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Wednesday, December 11, 2013


I ran across an absolutely great article written by Jesse Burkhart for the Triangle Business Journal.  Burkhart is doing a piece on Coach Mike Krzyzewski and how his philosophy can relate to businesspeople. You can read Burkhart's blog piece here but I am certainly looking for his article that will appear later.  Here are some excerpts from his blog:

Based on the things we discussed in our conversation, here are three things I think businesspeople - and really, everyone - should borrow from Coach K’s playbook:

1. Never stop building trust.
When I asked Coach K to describe his leadership style, he told me that it’s “constantly changing” based on the people he’s leading, but “the basic foundation of it is the development of trust.”

“In other words, you’re always truthful with the people you lead,” he said. “You’re always prepared. I think you should always show courage and have a value-based leadership that can be trusted. If you have trust from the person or the people you’re leading, good things are going to happen.”

2. Understand that your job and your role aren’t the same thing.
Coach K understands that Duke University employs him to coach the basketball team, but that his role at the school and in the community goes well beyond the court.

As an example, Coach K pointed to his role as an executive-in-residence with Duke’s Fuqua School of Business and the part he played in helping build a leadership center there called COLE (Center for Organizational Leadership and Ethics). He also helps raise money for the Duke University Medical Center, and has been enlisted by Dr. Victor Dzau (CEO of the Duke Health System) in the recruiting process of doctors.

“I look at my job as being an ambassador for our university, and hence, our community," he said. "As a result of being seen on TV with your games, the many interviews you do and the shows you’re on, you end up being the most visible person to the public. Not the most important person, by far, but the most visible person. I understand that I’m representing my school and my community when I’m doing those things.”

3. Reinvest your success in the people around you.
Coach K’s humanitarian and civic-service efforts are well-documented, and he clearly has a soft spot for children.

The Emily Krzyzewski Center, the Durham educational nonprofit established in 2006 and named after Coach K’s mother, remains priority No. 1 for both Coach K and his wife, Mickie, whom he credits for organizing his off-the-court obligations. And when I spoke with Dr. Richard Brodhead, president of Duke University, he specifically mentioned Coach K’s continual involvement in the Duke Children’s Hospital.

“I get credit for quite a bit because I’m always out there (in the public eye),” Coach K said. “For (Mickie and I), we’d rather not get any credit at all. If you’re doing something to get recognition for it, you’re not doing it for the right reasons.”