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Leading with the Heart

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Leading with the Heart

Coach K's Successful Strategies for Basketball, Business & Life

Warner Books,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Text available

What's inside?

What if you coached your employees as if you played championship basketball with them? How would your attitude change? If you would have more heart, more ambition, more spirit, more trust…then, what are you waiting for?

Editorial Rating



  • Applicable
  • Concrete Examples


Duke University basketball coach Mike “Coach K” Krzyzewski and co-author Donald T. Phillips have written a heartfelt and practical book. The coach weaves his leadership and team strategies into lessons not just for sports, but for business and life. The book, which includes a foreword by Grant Hill (yes, he can write, too!), is filled with personal experiences, anecdotes, and examples. The coach uses sports as a metaphor for management. For example, he advises: “Never let a person’s weakness get in the way of his strengths.” getAbstract recommends this well-written book to anyone interested in emotionally balanced team-building, as developed by a winning coach.



How do you begin to build a great team, whether in sports, business, or life? First, recruit great individuals who are eager to be part of a team and will respond to coaching. Make everyone feel like part of the team effort, not just a robot in a group being led by one person. Refer to the team and the team’s effort using plural pronouns: “our” instead of “my,” “we” instead of “I,” and “us” instead of “me.” To create an all-inclusive atmosphere, let other people speak at meetings; don’t monopolize the session or fall in love with the sound of your own voice.

Teach time management as it relates to the group, not just the individual. Emphasize honor, but go easy on the number of rules. The fewer the better, because rules usually just get in the way. Create a family support system for your team that reinforces togetherness and rapport. But unlike a parent with quarrelsome siblings, use togetherness to keep jealousy at bay and build members’ ability to trust one another. Dispel the fear of failure by creating mutual commitments. Foster genuine bonds among the members of the team. Bond with them, and encourage them to bond with each other. When you strengthen ...

About the Authors

Mike Krzyzewski is Duke University’s all-time winningest basketball coach. The 1999-2000 season marks his twentieth season at the helm of the Blue Devils’ program. Known as Coach K, he’s a six-time National Coach of the Year and five-time Atlantic Coast Conference Coach of the Year. He has the most wins in the National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament among active coaches. Donald T. Phillips is the author of six other books, including Lincoln on Leadership, The Founding Fathers on Leadership, and Martin Luther King, Jr. on Leadership. He currently serves as the mayor of Fairview, Texas.

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    J. A. 6 years ago
    Great reading.
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    M. P. 7 years ago
    this gives me a great help in my masters degree subject...thank you so much ... God Bless.

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