Leading With The Heart Essay, Research Paper
Ch. 1: Getting Organized
Establish right away in the first meeting the only rule for the team: “Don’t do
anything that’s detrimental to yourself. Because if it’s detrimental to you, it’ll be
detrimental to our program…” (Krzyzewski, 2000, p.4). Don’t dwell on it, so it does not ruin the
Recruit individuals who want to be part of a team and who are cacheable.
Use plural pronouns from the very first meeting on. Use the words “our” instead of “my,” “we”
instead of “I,” and “us” instead of “me.” Leadership on a team is plural, not singular.
Make sure you are not the only one speaking in meetings, especially the first one, to demonstrate
the principal of “we’re all important” (Krzyzewski, 2000, p.7). Include players, assistants,
trainers, and team managers.
During the first meeting, hand out notebooks and pocket calendars with important dates
listed, such as practice times, special events, and game schedule.
“Teach time management, not only as it relates to individuals, but as it pertains to a
group” (Krzyzewski, 2000, p.18).
Remind athletes to tell professors of their schedules, when they will be missing class,
and their plans on what to do for getting the materials they missed.
Encourage the athletes to get the total university life experience. That is why there are
no athletic dorms, so there is no separation between the athletes and student body.
Stress the honor in academics and all things.
The rule “don’t do anything detrimental to yourself” covers a wide variety of things.
Establishing too many rules gets in the way of leadership. “Don’t be a team of ‘I
got’chas” (Krzyzewski, 2000, p.10).
Leadership is “ongoing, adjustable, flexible and dynamic,” and so it allows the leader to
have discretion. No “hard and fast rule” gives the leader the flexibility in different
situations and provides the “latitude to lead” (Krzyzewski, 2000, p.11).
“Set up a family support system for your team. It’s like getting a shot to keep away
jealousy” (Krzyzewski, 2000, p.12).
Distribute laminated cards to each individual with the phone numbers of staff and fellow
players. Remind them to call somebody when they’re in harms way.
A Handshake Deal
Make handshake deals with players during the recruiting process, and tell them of the
“fair but not equal” policy, which means be “fair” in everything that you do, but players
will not be “equal” with regard to on-the-court playing time.
A handshake deal means there are no hidden agendas, everything is straight up.
“Mutual commitment helps people overcome the fear of failure – especially when people
are part of a team sharing and achieving goals” (Krzyzewski, 2000, p.15).
This commitment to each other allows for open lines of communication. Talk with the
players regularly about their personal lives to show you care. “Ongoing communication
enforces the handshake” (Krzyzewski, 2000, p.16).
Each year brings with it a new team, a new set of personalities, and a new set of skills.
So each year you have to coach differently.
“Each team has to run its own race” (Krzyzewski, 2000, p.17).
Ch 2: Building Your Team
“When you first assemble a group, it’s not a team right off the bat. It’s only a collection
of individuals” (Krzyzewski, 2000, p.19).
Assembling skillful individuals as part of the team is a given in order to succeed
Employ really good, smart people who want to be part of an organization. Not “yes”
people, but people that will tell you the truth, no matter if it is good or bad.
All assistants should want to be a top leader in the future. That way they’ll want to learn
Don’t force an individual into a job description. Rather, they should fit each individual
so that his/her strengths are best utilized. “Never let a person’s weaknesses get in the
way of his strength” (Krzyzewski, 2000, p.25).
At the end of each year go through an appraisal and reevaluation process. Rotate
responsibilities if needed.
“The level of cooperation on any team increases tremendously as the level of trust rises”
(Krzyzewski, 2000, p.26).
Bonds must be formed between all members of the team, from player to player, player to
coach, coach to coach, player to manager, etc…. “A framework of leadership has to be
created so that the wheel is sustained if something happens to the hub” (Krzyzewski,
2000, p.27). This is accomplished by developing trusting relationships among everyone.
Leaders have to give time for relationships.
A Winning Attitude
“A real winning attitude is about standards of excellence – which are variable from year
to year, from team to team. Being the best you can be – and doing the best you can – are
the constants” (Krzyzewski, 2000, p.28).
The leader has to asses the team, set the standard of excellence, and then work with the
team to achieve that standard.
Finding the Heart
Give people the freedom to show the heart they possess.
The leader of the has to search for the heart of the team because the person who is the
heart can bring out the best in the other members of the team, including the leader.
Each year ask the question: “Where will the heart be?”
Ch 3: Establishing Discipline
Respect for Authority
“All players must have the discipline to believe and trust in what a coach says to them at
a moment’s notice” – and vice versa (Krzyzewski, 2000, p.38).
Leaders must have a caring attitude, “instill respect for authority by being direct, by
communicating regularly, and by being honest.” Also, remember that a true respect for
authority takes time to grow and develop. (Krzyzewski, 2000, p.39).
Honest and Integrity
Instill in the team the discipline to tell the truth. Dealing with anything but the truth is a
waste of time.
People have to know that your word is good.
Embrace personal responsibility. Taking responsibility for your own actions and
mistakes sets a good example and shows respect for fellow team members.
Learn that failure is part of success.
“Discipline is doing what you are supposed to do in the best possible manner at the time
you are supposed to do it” (Krzyzewski, 2000, p.46).
Teach individuals the qualities of good sportsmanship, patience, and being enthusiastic
and energized every time out.
“A team has to learn the discipline of physical habit collectively – as a unit”
(Krzyzewski, 2000, p.47).
If every person has a great foundation and the passion and heart to love what they do,
they will always love their life.
Ch 4: Dynamic Leadership
Each year a team creates a brand-new culture. New people arrive and begin to mesh with other
members who have been there for one, two, or three years.
If that culture is developed properly, then in the heat of competition, when you have to really get
a message across, the team or an individual will respond well.
Define Your Own Success
If you always try to achieve success that is defined by someone else, then you’ll always
be frustrated. Define your own success.
“Whatever a leader does now sets up what he does later. And there’s always a later”
(Krzyzewski, 2000, p.55).
Planning and Preparation
Each leader has to look ahead at the entire season so that they can plan and prepare for
every phase. But those plans, or strategies, must be adjustable and members of the team
must be prepared accordingly.
Success is a matter of preparing to win.
Goals should be shared among all members of the team.
Goals should be realistic and attainable.
“Never set a goal that involves a number of wins – never.” Set goals that revolve around
playing together as a team so that the team can be good every time out. (Krzyzewski,
The leader must always follow the progress on a regular basis. Progress and good work
has to be rewarded and encouraged.
Each goal set has to be worthy of the team’s commitment.
If the leader is not fully committed to a course of action that allows use of the team’s full
commitment, then the leader needs to change his course of action.
Every Season Is a Journey
“Every season is a journey. Live it with exuberance and excitement. Live it right”
(Krzyzewski, 2000, p.64).
II. Regular Season
Ch 5: Teamwork
“There are five fundamental qualities that make every team great: communication, trust,
collective responsibility, caring, and pride. I like to think of each as a separate finger on
the fist. Any one individual is important. But all of them together are unbeatable”
(Krzyzewski, 2000, p.65).
“Any one fist can break any one finger. Therefore, your goal as a leader should be to
create a dominant team where all five fingers fit together into a powerful fist”
(Krzyzewski, 2000, p.70).
The leader and members of the team have to be able to adjust on the run so not to miss
any great scoring opportunities.
Confidence shared with other members of the team is better than confidence only in
Don’t hire individuals solely for their technical merits, but rather look and see how well
they function as a team member in a team environment. “Communication is just as
important as technical ability” (Krzyzewski, 2000, p.74).
At the beginning of each year, look for the communicator on the team
Trust is the most important word in leadership.
Confrontation is good. In confrontation, you are just meeting the truth face-to-face.
Teach the principle “that your fifth shot is your first shot” (Krzyzewski, 2000, p.75).
The team wins and loses together. Great teams embrace responsibility.
The principle of caring is a dynamic motivational force on any team.
Have enough pride to believe that every loose ball on the floor has your name on it.
“Two are better than one if two act as one” (Krzyzewski, 2000, p.83).
Ch 6: Training and Development
You Hear, You Forget. You See, You Remember. You Do, You Understand.
Always remember the above phrase when teaching.
Be fully prepared for every practice. Create a lesson plan, but remain flexible. Use the
lesson plan only as a guide.
A leader has to walk through processes and strategies with team members. He can not
just tell people what to do and expect them to perform well.
Try not to use things like email, memos, or whistles in practice because these items tend
to put distance between the leader and members of the team.
Seeing Themselves Through Your Eyes
For members of the team to know truly how they are with the leader (not how they think
they are), they need to be able to see themselves through the leaders eyes.
Plan for Nuances
Prepare your team for any nuances that they may encounter in games..
Creativity and Innovation
Try not to erect any artificial walls “that might limit potential, stifle creativity, or
shackle innovation” (Krzyzewski, 2000, p.97).
Leaders should not be predictable, but should be reliable. “They should be consistent
without being anticipated” (Krzyzewski, 2000, p.98).
Ask lots of questions. A good idea can come from anywhere or anyone.
Ch 7: Turn Negatives Into Positives
Pay Attention to Detail
It is important for leaders to focus on the technical skills of their industry, but it’s also
very important to focus on details related specifically to people in the organization.
“People talk to you in different ways – through facial expressions, moods, mannerisms,
body language, the tone in their voice, the look in their eyes” (Krzyzewski, 2000, p.107).
As a leader you must able to read your players. Also, be able to recognize the different
ways they are talking to you and then react to it or take action.
Think About Winning
A leader must remain positive no matter what happens to his team. Do not view events
in the past as failure.
It is impossible to win every game, but it is possible to learn from every game.
The Courage to Lead
It takes courage to make tough decisions and then to live with those decisions after they
are made. A leader must have the courage to make tough decisions in a split second.
“Courage and confidence are what decision-making is all about” (Krzyzewski, 2000,
“Don’t let a single game break your heart” (Krzyzewski, 2000, p.115).
Ch 8: Game Day
Make game day your best day. Avoid distractions and try to relax.
Members of the team expect the leader to be upbeat, positive, and have confidence that
the team will win.
Leaders show respect for members of the team by giving them time.
Have a clear head when going into a game. With a clear head you’ll be more likely to
react well to unpredictable situations that you might encounter.
Encourage team members to be well rested and to be at a high level emotionally before
A Game of Adjustments
Both business and sports are games of adjustments. Be ready to adjust.
Be prepared for the fact that you may have to throw out your game plan after only five
A leader may have to set aside his emotions in order to help his team reach its goals.
Coach By Feel
At times a leader has to “draw a line in the sand” to show his team to take a stand
(Krzyzewski, 2000, p.124).
“Game day is not a day for long, drawn-out speeches. It is time for interaction”
(Krzyzewski, 2000, p.125).
All Aboard the Train
It is the leaders job to make sure everyone is about the train.
Ch 9: Refresh and Renew
After the regular season, take time to get refreshed. Now is the time to clear your head,
rest, and “recharge your batteries.” Then get after it! (Krzyzewski, 2000, p.139).
As a leader you have to look at the demeanor of your team. See if they are injured,
healthy, excited, down, energized, or tired.
As the team leaders (captains) for their opinions about the demeanor of the team.
The formula of preparation, communication, hard work, practice, and focus should
continue to be your guide.
“Set mini-goals. Plan for ‘energy bursts’” (Krzyzewski, 2000, p.141).
How you win in the first round sets the stage for the rest of the postseason. This is key.
Media and Public Relations
Deal with the media with respect and honesty, but don’t tell them every detail.
Believe but Don’t Assume
Be a team that believes you can win it all. But don’t assume that you will win it all.
Respect your competition at all times. Disrespecting them is disrespecting yourself.
Ch 10: Handling A Crisis
“The worse the crisis, the more people will tend to think as individuals rather than as
members of a team” (Krzyzewski, 2000, p.151).
Truth and Trusting Relationships
Luck favors teams who trust one another.
When you make a mistake, admit it and apologize in front of the whole team. To admit
you screwed up is a strength, not a weakness.
“Successful crisis management is best achieved when people are truthful with one
another – immediately” (Krzyzewski, 2000, p.154).
When you have fun, it helps reduce pressure. Always maintain a good sense of humor.
Show The Face Your Team Needs to See
Before a leader ever speaks, they see his face, his eyes, and even his walk. A leader must
always show the face his team needs to see.
“You do not necessarily beat fear with a hug. Sometimes you have to attack the hell out
of it.” Confidence can be a great weapon against fear. Don’t show your opponents your
weaknesses, show them your strengths. (Krzyzewski, 2000, p.158).
Trying To Get to Heaven
Anger can be used in situations if it motivates you to do something good.
Part of a leader’s job is to create opportunities. The leader has to find ways to win.
Ch 11: Focus on the Task At Hand
The Final Four
A leader has to delegate as much as possible when events beyond his control pull him
away from his team.
Each member of the team is responsible for their own performance.
Winning the Moment
A leader has to remove any obstacles that may prevent his team from doing its best.
During crucial times, a leader has to fend off negative emotions. He has to be strong.
For a team to overcome a overwhelming adversary, they must have extreme
concentration and focus.
Encourage team members to take initiative and act on their own.
Any organization will not win on reputation alone, no matter how good they are. They
have to go out and earn it.
Don’t let moments of ecstasy last to long. They may cause you to lose the next game.
“When you cleanse yourself of a big victory, you may open yourself up to the opportunity
for an even bigger victory” (Krzyzewski, 2000, p.183).
Ch 12: Celebrate Tradition
At the end of every season, thank your team for their effort.
Give the team a night of its own at the end the season. Maybe a banquet, but however, give them
a chance to celebrate the journey. And make it fun.
A Part of Something Bigger
Given enough time, an idea can become an established tradition.
Tradition helps motivate people. It brings them back and motivates them to go on
“If people are part of something with a lot of tradition, they will be less likely to be
jealous of a teammate or do something detrimental to the organization. Tradition makes
it more difficult to bring out the negative aspects of human nature” (Krzyzewski, 2000,
Binding the Past to the Present
“Consistent excellence engenders pride” (Krzyzewski, 2000, p.199).
Always honor the seniors in your organization.
The Sixth Man
Build relationships with people who support your organization.
Once you have tradition in place, confidence, excellence, unity and pride will grow.
Ch 13: Blueprint Basics
If the leader is committed, the more likely followers will commit.
Give players the freedom to show their own level of commitment to the team.
Define your own excellence and always strive for it, not for success.
Motivation is both an individual and team effort.
“Each moment requires its own maneuver” (Krzyzewski, 2000, p.210).
Remain hungry to stay successful. Don’t cheat yourself with complacency.
Plan what you teach.
While teaching your players, you can always learn from them.
“When your organization operates like a strong family, you can’t be knocked out by one
punch” (Krzyzewski, 2000, p.217).
Family is just like the fist principle. It makes individuals part of something bigger.
Ch. 14: The Core of Character
“True bravery in leadership revolves around the degree to which a person maintains the
courage of his convictions” (Krzyzewski, 2000, p.224).
When you stand strong against an opposing force for the first time, it’s easier to have
courage again and again the next time.
People must have confidence in themselves before they can realize their full potential.
Put yourself in situations where you can always learn something new. When you stop
growing and learning, you start to decay.
Don’t forget defeats, defeats can be the key to future victories.
When people achieve something that they’ve worked their butt off for, it makes them
“The only way to lose is if you don’t try your best” (Krzyzewski, 2000, p.233).
Honest and Integrity
“Integrity is nothing more than doing the right thing no matter who’s watching you”
(Krzyzewski, 2000, p.233).
Make the truth the basis of everything you do.
Ch 15: Friendship
“We Will Always be Friends”
Work hard at staying in contact with your friends so the relationships continue to live
When Friends Leave
Sometimes people have to move on, no matter how many good things you did for them.
Part of leadership is dealing with instability.
When people leave, thank them for what they’ve done. Don’t hold grudges.
Pack everything into the moment. The future should always be uncertain for you.
“Touch people’s hearts with sincerity and eloquence” (Krzyzewski, 2000, p.247).
Never, never give up.
Make your last game your best.
Find a way to win.
Ch 16: Life
“Sometimes when you’re blinded by your emotions and your commitments, it’s best for someone
else to tell you what to do” (Krzyzewski, 2000, p.278).
Every once in awhile you have to be committed to yourself, and only yourself.
People tend to look at things closer when they lose, not when they win.
Be careful when dealing with extremes not to use the singular pronoun “I.”
“Stop the ‘Success Express’ once in awhile to enjoy the journey” (Krzyzewski, 2000, p.278).
If you teach something, you better be able to do it.
Surround yourself with people who will say no for you.
When things go wrong for the team, accept the responsibility, admit the mistakes, and move on.
“Regularly ask yourself the question: ‘What’s your job, knucklehead?’” (Krzyzewski, 2000,
“Take care of your core” (Krzyzewski, 2000, p.278).
“Listen to your doctors” (Krzyzewski, 2000, p.278).