What the top 5 coaches say about leadership


Leaders live by choice, not by accident, this is an important concept to understand, and when it comes to leadership, the following men are all an authority on the subject. These five consummate champion builders and trophy seekers had the knowhow and dedication to turn franchises into dynasties, all while commanding the love and respect of all who they coached and led to victory.

Phil Jackson: American professional basketball executive

“Obviously there is an intellectual component to playing basketball. Strategy is important. But once you have done the mental work, there comes a point here you have to throw yourself into the action and put your heart on the line. That means not only being brave, but also being compassionate toward yourself, your teammates and your opponents.”

Sports have wrapped up within them, amazing life lessons that can be utilized off the field. Compassion breaks down barriers among people, be it on a court or in the real world. Taking the time to understand your teammate, or opponent’s situation will help create empathy which is necessary in order to be an effective leader.


Vince Lombardi: Coach of the Green Bay Packers

“Teamwork is what the Green Bay Packers were all about. They didn’t do it for individual glory. They did it because they loved one another.”

We need each other to succeed. As a leader, you need your team fully behind you and supporting you if you want to see success corporately. You need to emphasize the importance of teamwork and build an organization that has a good team culture.


John Wooden: American basketball player and coach

“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”

Character is what makes people believe in you and is essential both for individual success and for our society to function successfully. Each individual must do his or her part every day by living a life of integrity.

Bill Walsh: Former head coach of the San Francisco 49ers 

“Others follow you based on the quality of your actions rather than the magnitude of your declarations.”

The way you get others to follow you is demonstrating you deserve to be followed. Leadership is about the example you set and the culture you create.


Dean Smith: North Carolina legend 

“I wasn’t as critical during games as I was at practice. Players needed confidence during games more than criticism.”

Be aware of how each of your teammates responds to criticism. As game time draws near, make a concerted effort to increase your ratio of praise. Your team will appreciate having you in their corner.