|Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 10||Issue 456|
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"CURIOSITY: A CORNERSTONE OF COMMITMENT" (BILL RUSSELL)
In Bill Russell's 13 years in the NBA (1956-69) his Boston Celtics won 11 championships. For the last two championships (1968 and 1969) he was the player-coach. He led USF to back to back NCAA Championships and followed that up with an Olympic Gold Medal. Sports Illustrated named him "the greatest team player in history." and HBO recognized Russell as "the greatest winner of all time." He played basketball for 21 seasons and won 18 championships.
In 2001 Russell,with David Falkner, published a fantastic book, Russell Rules, in which he detailed eleven lessons in leadership. His first rule is "Commitment begins with curiosity".
In his book Coach Russell expands on the idea:
"Commitment in my mind is the common denominator separating those who live their dreams from those who live their lives regretting the opportunities they have squandered. What differentiates those who see and pursue the power of commitment versus those who can't? One word: curiosity. Curiosity is the oxygen of accomplishment and success.
The goal of winning slips away with the loss of curiosity. Though curiosity is a child's possession, an adult can use it consciously as a tool, can develop it in the building of a winning strategy. Good questions are more important than easy answers. The "silly question" is often not silly at all, it's the beginning of a new pathway toward a solution."
The leader should encourage and find team members who want to know why and how things work and whether there is a better way. "The only bad questions are the ones that are not asked." Unless you are in the CIA "Need to know" is not a winning strategy. Russell makes this clear in his book:
"When commitment is coerced, thinking is not required—just obedience. Curiosity on the other hand, is the arch-stone of that thinking process that leads to doing. Curiosity is connected to doing, to solving, experimenting, trying, failing, and then accomplishing. "How does this work?" "What do I do?" "What happens next?" "What do I do to make this turn out the way I want—or the way you want?" Those are all basic questions that stem from curiosity, but that are also basic to winning."
When curiosity stops, progress ends and commitment dies.
Do you encourage or discourage the curiosity of others?
What are you curious about?
Yours in Coaching,
Whatever the task and whatever the risk, wherever
Edgar Allen Guest (1881-1959)
For more information visit www.woodenswisdom.com
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