Doing so will put you in a position to win every game.
  • Progress has to monitored on a regular basis, and good work has to be rewarded and encouraged.
  • Every goal has to be worthy of the team’s commitment.
  • If you’re not fully committed to a course of action that allows use of your team’s full commitment, then change your course of action.
  • Every season is a journey. Live it with exuberance and excitement. Live it right.

Chapter 5

  • Any one fist can break any one finger. Therefore, your goal as a leader should be to create a dominant team where all five fingers fit together into a powerful fist.
  • Adjust while you’re on the run so that you don’t miss any great scoring opportunities.
  • A confidence shared is better than confidence only in yourself.
  • Don’t hire people solely on their technical merits. Consider whether they can work in a team environment.
  • Communication skills are just as important as technical skills.
  • Always search for the communicator on the team.
  • In leadership, no word is more important than trust.
  • Confrontation is good. It simply means meeting the truth head-on.
  • Teach the principle that “Your fifth shot is your first shot.”
  • Great teams embrace responsibility.
  • Win or lose together.
  • Caring is a powerful motivational force on any team.
  • Believe that the loose ball you’re chasing has your name on it.
  • Two are better than one if two act as one.

Chapter 6

  • In teaching, remember this simple phrase: “You hear, you forget. You see, you remember. You do, you understand.”
  • Go in fully prepared for every practice. Create a lesson plan. But stay flexible. Use it only as a guide.
  • A leader cannot just tell people what to do and then expect them to perform well.
  • Cut out anything that trends to put distance between you and members of your team.
  • Members of your team need to see themselves though your eyes- so that they may see how they really are, not how they think they are.
  • Plan as many nuances as you can. Address the little things you may encounter in a real situation.
  • Erect no artificial walls that might limit potential, stifle creativity, or shackle innovation.
  • Leaders should be reliable without being predictable. Thy should be consistent without being anticipated.
  • Ask questions= lots of questions.
  • Good ideas can come from anywhere and everywhere.

Chapter 7

  • It’s important for a leader to focus on the technical details of his industry or business. But it’s vital to focus on details related specifically to people in the organizations.
  • People talk to you in different ways-thorough facial expression, moods, mannerisms, body language, the tone in their eyes.
  • As a leader, you must be able to read your players.
  • A leader has to be positive about all things that happen to his team. Look at nothing in the pas as failure.
  • You cannot win every game. But you can learn from every game.
  • It takes courage not only to make decision, but to live with those decisions afterward.
  • A leader has to have the courage to make a key decision in a split second.
  • Courage and confidence are what decision-making is all about.
  • Don’t let a single game break your heart.

Chapter 8

  • Make game day your best day.
  • The people on your team expect you to be upbeat, positive, confident, and certain they can win.
  • Leaders show respect for people by giving them time.
  • Make sure you have a clear head when you go into a game. That way, you’ll be more likely to react well to whatever unpredictable situation might occur.
  • Encourage every member of your team to be well rested and at high level emotionally before every contest.
  • Business, like basketball, is a game of adjustments. So be ready to adjust.
  • You might have to throw out your well-crafted plan after only five minutes.
  • You may have to put some of your own emotion aside if you are to help your team reach its goals.
  • Sometimes a leader has to draw a line in the sand.
  • Game day is not a day for long, drawn-out speeches. It is a time for interaction.
  • Make everybody’s on board the train.

Chapter 9

  • Take time to get refreshed. Clear your head, rest and recharge your batteries, and then get after it.
  • Look very carefully at the demeanor of your team. Are they healthy, injured, excited, down, energized, or tired?
  • Ask your team leader their opinions.
  • Let your formula of preparation, communication, hard work, practice, and focus continue to be our guide.
  • Set mini-goals. Plan for “ energy bursts.”
  • In the first round, how you win, how you set the stage, is key.
  • Treat members of the media with respect. Be honest and open with them, but don’t tell them every detail of your existence.
  • Be one of the teams who believes you can win it all. But don’t assume that you will win it all.
  • Always respect your competition. To disrespect your competition is to disrespect yourself.

Chapter 10

  • The worse the crisis, the more people will tend to think as individual rather than as members of a team.
  • Luck favors teams who trust one another.
  • When you screw up, admit you are wrong. Apologize in front of the whole team. To admit a mistake is not a weakness, it’s a strength.
  • Successful crisis management is best achieved when people are ruthful with one another-immediately.
  • Having fun helps reduce pressure.
  • Maintain a good sense of humor. You don’t always want your team your team to see you with furrow in your forehead.
  • Before you ever utter a word, the team sees your face, the look in your eyes, even your walk. Show the face your team needs to see.
  • You don not necessarily beat fear with a hug. Some times you have to attack the hell our of it.
  • Confidence can be an extremely effective weapon against fear. Show strength, hide weakness.
  • Anger is okay if it motivates you to do something good.
  • A leader’s job is to create opportunities. A leader has to find a way to win.

Chapter 11

  • When events beyond your control pull you away from your team, delegate as much as possible.
  • Don’t forget that each individual on your team needs to take responsibility for their own performance.
  • A leader’s job is to remove any obstacle that can negatively impact his team’s performance.
  • During critical periods, a leader is not allowed to feel sorry for himself, to be down, to be angry, or to be weak. Leaders must beat back these emotions.
  • In order to beat an overwhelming adversary, it takes unbelievable focus and concentration.
  • During critical moments, look closely for any potential chink in your armor. And then take action to fix it.
  • Encourage members of your team to take the initiative and act on their own.
  • No organization, no matter how good it is, is going to win on reputation alone.
  • A moment of ecstasy might very well cause you to lose the next game. Put it behind you and move on.
  • When you cleanse yourself of a big victory, you may open yourself up to the opportunity for an even bigger victory.

Chapter 12

  • At the end of every season, thank your team for their effort.
  • Give your team a chance to celebrate the journey they experienced. Make it fun for them.
  • With enough time, an interesting idea can become an established tradition.
  • Tradition helps motivate people. It makes them want to come back. They desire to go on another journey.
  • If people are part of something with a lot of tradition, they will be less likely to be jealous of a teammate or do something detrimental to the organization.
  • Tradition makes it more difficult to bring out the negative aspects of human nature.
  • Consistent excellence engenders pride.
  • Honor the seniors in your organization.
  • Cultivate relationships with people who support your organization.
  • Once tradition is in place, confidence, excellence, unity, and pride will grow.

Chapter 13

  • If the leader is committed, there will be a greater chance for the followers to be committed.
  • Give your players the freedom to show their personal commitment to the organization.
  • Hunger not for success, but for excellence. And don’t let anyone else define excellence for you.
  • Motivation has to be looked at both individually and as a team effort.
  • Each moment requires a maneuver.
  • To stay successful, you have to stay hungry. Don’t cheat yourself with complacency.
  • Plan what you teach.
  • While you’re teaching your players, you can also learn from them.
  • When your organization operates like a strong family, you cant be knocked out by one punch.
  • Family is a fist- complete with communication, caring, trust, pride, and collective responsibility. Family makes individuals part of something bigger.

Chapter 14

  • True bravery in leadership revolves around the degree to which a person maintains the courage of his convictions.
  • When you stand strong in those vacillating winds for the first time, it’s easier to have courage again and again.
  • People must have confidence in themselves before thy can realize their full potential.
  • Put yourself in a position where you can learn something new.
  • Never forget a defeat. Defeat can be the key to victory.
  • When you stop growing, you start to decay.
  • When people achieve something that they’ve really worked hard for, it makes them feel great, superb, wonderful..
  • The only way you lose is if you don’t try you best.
  • Integrity is nothing more than doing the right thing no matter who’s watching you.
  • Make the truth the basis of all you do.

Chapter 15

  • You have to work hard at staying in contact with your friends so that the relationships will continue and live on.
  • Sometimes, all the good things you try to provide for your team members do not make a difference. Sometimes, people have to move on.
  • Leaders have to learn to live with instability.
  • When people leave, thank them for dong a great job and wish them well. Hold no grudges.
  • Friendships, along with love, make life worth living.
  • Pack everything into the moment. The future should always be uncertain for you.
  • Touch people’s hearts with sincerity and eloquence.
  • Part of being a leader is to have empathy for people.
  • Make your last game your best game.
  • Find a way to win.

Chapter 16

  • When you’re blinded by your emotions and your commitments, it’s best for someone else to tell you what to do.
  • Once in a while, you have to be committed to yourself- and yourself only.
  • People look at things closer when they lose than when they win. Be careful when you’re dealing with extremes. They throw you off your normal rhythm and you begin to use singular pronouns like “I.”
  • Stop the “Success Express” once in a while to enjoy the journey.
  • If you teach it, you better be able to do it yourself.
  • Have people around who will say no for you.
  • When things go wrong for you and your team, assume responsibility. Admit your mistakes and move on.
  • Regularly ask yourself the question: “What’s your job, knucklehead?”
  • Take care of your core.
  • Listen to your doctors.

Coach K Quotes (Beginning of chapters):

Chapter 1

  • “Too many rules get in the way of leadership. They just put you in a box… People set rules to keep from making decisions.”
  • “The deal is the handshake. The deal is that there wont be any deals.”
  • “Every team I was on over my four years at Duke, he coached differently.” Grant Hill

Chapter 2

  • “When you first assemble a group, it’s not a team right off the bat. It’s only a collection of individuals.”
  • “Leaders have to search for the heart on a team, because the person who has it can bring out the best in everybody else.”
  • “Sometimes a loss can be a win.”

Chapter 3

  • “If a team cannot perform with excellence at a moment’s notice, they probably will fail in the long run.”
  • “Discipline is doing what you are supposed to do in the best possible manner at the time you are supposed to do it. And that’s not such a bad thing.”
  • “This isn’t all about ‘I love you,’ and ‘Lets hold hands and skip.’ It’s also about ‘Get your rear in gear,’ ‘What the hell are you doing,’ and ‘Why aren’t you in class?’”

Chapter 4

  • “Whatever a leader does now sets up what he does later. And there’s always a later.”
  • “My goal has to be worthy of the team’s commitment.”
  • “Every season is a journey. Every journey is a lifetime.”

Chapter 5

  • “You develop a team to achieve what one person cannot accomplish alone. All of us alone are weaker by far, than if all of us are together.”
  • “Confidence shared is better than confidence only in yourself.”
  • “Confrontation simply means meeting the truth head-on.”

Chapter 6

  • “It’s not what I know, its what they do on the court that really matters.”
  • “If you put a plant in a jar, it will take the shape or the jar. But if you allow the plant to grow freely, twenty jars might not be able to hold it.
  • “We won championships at Duke because of what happened behind closed doors.” Christain Laettner

Chapter 7

  • “Sometimes adversity can work in your favor. Instead of feeling sorry for yourself and using it as an excuse, accept the situation and try to make the most of it. That’s how a team develops resilience and character.”
  • “A little negative thing must be dealt with immediately- before it becomes a big negative thing.”
  • “Don’t worry about losing. Think about winning.”

Chapter 8

  • “Every minute of the game, every moment that leads up to the game. I’m trying to think and plan and prepare myself and our players for anything that might happen- and that means putting some of my own emotions aside if they won’t help us reach our goals.”
  • “The train’s moving fast right now, guys. Are you on board?”
  • “I coach by feel. I follow my heart.”

Chapter 9

  • “One of the worst things anybody can do is assume. I think fools assume. If people have really got it together, they never assume anything. They believe, they work hard, and they prepare- but they don’t assume.”
  • “ Everybody doesn’t just come together right away, meet on a mountaintop, an embrace. That’s not the way it happens.”
  • “Fellas, we’re zero and zero- no wins and no loses.”

Chapter 10

  • “I believe God gave us crises for some reason- and it certainly wasn’t for us to say that everything about them is bad. A crisis can be a momentous time for a team to grow- if a leader handles it properly.”
  • “When we won that last –second game over Kentucky, many people said we were lucky. But I think luck favors teams who trust one another.”
  • “A leader has to show the face his team needs to see.”

Chapter 11

  • “I don’t think I have to apologize for us getting to the Final Four three or four times and not winning. I’d rather play and be beaten than not be there at all.”
  • “A leader’s responsibility to his team is paramount. It over shadows even his own personal feelings at any given time.”
  • “I believe a big part of leadership is about winning the moment.”

Chapter 12

  • “People want to be on a team. They want to be part of something bigger than themselves. They want to be in a situation where they feel that they are doing something for the greater good.”
  • “The Cameron Crazies are our sixth man. They’re part of our team. When they root for us, it’s not the fans rooting for the team, it’s the team rooting for the team.”
  • “We try to create a legacy that binds the past to the present.”

Chapter 13

  • “It’s important to remember that every person is different and has to be motivated differently.”
  • “When our goal is to try to do our best, when our focus is on preparation and sacrifice and effort- instead of numbers on the scoreboard- we will never lose.”
  • “I’m a teacher and a coach.”

Chapter 14

  • “Courage gives a leader the ability to stand straight and not sway, no matter which way the wind blows.”

LINK: Leading with the Heart

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