I’m not normally a big fan of sports literature (I did theater in high school), but a colleague recently encouraged me to take a look at Phil Jackson’s (here’s who he is if like me you don’t watch SportsCenter regularly) new book Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success (which stands for the 11 championship rings he won while coaching the Bulls and the Lakers)…and it’s really good.
Normally I think about sports and coaching as being about helping individuals get better, but Jackson challenges that assumption and describes an aspect of his job that you might not have expected:
Basketball is a great mystery. You can do everything right. You can have the perfect mix of talent and the best system of offense in the game. You can devise a foolproof defensive strategy and prepare your players for every possible eventuality. But if the players don’t have a sense of oneness as a group, your efforts won’t pay off. And the bond that unites a team can be so fragile, so elusive.
It’s all about the team baby! It really is…you can have all the systems in the world, but if you don’t have a team that works together, regularly pushes themselves to do their best, and is committed to the goal, you don’t have anything.
It’s that idea that encouraged us to organize a Leadership Retreat this summer. It’s for teams who are interested in taking the time and space away from their day-to-day schedules to think big, action plan, and perhaps most importantly connect as a team that will get things done. We’re looking for teams who are interested in joining us (more info below and here) and if you’re interested you can register here. Whether or not you join us in July, think about how this summer you can make time to build a team with, as Jackson describes, “a sense of oneness as a group.” It will be worth it come game time!