Monday, April 1, 2013

Who Can Cause a Win When it Counts?

Who is the best game day coach?

Jay Bilas, ESPN College basketball analyst was posed this question last week and he replied, "Coach K." He was speaking about Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski whose team was scheduled to face another extraordinary basketball coach and program, Tom Izzo and his Michigan State Spartans.  The winner would then advance in the NCAA Championship basketball tournament. Bilas elaborated, "Coach K may not be the best X's and O's coach.  There are definitely coaches that understand that part of the game better.  But on game day, he has the best feel for his players.  He knows what he has to do to get the best out of each player.  If it's chaotic - he is calm.  If it's too calm - he will raise the intensity.  I can't explain it better than his feel for the situation and the players but he knows how to position a player's mind and body for success on game day."

This is a clear example of our leadership methodology of See, Be, Do, Cause in action. 

In this example, Coach K sees the objective, he understands his players’ personalities and capabilities, he is connected to their conditions, and he measures what it will take to succeed that day.  He sees the whole situation.

He knows that he has to be a certain kind of leader for success due to the unique set of conditions present on any given day.  He sets the necessary tone for success.  As Bilas eluded to in his observation, he is calm in chaos or forceful when it’s too calm.  He becomes an example of the sense of urgency he desires from his team.  He sets the right example.

He then does what it takes to win.  Coach K connects and communicates with each player to ensure that they know their roles and goals within the team's plan.  He positions each player and the team as a whole for success.

He directs. He manages. He adjusts. He Coaches. He does what it takes to win. He leads. His leadership causes great opportunity for his team.  He usually wins. Coach K understands what it takes to be a leader; he understands what it takes to succeed against other outstanding leaders.

I think these two coaches are great examples of leaders that can build a successful sustainable basketball program. I am a fan of both leaders, however to date, Coach K has beaten his rival Coach Izzo seven out of eight times in the NCAA tournament.  Coach K knows how to cause a win on game day.

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