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Pat Riley would have made one heck of a military general.
on May 16, 2007
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.
Riley is very open and honest in this book. He admits that he knew his Knicks would have zero chance of beating the Bulls in a do-or-die game seven in 1992. He had predicted Jordan would get calls and go to the line, and that Ewing would get into foul trouble quickly. Both of his predictions became eerily true. He admits that you must know your place in the pecking order and follow this format:
#1. From nobody to upstart
#2. From upstart to contender
#3. From contender to winner
#4. From winner to champion
#5. From champion to dynasty
Riley's book is also filled with numerous quotes from histories great minds and leaders. Each quote helps highlight what Riley is trying to emphasize.
I recommend this book to anyone who is or hopes to be a manager in any avenue in life. Riley gives a clear-cut format to achieving goals as a leader.