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Russell Rules: 11 Lessons on Leadership From the Twentieth Century's Greatest Winner Paperback – May 1, 2002
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There are those who would argue that Bill Russell was the greatest basketball player ever, not because of his physical talents so much as his ability to lead and work within a team. Recently, Russell has been a regular on the lecture circuit, helping businesses understand how to take the principles of "Celtic Pride" and apply it to their corporate cultures and customer relations. In Russell Rules, he breaks downs the qualities that helped to earn him 11 NBA championships into 11 leadership lessons that should enlighten just about anyone, including managers, entrepreneurs, and educators. --Harry C. Edwards --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Inside Flap
He epitomizes innovation, teamwork, and leadership. Now, Bill Russell, winner of eleven championships as a player and coach of the Boston Celtics and five-time NBA Most Valuable Player, reveals the eleven lessons that helped him achieve his goals and can help anyone attain success in their professional and personal lives.
Bill Russell has been hailed as the greatest team player of the twentieth century, the most important and most valuable basketball player ever, and its greatest winner. Every CEO, manager, entrepreneur, or parent can benefit from his original perspectives on leadership and teamwork, which helped this living legend succeed beyond what anyone in his profession has done before or since. In Russell Rules, Bill Russell shares for the first time in print the insights, humor, memories, and most important, the essential "rules of success" that made him and his team perennial champions. He also shares his personal thoughts on his legendary battles with Wilt Chamberlain as well as how others (Michael Jordan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) would have fared with him in head-to-head play. filled with never-before-revealed stories of his days playing with Celtic greats such as Bob Cousy, Tom Heinsohn, Sam and K.C. Jones, John Havlicek, and coach Red Auerbach, Russell Rules offers inspiring lessons on commitment, personal integrity, team ego, and craftsmanship. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
First off, I am a huge admirer of Russell, on and off the court. I have loved his writing in the past, his book "Second Wind" is probably my all-time favorite. I admire his courage, his humor, his stubbornness. I still think he was the best NBA color commentator ever!!!
But this book is awful. Part of it is the whole genre, that successful sports figures and organizations can teach executives and companies the secrets of success. There is only so much you can say on the subject, and it has been said too many times and often by people who should keep their mouths shut. Just off the top of my head, Mike Jarvis who was fired mid-season by St. John's University is an example of that.
That said, there are four other drawbacks with the book.
First off, it is incredibly repetitious. His 11 points can be easily condensed into 4 or 5. Midway into the book, I felt it would make a decent magazine article but it was stretched out terribly. How many times do we have to hear about how he and KC Jones were such students of the game.
By harping on the lessons learned on the Celtics, Bill goes against much of what he has said in the past. I have heard him many times state that winning and losing has nothing to do with character, it has everything to do with who has the better players. If you can reconcile that with the premise of this book, you have me.
Another issue is his plugging of the National Mentoring organization. I agree with the virtues of mentoring, but the whole plugging seemed like Russell trying to justify to himself the reason for writing the book.
Finally, I firmly believe that you are as good as your record says you are. Russell often says that winning is the only measure. But away from the Celtics, Russell was not much of a winner. He was involved with the Sonics for a few years and had a brief period of success with them. But after a period of subsequent failure, he left by mutual agreement. He was bored and sick of the job and they weren't asking him to stay. He subsequently took a coaching job with the Kings that was even more disastrous.
So if Russell has all the lessons of success from his Celtic days, then why couldn't he repeat them outside of Auerbachland?
If you were to look for ex-players who have repeated their stardom off the court, you can look at Jerry West or Bill Sharman.
The book is not a complete loss. To those unfamiliar with Russell and the Celtics, there is some good information. Plus Russell makes some interesting comparisons between Wilt's style and his own. But overall, the book is a disappointment to me.
We should all strive to his values.
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