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Coach Greg Popovich of the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs may go down as one of the greatest professional basketball coaches of all time.  With Popovich as coach, the Spurs have won four championships and closely competed for ten more.  In a recent interview, he revealed the “secret sauce” of leading a team and it applies to every leadership situation.  The full interview is here buff.ly/1l5NfNz  and here a summary of Popovich’s key insights.  This is servant leadership in action.

Empowering his players to communicate on the court as he does during timeouts is key to getting them to make the right decisions throughout a game.

(Mining) the “competitiveness and the character of the player” (shapes) them into confident, productive components of the (team)

“I think competitive, character people don’t want to be manipulated constantly to do what one individual wants them to do.  It’s a great feeling when players get together and do things as a group. “

“It’s a players’ game and they’ve got to perform. The better you can get that across, the more they take over and the more smoothly it runs.”

People are people whether in pro sports, business or non-profit and the same principles apply to your team.

  1. Give your team the freedom (and encourage them) to communicate on their field of play.always communicating
  2. Swallow your pride and the need to solve every problem and say, “I’ve got nothing, you figure it out.”
  3. Search for, find and cultivate the competitiveness and character in every team member

They have to take charge or you never get to your version of a championship.

Questions to get you into action

What are the barriers to communication on your team? Personality, physical space, distractions?

What ground work needs to be laid with your team so you can throw your hands up and say, “You figure it out”?

How will you mine the competitiveness of your team?

Jeff Harmon

Jeff Harmon is the president of Brilliance Within Coaching & Consulting which specializes in developing servant leaders while helping them translate their strategies into actionable plans that drive business results. Jeff is the author of “The Anatomy of a Principled Leader.” Jeff has been developing leaders for nearly 20 years and has led the execution of over 100,000 hours of business strategy for information technology, financial services and non-profit organizations.

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