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How Good Do You Want to Be?: A Champion's Tips on How to Lead and Succeed at Work and in Life Paperback – January 23, 2007


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How Good Do You Want to Be?: A Champion's Tips on How to Lead and Succeed at Work and in Life + Win Forever: Live, Work, and Play Like a Champion + The Score Takes Care of Itself: My Philosophy of Leadership
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; Reprint edition (January 23, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345500849
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345500847
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,664 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Followers of college football will know Saban best as the coach of the 2004 championship series–winning Louisiana State University Tigers. Here he offers an inspiring book that draws parallels between decisions made in life and those made on the gridiron. Saban's own journey, told with the help of sports journalist Curtis (The Men of March), began in a West Virginia mining town, where he was able, through his love of sports and the wisdom of his family, to walk a path toward excellence. With three main points (develop a good "product," i.e., yourself; know the competition; work with your team), Saban uses anecdotes and straight talk to bring solid advice that crosses over from sports to other aspects of life, including overcoming obstacles, going the extra mile and being honest with oneself. The lessons are homey in tone and commonsensical: e.g., "Invest your time, don't spend it" and "Climb the mountain, but watch your step." While an understanding of football could make the lessons more profound, the advice offered can be used by people in all professional fields and by those just trying to live a better, more fulfilling life. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

The winner of numerous National Coach of the Year honors, Nick Saban is the head football coach at Louisiana State University. In 2004, he coached the Tigers to a 13 —1 season and the BCS College Football national championship. He lives in Baton Rouge with his wife and two children.

Brian Curtis is the author of Every Week a Season: A Journey Inside Big-Time College Football and The Men of March: A Season Inside the Lives of College Basketball Coaches. A former reporter for Fox Sports Net, he is now a host and analyst on College Sports Television. He and his wife, Tamara, live in New York City. Visit his website at www.briancurtis.us.


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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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This book is very interesting.
Lindsay Frost
Clearly, Saban has proven his ability to build championship teams and this book explains how he did it.
Brian May
I am reading the book a second time just to absorb all the great stories and quotes.
R. Jacobs

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Steve on September 25, 2007
Format: Paperback
This is a good read for students of leadership, with plenty of good ideas that readers can adopt. While most of the components of his philosophy are fundamental (hard work, integrity, communication skills, balance, etc.), there are actually some original ideas that run counter to those pitched in typical success/leadership books. This is where I believe the value lies. Examples include focusing on the process - not the goals, setting a start time but not an end time, and playing to dominate (no matter what the score).

Like him or not, Saban has a unique system that works (assuming he stays around long enough to implement it). This book is worth a read...
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on March 29, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Nick Saban's method for success is broken down into three main points in his book, How Good Do You Want to Be?; these are the development of the product, having the competitive spirit, and the importance of leadership. This guide to success was published by Random House, Inc. in New York in 2005.

In Saban's first point he emphasizes the development of the "product." In most cases the product is the person who wants to be successful, but it also includes sports teams, companies, or projects. To develop the product, a "road map" is needed. A road map is a guide to life. It should define one's goals and guidelines. This is to make sure that one knows his values. The five key values are discipline, commitment, toughness, effort, and pride. The map should also take into account the "three C's." These will foster one's success. The "three C's" are commitment, conviction, and character. Commitment is defined as unwavering loyalty and dedication. If one is dedicated enough, then he will eventually succeed. Conviction is when one really believes in what he is doing. Conviction is the reason for being committed. The third "C," character, is "that crucial blend of personality and values" (Saban 35). Character is who a person really is. A positive attitude is crucial to how one responds to challenges, success, and failure. To be successful, one has to really "develop the product."

Saban's second point is the necessity of the competitive spirit. Saban states the importance of not thinking about the score, saying, "looking at the score and results can only take away from your competitive spirit" (Saban 58). A person only needs to be concerned with what he or she can control. He also highlights the significance of focus.
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25 of 31 people found the following review helpful By James Lavin on January 20, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a Patriots fan, I was depressed when Nick Saban became the Dolphins' new head coach because Saban is as similar a football coach to Bill Belichick as you will ever find until scientists perfect cloning. In his new book, Saban lays out his philosophy very clearly. His philosophy helps individuals take control of their lives, work well with others, etc. It also helps leaders build more team-oriented organizations. Everyone can benefit from this book, not just football fans:

"focus... on what it takes to get to [become a champion], and not on getting there," "[Players] encouraged one another and kept each other in line," "no selfishness," "we shared a purpose," "the opponent should never determine your level of competitive spirit," "anyone can be successful with the right attitude," "a road map... allows everyone... to know where you are headed," "what you need are players who have good ability, but who can reach their potential consistently... every time out," "be honest and candid and let the players know their prospects," "we have a vision for the organization and, more importantly, for the people," "create... a culture of expectations [so] everyone knows what to expect," etc. I could go on for many pages.

I know Saban's philosophy works because it helped Saban's LSU Tigers (consistent losers before Saban took over) win a share of the 2003 NCAA championship and also helped Belichick's Patriots win two of the past three Super Bowls. It's the same philosophy. I expected great similarities because Saban coordinated the defense of Belichick's Cleveland Browns in the early '90s when the two became closest of friends.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By selli on January 29, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Overall a good book. Saban and his co-author do a good job of connecting football experiences to life experiences and how to deal with him. Very positive in content and useful information whether you coach football or just want to be a better parent. Good reading
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Ryker Semanovic on December 9, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I really enjoyed reading this book. It was full of program building stuff for football teams and programs. Coach Saban puts a bunch of info in here about program philosophies etc. that, as a coach I found very useful. I practically have half the book highlighted. I highly recommend this book for any coaches who are looking for good program ideas. You may not use them all, but they will get you thinking.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By MG on September 5, 2007
Format: Paperback
I bought and read this book before Nick Saban left LSU. Regardless of what you think of Nick's subsequent career moves, the lessons presented in the book are solid, relevant and a good read for anyone middle school and upwards.

Since the jacket cover has been changed to reflect Nick's new team, I just wonder if the paperback edition has all references to LSU edited out???
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