|Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 10||Issue 515|
|Craig Impelman Speaking | Championship Coaches | Champion's Leadership Library Login|
"CREATE A CHALLENGE" (BILL RUSSELL PART NINE)
John Wooden Video Clip (56 sec.): Coach Wooden is asked: "Please tell us about the poem-How to be a Champion."
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.
As a leader, Bill Russell was a "challenger". A challenger is a leader who, when faced with difficulty, creates a challenge for the team to come up with a solution. By doing this the leader gets energy and buy in from the team. Each team member grows because they must learn new things to come up with the solution.
The other type of leader is "the know it all" who says, "here's what we're going to do." The must-read book "Multipliers" by Liz Wiseman will provide you with research data on how a "challenger" succeeds as opposed to a "know it all".
In his book Russell Rules, Coach Russell gives an example of creating a challenge:
"In my final season with the Boston Celtics, we were not expected to win another championship. We had finished fourth in the Eastern Division. As player-coach, I carefully reviewed the season. When I looked at a game-by-game breakdown of our season I noticed something curious. We lost seventeen games by three or fewer points. That meant, to me, that we were not closing well. We did not really have a last-second shot play that was effective in putting us ahead.
I called the guys together and I told them what I had found and that we needed to come up with a last-second shot play. I left it to the guys to come up with the play. I asked them what plays they had used in college at the end that had been especially successful. John Havlicek and Larry Sigfried were from Ohio State and had what I thought to be the best play.
When we first ran the play, it took twenty-seven seconds to run. Obviously, it would never do in the final seconds of a game. Everyone on the team understood this. With everybody participating in the refinement process we were able to run that play in four seconds.
We ran the play in the play-offs and won five of our games by three points or less in route to our eleventh NBA championship. The decision—which involved delegation, risk, commitment, discipline, and responsibility— was, to me, the epitome of what sound decision-making is all about."
Do you create challenges?
Yours in Coaching,
Some day our eyes will brighten, and some day our hearts will lighten,
Edgar Albert Guest (1881-1959)
For more information visit www.woodenswisdom.com
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