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The Winner Within: A Life Plan for Team Players Paperback – October 1, 1994


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Trade (October 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425141756
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425141755
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,788 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In the 1940s, mathematician John von Neumann developed "game theories" utilizing models taken from games of strategies and chance. In the 1980s, basketball coach Riley ( Showtime ) called on these ideas and others to craft his own theories about motivation, selfishness, teamwork, complacency, winning and "choking" that have lead to NBA championships and "Coach of the Decade" honors. Here he outlines his theories, and recounts his successes and infrequent failures with the Lakers and the Knicks in a superb, candid study. Yet Riley also maintains that his concepts work in large and small businesses. He provides vivid examples of how the "winner within" each of us can adapt his ideas to all types of team play, whether in the sports arena, in daily life, or in the marketplace. This book should have wide appeal among sports fans, coaches and people looking for realistic managerial practices useful to non-experts.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Riley, the coach of the New York Knicks and the author of Show Time ( LJ 8/88), combines popular trends in business management, including team-building, with highlights from his two-decade association with professional basketball to produce a readable and inspirational guide for any coach, manager, and team member. Riley provides glimpses of the role played by the emotional side of basketball in winning and losing. He interweaves these experiences, mainly from playoff and championship games, with sound management principles and examples from the business world to illustrate his team-building leadership philosophy. Along the way, he tells some wonderful basketball stories. This book will appeal to a wide audience. Recommended for all public and secondary school libraries. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 5/15/93.
- Andrea C. Dragon, Coll. of St. Elizabeth, Convent Station, N.J.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

I originally purchased & read this book when it was first released.
Paddi Burke
As a MBA student I have learned the need to work well in teams, this book is excellent.
L. M. Wold
I recommend this book to anyone who is or hopes to be a manager in any avenue in life.
J. Munyon

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By J. Munyon on May 16, 2007
Format: Paperback
He is the ultimate strategist, always thinking ahead and planning every act of inspiration and conversation he might use to channel more out of his players than they were currently giving. In 'The Winner Within', Pat Riley shares his tactics for converting his basketball teams into units with an emphasis on the greater good. The highlights of this book came for me in the following:

* Pat Riley's acceptance of being in the right place at the right time when the Lakers needed a head coach and how preparation added to his own confidence that he could succeed at a high level.

* Riley's view on the strengthening process of one's mentality and how being thrown the wolves can be a very healthy experience.

* Making the LA Lakers a team instead a collection of self-serving, finger-pointing superstars. He mentions tactics he employed on each of his different leaders, including ways to use Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's moody eccentricities as a leadership tool.

* How embracing success hurt the Lakers in the mid-eighties and the ways Riley developed a plan to combat complacency on the team.

* How leaders in any profession must be willing to confront cancerous team members swiftly and thoroughly.

* Riley's methods of using strategic moments of temporary insanity and how this can be highly beneficial to the overall good of the team.

* When to know your time is done and move on, as he did when he left LA for New York in 1990.

* Setting reasonable goals that are both attainable and difficult. For example, his 1992 New York Knicks set the goals of being the most hated team in the league, the most conditioned team in the league, and the most professional team in the league. To a T, they succeeded in meeting all their goals.
Read more ›
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 25, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book has made the biggest impact in my ability to produce a successful high school volleyball program. Simply put,I had '0' State Championships before reading it and I have had '6'State Championships(in 8 years) since reading and applying Pat Riley's team philosphy.It is required reading of all team members and required of the seniors to teach it. Coach Riley will bring you through all the challenges a team will face in any sport and supply you with the foundation to build a championship program. In closing,if you are in business and you have not read this book you are losing money...if you are a coach and you have not read this book you are not winning as many games as you could.Tom Turco Head Volleyball Coach Barnstable High School Hyannis Ma.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 16, 1999
Format: Paperback
When I am asked by business counterparts to describe my favorite business philosophy, I give them a copy of Mr. Riley's book. When applied to Sports, it obviously works. When applied to business, it profoundly works. We live in a day and age when the word "I" is used to exhaustion. This book allows one to feel honor in teamwork -- in promoting and supporting the efforts of the entire business group, and shows us how personally rewarding the dynamics of being on a great business team can be. Excellent!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By L. M. Wold on February 19, 2001
Format: Paperback
As a MBA student I have learned the need to work well in teams, this book is excellent. You don't have to like basketball to enjoy it. I will admit, I hate the Lakers (GO SACRAMENTO KINGS!), but the analogies of teamwork and life go hand-in-hand with business and any setting where hardwork and teamwork materialize. Read this book with a highlighter handy, you will want to identify sections, quotes, and sayings that you will use in the future. Well worth the price and the time to read it. This is one of my favorite all-time business books.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By P. V. de Metter on March 16, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Winner Within actually gets 4.5 stars from me. If you like team sports, not even basketball, this book will get to you. When you're in business and are strongly dependent on good teamwork, his lessons can be transformed to business life.

Riley's success is known throughout the US. Being European and less familiar with the person itself it gives me good fundamentals for judging without strings attached. I think his methods work. His methods work, but they may not last or can be implemented in any situation. You have to take the best 60% of his method and mix it with your own beliefs and culture. This last 40% will be your adaptability withing your own situation.

I have learned a great deal reading this book, as I was soon to become a business owner with a team of programmers. Riley's methods definitly helped me in creating my own team and, as important, my own style.

Read it, absorb it, use it. Do not copy it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By L. Nez on July 5, 2007
Format: Paperback
I am reading this book again.. prob the 5 time and I have used about 3 different colors of hi-liter so far. I recommend it and even used the lesson and guidance to help me with my addiction issues this time around.

First time it was family issues, then 2nd time was work issues, third time was deaths in family and fourth time was post college work issues. Its been there for me everytime and this time along with Tx, I am using it again.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 13, 1997
Format: Paperback
I've listend to Pat Riley speak on Charlie Rose's show on PBS and have been impressed with his ability to discuss the concepts of teamwork and leadership and obviously his winning record with different teams speaks for itself but somehow this book was unsatisfying. Oh, I think he has identified a number of significant areas in regard to team play like the "Disease of Me" (selfishness that ruins team play), the team's Core Covenant (which can be both good and bad -- how many of us work in environments whose only core covenant is "cover your a#$"), and complacency (when teams begin to taste success) but what got me was his use of the Lakers of the 80s to illustrate his points. What I couldn't help thinking was that Riley wasn't using his theories (The Egg) to shape his leadership of the Lakers but rather he used his experience with the Lakers (The Chicken) to create his theories. So which came first? Everything he outlines in his theory is matched by an experience he has had with his team. Doesn't this sound a bit too much like revisionist history? I particularly found it hard to swallow when he rationalized his leaving of the Lakers as a moment when a "team player" must go solo (Moving On). I had the sense that had he stayed with the Lakers his book would have added another chapter on perservering rather than leaving. A good theory informs and influences our practices. I think Mr. Riley has gone in the opposite direction and used a good practice (experience) to inform his theory. Unfortunately, I think this makes his book MUCH LESS APPLICABLE to all of us who want to learn how to lead teams and become winners. Just maybe, Pat, you won because of guys named Magic, Jabbar and Worhy rather than any theories about winning . . . What do you think?Read more ›
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