“The total value of NBA contracts of players who have come through our program is more than $1 billion, and that doesn’t include endorsements.” – Kentucky Wildcats head basketball coach John Calipari

Few things bring leaders more joy than investing in and leading other leaders.  As a follow up to my previous post 50 Leadership And Quotes On Coaching Extreme Talent From John Calipari Part 1, I wanted to bring you 50 additional leadership lessons from Coach Cal’s incredible new book Success Is The Only Option: The Art Of Coaching Extreme Talent.

This is one of the finest leadership books I have read in quite awhile.  I highly recommend every leader pick up a copy for them and members of the leadership teams.  If you don’t believe me, read the quotes below on what is needed to lead top-tier talent.  You can order copies by clicking HERE or on the image provided.

The following are 50 Additional Leadership And Quotes On Coaching Extreme Talent From John Calipari Part 2:

  1. “You – the CEO, the boss, the coach – do not want to be a source of fear or intimidation.  You want to inspire people, not terrorize them.”
  2. “I recruit extreme talent.  Just like in any business, extreme talent does not always equate with a person who is settled, secure, and able to deal easily with all the pressures and expectations falling on him.”
  3. “To lead extreme talent often means taking on complicated individuals.”
  4. “Nobody cares about their feelings.  Your contract is based on on performance.  If you’ve got problems in your game that you don’t fix, you’ll be out of the league in a hurry.”
  5. “The great ones in any line of work are always competing against themselves.  I use metrics to give my players additional ways to truly measure themselves and as a means of making competitive people even more competitive.”
  6. “We have one essential metric – in basketball that will never change: wins and losses.”
  7. “Any person in a position of responsibility should want want access to as much statistical information as possible.”
  8. “If you look at the word accountable, you see that the root of it is count.  Well, we count everything.”
  9. “The best system is one that works…the one that fits your employees.”
  10. “A CEO or leader of any type is in the business of persuasion, or you might even say sales.”
  11. “My players – and any top-tier talents – will not share without first knowing what’s in it for them.”
  12. “Highly talented people have choices.  They are not going to choose to land at a place, or stay there, if it means their own futures are diminished.”
  13. “If you’re about players first – your people first – are you willing to think outside the box to make sure it works for everyone?”
  14. “When you’re leading elite athletes, you’d better have some background, some street creed…What my kids are looking at is not how many championships a coach has won, but a record of developing and preparing players for the NBA.”
  15. “One of my most important jobs as a leader of young men who play for me is to model my own behavior and values.”
  16. “You understand that improvement is a process.  World-class athletes are always working on adding some aspect to their game.”
  17. “As a leader of extremely talented players, is that it is to get them to dream the impossible, to get them to reach for things that they never thought were reachable.”
  18. “There’s no such thing as ‘too much talent.’  Any leader worthy of the title puts teams together with the proper people to lead them in order to take full advantage of all the human resources.”
  19. “We celebrate the ‘jack of all trades’ more than we actually reward him.  In the work world, a well-rounded individual is always valuable but a person who does just one thing really well is usually more in demand.”
  20. “I am always looking for a player who can dominate in an area of our game.  It doesn’t have to be the whole game but for a five-or-six minute stretch.”
  21. “One philosophy of my program is that we don’t harp on weaknesses; we build on strengths.”
  22. “What builds confidence is demonstrated performance.  My role as a coach is to shape a player and give him an identity that really streamlines who he is at a given moment in time.”
  23. “There’s no substitute in this world for doing the work.  No short-cut.”
  24. “Training must be harder than the games.  And only crushing, exhausting training builds the confidence that leads to demonstrated performance.”
  25. “One of the most important things any leader has to understand – and one of the most difficult – is what you can control and what you can’t.”
  26. “If you come into my office, you’ve got to take stuff off my tray.  If you put stuff on my tray, why do I need you?”
  27. “Don’t tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.” – General George S. Patton
  28. “I always keep our focus on us, rather than the competition, and I would argue that is sound strategy for any business and is its own form of empowerment.  We control our outcomes rather than get distracted by what’s happening on the periphery.”
  29. “You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.” – Winston Churchill
  30. “I’ve got a big sign in my office that say COACH YOUR TEAM…Everything else is a distraction- all the clutter, all the hearsay, all the opinions.  It’s all a distraction.”
  31. “Don’t relish in others’ misfortunes.  That, too, is a distraction.”
  32. “Hiring assistant coaches…I’m looking for certain things…Can that person created relationships with our current players to bring them together?  Can he be the individual workout guru who is on call twenty-four hours a day?  Can he create relationships with recruits, their families, and their coaches?  Does he have existing relationships that can put us in touch with the best players in the country?”
  33. “To be fully empowered you have to first take full responsibility.”
  34. “The extreme depth of talent I lead allows me to be more demanding.  There’s no reason for any of my players to violate a non-negotiable.  If they do, they know I’ll grab someone off the bench and sub them right out of the game.”
  35. “Everything that we do in public, during our games, is preceded by hundreds of hours of practice.  If you come up short at a key moment, in sports or business, look back very closely and critically at your preparation.”
  36. “Good players make hard plays look easy, bad ones make easy plays look hard.”
  37. “The people within an organization are the organization; if the leader cares first for them, looking after their well-being and helping them reach their goals, then the whole enterprise will thrive.”
  38. “The art of coaching extreme talent includes coaching talent of all kinds – including extreme leadership talent.”
  39. “You can’t lead them on the court if you don’t lead them off of it.”
  40. “Leadership and empowerment are really about a will to win.  What will you do to make sure that happens?”
  41. “Extreme talent, however, in any field, does not necessarily equate with extreme wisdom or extreme judgement.”
  42. “If it’s predictable, it’s preventable.”
  43. “I post but I never respond to other tweets, nor do I read them.  For me, social media is a one-way communication tool because I don’t want to get caught up in the clutter.”
  44. “One way in which I’m still old-fashioned is that I still do most of my learning from reading – mostly books.”
  45. “It takes a lively mind to excel in sports…My elite players are always curious.  They’re the ones reading the books and looking at extra tape.”
  46. “Hotshot prospects are expected to change jobs frequently…In the modern economy, no one can hoard talent.”
  47. “A leader’s role, generally, is to recruit talent, nurture it, and be realistic about the fact that it’s going to move on sooner rather than later.”
  48. “My goal as their coach is for them to become the best version of themselves on the basketball court, and off it – as people who engage fully with the world and try to make a difference.”
  49. “I’ve gone from the business of basketball to the business of helping families.  When we make our lives about others, life becomes easier.”
  50. “We create successful teams by binding our players to one another, to a common mission, and to the principles of shared sacrifice and servant leadership.”

What is one lesson from Coach Calipari you can use TODAY to make you a better leader?  And if you have picked up your copy of Success Is The Only Option: The Art Of Coaching Extreme Talent yet, click HERE and do so today.

Click HERE or on the image to the left for my new ebook from another incredibly successful head coach,  The Leadership Of Nick Saban: Timeless Truths From The Incomparable Head Coach Of The Alabama Crimson Tide.  Enjoy!



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