[March 14, 2015] A year ago in a U.S. Army senior-level forum for Flag officers, a small group of military folks got to hear from a very successful basketball coach, Coach Mike Krzyzewski. Generally recognized as one of the greatest college basketball coaches of all time, Mike Krzyzewski of Duke University, is a leader whose success comes from his ability to communicate leadership principles.
“I don’t look at myself as a basketball coach. I look at myself as a leader who happens to coach basketball.” – Coach Krzyzewski
Coach K, as he is known, has accomplished much. For example he is the winningest coach in Division I men’s basketball, has four NCAA championships, elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame, Naismith Coach of the Year, and many more impressive achievements. The reason for his success is his leadership, period.
Coach K’s senior leader characteristics are:
- Humility, Trustworthiness, and Selfless Service
- Teamwork and understanding the need for people to be on a team
- Clear communication
- Passion for coaching basketball
- Moral courage to make hard decisions and to live with the consequences
- Focusing on truth
- Taking care of people
In these characteristics runs a common theme among modern-day leaders, whether in the military, business, or politics. Today, humility, trustworthiness, and selfless service are traits that are new to leaders. Coach K has embraced them and shows how they can make the difference in someone who is merely successful versus someone who is great at what they do. See his website here for additional insight.1
Coach K has provided key leadership at Duke University – something often lacking at colleges – and has established a legacy whereby those he coached have gone on to also achieve great things.
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