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    Sunday
    Aug122012

    Qualities of a tough management job, US Olympic Basketball Coach Mike Krzyzewski

    The US Olympic Basketball team has just won Gold at the London Olympics.  Talk about a tough job being the Coach Mike Krzyzewski.

    HBR has a post on the picking of the coach to bring the Gold in 2008 and 2012.

    Picking the Man Who'd Lead Basketball's Dream Team to Gold

    I first met Jerry Colangelo in 2007, the then newly minted chairman of Team USA basketball, on a steamy summer day around the pool deck of the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas. After a string of embarrassing losses to countries including Argentina, Lithuania, and Puerto Rico(!) — Colangelo was hand-picked to stop the bleeding and bring the gold medal back home to the country that invented the sport. 

    The product of a tough, close-knit family from Chicago's Hungry Hill suburb, Colangelo is a straight-talking pragmatist. Despite his low-profile, he is basketball royalty, known for delivering results. NBA commissioner David Stern chose Colangelo in 2005 to change the culture of the Team USA basketball organization, which meant creating a cohesive, winning team out of a group of egotistical, strong-willed, and free-wheeling players.

    Part of why I enjoyed this post is it focused on the qualities of what people need to have to lead a talented team.

    After some heated back and forth, a small handful of critical qualities emerged as priorities, including: integrity, passion, transparency, and empathy.

    When I think of some of the great data center leaders they share these same qualities.  Does your management chain have these qualities?  If not, maybe it is time for a new coach to support the best in the players.

    I asked Coach K how he felt when Colangelo offered him the job. "I wanted to jump through the phone I was so excited," he said. "Jerry and I started talking immediately about how to change the culture of this team. We weren't going to simply be another ad-hoc collection of All-Stars. We needed role players that could subsume their superstar egos. Jerry and I asked each player — including the name brand superstars like LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Carmelo Anthony — for a three-year commitment to the team, which was unprecedented.

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