You are the most powerful influencer in your success.
One summer, one of our teenage sons attended the 5-day Duke University basketball camp under the tutelage of the legendary Coach K. You know about Coach K (Mike Krzyzewski). He’s coached more teams to winning the NCAA Div I College Championship than any other coach in history. He is college basketball’s All Time Winningest Head Coach.
In his 40 years of coaching, his teams have won 1,018 and lost 310 games. Like all great leaders, and like any one of us, Coach K has had plenty of wins and losses.
I know little about basketball, but I’m old enough to remember UCLA’s Wizard of Westwood, John Wooden (10 National Titles in 11 years) – a legend in my home state of California. His excellence no doubt inspired my dream of attending UCLA, which I did (’88 go Bruins!).
Coach K was there on day one of the Duke basketball camp, where he began by sharing his expectations and a few powerful keys on how to be successful. As I listened, I was inspired by the simplicity and power of his words.
In his 40 years as a coach,he has led some of the most talented, celebrated athletes in history (LeBron James and Stephen Curry, to name just two). Here is what he said he expects of his team:
- Energy. Every day, in every activity. It’s an attitude that says “I’m all in; I’m holding nothing back.” Give it your all, and push yourself to do your best.
- Enthusiasm. Be positive, with intentional actions and reactions. I’ve found that enthusiasm sparks or sustains its own momentum.
- Emotion. He gave an example from their last championship series (2015, they won!): the emotion that a Duke player showed after a setback on Duke’s team. It changed the tone of the game, and had a power to it that led him and his teammates to do better, not worse. The reaction modeled that they were not going to be rolled over, not going to give in to the setback, but get back up, assess the situation, learn and do better next time.
He also said that there is one critical thing every champion has learned to master: they listen. They listen to the coach, to their parents, and to those who have authority in relationships with them. He said, “Listen to your parents and your coaches. They want the same things you do: what is best for you.”
Get more inspiration from Duke’s “One Shining Moment” video montage.
Coach K’s talk reminded me of how much we influence ourselves by the choices we make and what we do – especially with the three Es.
Recently, one of those Es – emotion – got me thinking. Sometimes in our work culture, we mask emotion or try to downplay it. Coach K reminded me that we are not meant to hide our emotions. It is a part of our humanity to express them, and when we do so appropriately, it actually builds trust.
The leaders I love to recruit and work alongside possess these attitudes. These are strengths that are appealing and engaging when they are channeled wisely.
If these simple things are the foundation of a championship team, they can work for you and your team, too.