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11 Rings – Book Review

When you get the opportunity to read directly from one of the greatest coaches in NBA history…it’s probably a good idea to get stuck in!

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Eleven Rings

Authors: Phil Jackson

Topic: Leadership, Mindset, Coaching

Appropriate for: Coaches

Overall rating: 5/5 – Stop what you are doing and read it now!

Overview:  Phil Jackson was a highly sought after coach in his NBA career. Coach of the globally renowned Chicago Bulls during the Michael Jordan era. Repeating success multiple times to achieve 11 NBA championship rings with both the Bulls and the Lakers. Managing a range of diverse characters including Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neil, Kobe Bryant and the infamous Dennis Rodman and managing to channel these differing characters into success! There’s a coach we can learn something from!
Many of the ideas in this book were counter intuitive. Phil Jackson was arguably ahead of his time in coaching. Rather than a “my way or the highway” approach, Jackson discusses how he treated players like partners, using questioning to get them to solve their own problems and to being out the best in the players around them, as well as overcoming rifts in the team. Jackson also discusses how he managed to help shape a young, determined but selfish Kobe Bryant into a leader that team mates would follow, due to his willingness to give rather than take.
An interesting insight was Jackson identifying how his behavior (pacing on the sideline) negatively affected the volatile Dennis Rodman, and how he adapted his behavior to have a more calming influence on Rodman.
Overall Jackson offers us a great reflection on his career: “What I’ve learned over the years is to delegate authority as much as possible and to nurture everyone else’s leadership skills as well. When I’m able to do that, it not only builds team unity and allows others to grow, but also paradoxically, strengthens me as a leader.”
You can find the book here: Eleven Rings
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