Charles Barkley is one of the most beloved, out-spoken and entertaining television analyst in the history of television.  As such, he was the first guest to appear on Kentucky Wildcats head basketball coach John Calipari’s podcast.

If you are not a regular listener to the CalCast, you are missing as good an A List group of guests you will ever hear – Phil Knight, Mike Krzyzewski, Jim Harbaugh, Geno Auriemma, Drake, Mark Cuban, and many more.  Barkley was the initial guest and it is a must-listen episode.

The following are 20 Leadership Quotes From the Charles Barkley Interview on John Calipari’s CalCast:  First is the principle followed by a quote.  All of which are from Barkley unless otherwise noted.

  1. The Best Advertising Is A Quality Product – “The key is the game…If you have bad games people are not going to watch.” – on why the TNT studio crew works so well.
  2. Talent Finds A Way – “You can’t ever hold talent down.”
  3. Leadership And The Theory Of Relativity – “They say they play 82 games.  When you’re on a bad team it’s like you play 150…It is the worst feeling in the world and it’s the opposite when you’re winning.  82 games feels like 50.”
  4. Great Leaders Look At The Big Picture – “You (Coach Cal) always look at big picture.  You know you can’t win a championship in December.”
  5. Smart Leaders Do Not Confuse Activity With Accomplishment – “I’m not trying to win game 17.  I’m trying to get my teams ready for the playoffs.” – Gregg Popovich
  6. Many Young Leaders Have Yet Not Faced Adversity – “You guys have so many young players.  This is probably the first time in their life they’ve played against players as good as them.”
  7. Many Young Leaders Are Too Immature To Handle Adversity – “Sonny (Auburn head coach Smith) challenged me (in college) and I was too immature to handle it.”
  8. For Young Leaders To Reach Their Potential They Need To Be Challenged – “The best thing that ever happened to me was Moses Malone.  Moses Malone, other than my grandmother, was the most influential person in my life.  He said to me, ‘Charles, you’re fat and you’re lazy.'”
  9. For Young Leaders To Reach Their Potential They Must Understand The Value Of Hard Work – “Every person thinks they’re working hard.  But working hard in college is not the same as working hard in the pros.”
  10. Leaders Must (Re)Prove Themselves Every Single Day – “Every level of success you go to – high school doesn’t mean nothing to us in college.  College, that doesn’t mean anything to us in the pros and you have to start back over at the bottom.”
  11. Smart Leaders Treat ALL People With Respect – “Don’t be afraid of hard work but also treat everybody with respect and try to help as many people along the way as possible.”
  12. There Are No Self-Made Leaders – “No one does it all by themselves.”
  13. Regardless Of Your Profession You Are In The People Business And Called To Serve Them – “You don’t make the $12 million to play basketball.  You probably make about $5 million to play basketball.  The rest is signing autographs, taking pictures, it all goes together.  You’re not making all that money just to play basketball.”
  14. Leadership Is Temporary.  So Steward It Well While You Have It – “Fame is fleeting and money has wings.  When you have it, what good are you going to do with it?” – Calipari
  15. Be Careful What Toes You Step On.  They May One Day Be Attached To the Backside You Have To Kiss. – “No matter how rich and famous you are, it’s only going to be like a little blip in your life.  You’re going to be retired in your mid-30s and some of those people you treated bad, those people are going to be the ones you try to work with or get a job from when your career is over.”
  16. Smart Leaders Filter Feedback – “I have 1.6 million Twitter followers.  800,000 of them are haters.” – Calipari
  17. Leaders Value Chemistry And Mutually-Beneficial Relationships – “I don’t want to go to work and argue with someone every single day.” – on going into politics
  18. The Problem Is Always Too Identify The Problem – “The disparity in America is between the rich and the poor.”
  19. “Dream beyond your surroundings.” – Calipari
  20. Smart Leaders Know Results Matter – “You’re evaluated on being a winning player.” – Calipari

And if you have not gotten Coach Cal’s book Success Is The Only Option: The Art Of Coaching Extreme Talent, click HERE.  It is a must have.


Click HERE or on the image to the left and as a free gift for subscribing to this site, you can receive my new Ebook 1269 Leadership Quotes: Timeless Truths From 2016’s Top Christian Leadership Conferences.  Featured are the Johnny Hunt Mens Conference, ReThink Leadership, Orange and Leadercast Conferences among others.  If applied, these insights will make you an exponentially better leader.  Enjoy!!!

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