Last year several prominent college basketball coaches joined together to form the USA Basketball Leadership Council. The following Q/A illustrates how many of the best minds in the game view leadership.
WHAT IS TOP LEADERSHIP LESSON YOU’VE LEARNED?
GINO AURIEMMA: I can’t control what I can’t control. I can prepare my players and spend a lot of time to be ready to do certain things. But when it’s time to perform I cannot control the outcome. The ONLY thing you can control is how well you train your players for that moment and hope they handle the pressure.
JIM BOEHEIM: Leaders are the guys who can do it when things are not going well. It’s not just 1 guy or 2 guys…there may be 1 or 2 who say a lot but your team depends on EVERYBODY taking some form of leadership. Ability to get that team to all buy-in to taking that role in the team.
JAMIE DIXON: Not over reacting before learning all of the facts of a situation.
TOM IZZO: Lead by example is ok…but it is a selfish way. You must lead by bringing others with you! We must get players to trust us before they will start following.
KEVIN OLLIE: Draw the line between being LIKED or RESPECTED. Are you LIKED or RESPECTED? I do a self inventory if what I’m doing is best to lead my basketball team and family.
TUBBY SMITH: Do your job…take care of your business. Don’t rush things…as a leader you must have patience and don’t make a decision too quickly. Then fulfill your job and get it done.
JAY WRIGHT: People who value themselves by the impact they have on the people around them. Core Values= PLAY HARD – PLAY TOGETHER – PLAY SMART – PLAY WITH PRIDE…applies to life as well
HANDLING LEADERSHIP ON A TEAM THAT IS CONSTANTLY CHANGING:
TOM IZZO: Spend more time with players to help them become a leader…a lot of kids want to be leaders but don’t know how. You must make time for it. “A player coached team is better than a coach-coached team.”
KEVIN OLLIE: Have a challenge circle before or after each practice. The basketball is a the cake, when you hold the ball you challenge a teammate daily to get better. Must give the sugar before the hot sauce…say something nice FIRST.
HOW DO YOU IMPLEMENT STANDARDS IN YOUR TEAM?
JAY WRIGHT: We have a list of core values we chart every day. When the players are the leaders it’s easier to implement because they’re out there in the confrontation together.
WHAT DOES ACCOUNTABILITY MEAN TO YOU?
TUBBY SMITH: Existence relies upon those others around doing their job as well.
No one cares how much you know…until they know how much you care.
HOW DO YOU MANAGE PERSONAL MANAGEMENT WHILE ALSO HELPING PLAYING CAREERS?
GINO AURIEMMA: Take everything you do as serious as kids your same age (military) do. Everything you fail to do (screen, closeout, rebound) has a consequence but you wake up the next morning. When someone in the military doesnt do their job, the way its supposed to be done and when its supposed to be done…there are serious consequences for them and their team. You can make mistakes, but you can’t accept the mistakes and make excuses.
JAY WRIGHT: You can’t drive players past what they think they can do if they don’t think you care about them. We never use the term “war”, “battle”, out of respect to armed forces.
JAY BILAS: Responsible to the element, accountable to the mission. (ie=Responsible for my man…Accountable for preventing the offense from scoring)
TOM IZZO: Self evaluation is a huge component to creating leaders and becoming a leader.
GINO AURIEMMA: Players want too much information. They want to be told how to do something and how to react in every situation. They need to FIGURE IT OUT. Give them just enough info and tell them to FIGURE IT OUT.