What can you learn about Teams from Coach K?

We know sports is a unique phenomenon in this country … and March Madness is the perfect example. Brackets everywhere, employees calling in sick (uh huh) and zealous alumni and fans hooting and hollering on every play.

Coaching legacies abound and few set a higher bar than the tribute to Coach K. In the business world,  it’s usually, more like a small reception and the dreaded gold watch.

Perhaps the workplace is too mundane … too common … maybe too routine to warrant that kind of enthusiasm?

Coach K May Be the Exception

What would it take to create a similar legacy to the one Coach Mike Krzyzewski … widely known at Coach K for obvious reasons … has created upon retiring after 42 years as the basketball coach at Duke University. Here are the highlights of his achievements:

  • 42 years,
  • 15 ACChampionships
  • 13 regular championships
  • 12 Final Four appearances
  • 5 National Championships, and
  • 3 Olympic gold medals?

Is it possible to generate the kind of excitement and exhilaration in your business environment as Coach K has created at Duke?

But, as you’ll see, it’s not just for his basketball victories that his legacy and contributions are celebrated.

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Here are the values for which he is known

Duke University held a post-game tribute to Coach K after his final home game a few weeks ago at the Cameron Indoor Stadium. It was a packed house for their final game, with some tickets reportedly going for more than $50,000 on the open market.

Even though the game was over, no one among the almost 10,000 people attending the game left before the post-game ceremony planned for Coach K.

During the ceremony, the Duke Athletic Director identified the 3 values Coach K shared with the Duke community. (The first 2 word are included as two of the key words in The C.O.R.N.E.R.S.T.O.N.E.S. of Effective Leadership, an exclusive Exkalibur email series and e-book, which is currently being revised for publication.)

  • Excellence
  • Integrity and
  • Grace

What the 5 Elements of a Successful Team?

In her remarks, the Athletic Director also identified the five elements of a successful team that Coach K embodied:

  • Communication
  • Trust
  • Collective responsibility
  • Caring
  • Pride

While you may not choose those same five features of a successful team, all of them are worthy attributes of any successful team.

Here’s The Question

What values and attributes do you expect from your teams?

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