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on February 23, 2000
Perhaps no other book will hit you where you are more than this one. Mike combines life experiences with true nuggets to guide us apply proven leadership and to take our team to a new level of excellence. You will want to read it through,then come back and highlight. The chapter on handling crises is worth the book by itself.
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on April 29, 2000
I graduated from Duke in 68 and am an avowed fan of Coach K.However, I've hit a rut in my reading recently, can't find anything that seems stimulatiing or interesting.I was afraid this book would just be another of those "smaltzy" rah rah type of books that coaches(and usually someone else write), but I was happily surprised. It is really worth everyones attention, whether to motivate a business person or anyone on how to live ones life. The usual blah blahing about excellence is pretty much left out, thank goodness, and the book is full of very helpful aphorisms about what priorities to put first and how to lead a wholesome and successful life,even if you don't have a jump shot.Coach K comes across as really honest and sincere.I can't stand phonies and really was pleasantly surprised by the book. Lots of real life anecdotes about games, players, situations and how to take defeat.Truly inspirational from a superb leader. For sports fans, look what he did with the team of mostly freshman this year, way beyond anyones expectations.He uses his heart a lot, but also his head.You can also read and skip around in the book, its not like a novel.Again, his repeated emphasis on how to deal with defeat and failure shows true wisdom, far beyond that of most college coaches. I remember the tonge in cheek defintion of a college basketball coach by a player once."you have to be a little bit crazy to base your career on someone else's jump shot." Coach K is crazy like a fox.
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on April 16, 2000
Good book. Good lessons. Resonated well with me because (A) I was at Duke in K's early years and (B) I'm now a CEO working to be a better leader.
Where it excels: While many books say, "do this" K explains why you "do this," which makes the lesson much more valuable. Focuses specifically on interpersonal skills, rather than vague over-arching principles of some Forunte 100 CEO. Gives lots of examples and the fact that I witnessed many of them myself (albeit on TV) helped me understand. Summarizes the points at the end of each chapter (though this could be improved).
Where it's weak: K himself says he wants honesty, so here it is: He needs more confidence as an author and to set his sights higher. It's a "good" leadership/basketball reminiscing book that could be a truly _great_ leadership-only book if it were better edited to spend less time on irrelevant details of some game in 1988 and more time on being concise. Those details are entertaining, but we're business leaders, we need people to get to the point. The publisher probably said it needed fluff to sell. However, I'll bet a second edition with less fluff and promoted more as a true management book would sell more. In K terminology, the "heart" of this book is in its leadership lessons. We've already seen the games.
One other troubling aspect: contradictions. K will talk about honesty with players and media, then later cite a ploy with Brian Davis and "blowing smoke at the media" before the second UNLV game. Those should be clarified.
Either way, I recommend it. Coach, you helped me learn.
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on March 28, 2000
I chose this book to read for a business class at my college. The book focuses around Coach K and his experiences with basketball. He alludes to his theories applications towards business some, but it is up to the reader to apply them to his/her own business situations. His theories though on leadership and family are empowering, touching, and entertaining. I highly recommend this book to anyone. It's not just a book for the basketball lover, Duke fan, or business reader. It's a book that shows how one man has steadfastly stood by his beliefs throughout his life. Great book, Coach K!
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on January 16, 2007
Coach K presents his approach for the "storming, performing, and norming" that he performs every season (!) as he takes new recruits and melds them into a national team. This book is a great way to see team building and management from the sports perspective. HIGHLY recommended for its heartfelt, pragmatic advice!

Some great quips (a few paraphrased) include:

* The deal is - there won't be any deals.

* People make rules to keep from making decisions.

* I'm not going to promise you anything. You have to come in, work hard, and earn everything you receive.

* Look for good kids with strong character, not necessarily great talent, but great individuals who are willing to be part of a team.

* Dislike job descriptions, they tend to put people in boxes and hold them back from realizing their true potential.

* Leader has to assess the quality of the team, set the standards, of excellence, and then work with the team to achieve that standard.

* What a leader does now sets up for later. And there is always a later.

* Want the team to get better every day. The rest will take care of itself.

* Change things up; don't do the same thing each year.

* Almost everything comes back to relationships.

* Nothing demonstrates that you care about people then spending time with them.

* The only way you can lead people is to understand people. The best way to understand them is to get to know them better.

* Some feel discipline is a dirty word, it only means doing what you should, when you should, in the best way.

* Fellas, I am the truth. At any time, I can and will tell you where you stand and how you're doing.

* We must be honest with each other, there is no other way.

* A leader has to know who he is, what he stands for. Also he has to say it, demonstrate it, and mean it.

* There are a lot of commonsense advantages to running a team like a family - honesty, strength, caring, but one of the greatest is that you are never alone.

...and check out the book for a whole lot more!
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on March 14, 2000
Mike is the simply the best college basketball coach in America. His book details the principles he follows in building and motivating college kids into a team. This is not a twilight of the career definitive biography. Instead, it is a book that fans , coaches and players of all ages can enjoy and apply. Heck even Carolina fans can find much to agree with in this volume!
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on December 4, 2002
I am a high school Athletic Director and Girls' Basketball Coach. I read Coach K's book and had a very difficult time putting it down. I found myself constantly stopping and writing things down. It had so many wonderful ideas, concepts and suggestions on how not only I can better lead my team each season, but how I can better lead the coaches I work with as an athletic director each day.
This book has caused me to stop and rethink some of the things I do. I am currently re-evaluating some of my approaches to working with student-athletes, as well as, the way I lead the coaches in my charge. This book has also reaffirmed that some of the things I am currently doing are good ways of leading my players and coaches.
I do not want to spoil the ideas Coach K has shared in his book. But, I am very excited about some of the things I am currently in the process of implementing in my daily interactions with my players and staff. This book is a must have for every coach and athletic director. It is a must read for anyone looking for suggestions on better ways to lead no matter what their profession.
This book will make you think and generate ideas in your head to make yourself a more effective leader. I did not agree with everything in the entire book. I believe some of the ideas in his book are more related to coaching at the collegiate level and could not possibly apply to high school coaching. But, there certainly is something in this book for everyone. It is a great resource for everyone whether you are a CEO, college coach, high school or middle school coach, or someone unsure of exactly where they are going in life. This book will inspire any of those individuals.
Coach K shares real life experiences. He talks about family, education, friendships, and coaching. He does not preach. He shares his experiences, his successes, his failures. It is an entertaining book as well as educational.
The layout of the book is also very effective. The way the book is set up I can keep it on my shelf as a resource I can refer to at anytime. I plan to keep it in my office and refer to often. I do not feel I can implement all the ideas this book produced in my head in one season. I will continue to use this book to help me become the most effective leader I can be, the best coach I can be, the best athletic director I can be.
I highly recommend this book. I was a Duke fan before I read this book. I have always enjoyed the way they played the game of basketball. I now understand why they play the game so well. I now understand why they have been so successful. I understand why Duke is one of the most respected programs in all of college basketball. They have an extremely intelligent, hard working, and caring individual leading them. He cares not only about winning basketball games, but about each individual involved in the Duke Family. I was a Duke fan before I read this book. Now I'm a Mike Krzyzewski fan.
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on April 11, 2000
"Leadership is the privilege of making differences for and through others." At least, this is my definition. I have read every significant book on leadership that has been published for the past ten years. I am a passionate student of the very subject that is my life's work: helping others in the business arena realize their potentials for greatness.
At the outset of a leadership class not long ago, one of the questions I asked was, "What leaders past or present would you list as being truly great?" This was after we addressed "why leadership now" and "how we learn it." One individual listed two: Abraham Lincoln and Mike Krzyzewski. I'll never forget that.
I had read Donald Phillips work, Lincoln on Leadership and LOVED it. When I saw that he and Coach K had collaborated, I KNEW I was in for a treat.
I am as big a fan of college hoops,ACC particularly, and Blue Devils specifically (my hometown) as I am of leadership.
There are HUGE lessons in the text for leaders at all levels. I've already captured one and e-mailed it to several leaders in business and industry.
Coach K is to great team leadership at college level what Phil Jackson is at the NBA level. It's all about selflessness and compassion.
I wish the book had been twice as long. I'm going to get the audio for reinforcement. He has many "quotables" throughout that people will want to remember.
It's a powerful and emotional journey that's fun to take!
This is the stuff from which great movies are made!
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on May 22, 2000
I am a great fan of Mike Krzyzweski and I just was taken away by this book. Coach K brought out the sincerity, loyalty, honesty, commitment and drive that has gotten him and his team as far as they have come. I felt like I was sitting beside Coach K throughout the whole time I was reading his advice, strategies, quotes, and thoughts. As a trainer, I use his book on a regular basis, quoting him, taking his ideas on team building and developing minds of young people. I recommend this book to everyone who has a team, whether sports or business related. Some people may think that they have the perfect team already, but I assure you, "Leading with the Heart", will make you even better: in mind, spirit, and commitment.
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on April 16, 2015
Philosophy of COACH K is simple but based on natural human motivation and system of values. The truly value of that book is showing a path of implementation natural leadership phiolosophy of COACH K. MIke KRZYZEWSKI extraordinairy basketball coach is also an extraordinairy LEADER, whose POWER based of VALUES LEADERSHIP. He is an example of LEADERSHIP BASING ON PERSONAL CREDIBILITY - He is an real example of His VALUES. This is an EFFICIENT and MOST NATURAL PHILOSOPHY of MANAGEMENT, useful in every kind of organization, not only in sport. Somebody can say - "OK but this is a pedagogical job..." Yeah, but COACH K is also efficient as a US OLYMPIC TEAM COACH. His philosophy o working and building strong relationship was useful also in that case. Great book for every Leader
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