• Becoming a Leader

    Posted: December 17th, 2011


    It was March of this year(2011). Im on my way back from Florida with my best friend Bryan. Were from Syracuse NY and we drove to Florida. My only request was to stop in Durham NC at DUKE University. So we did. As we drove into campus i got butterflies in my stomach. I actually could check a goal off in my life that i thought was possible to complete but might not happen. We walk around campus for a good hour checking it out. By the way, its a gorgeous campus. Then we went up this little hill and saw the baseball field. We went a little further and there it was…Cameron Indoor Stadium. We went and checked the football field out. We were in the center of sports at Duke. We finally made our way to a door in Cameron Indoor. Ill never forget the feeling of opening the door and walking in. So much emotion flowing through my body. I couldn’t describe it if asked. It was the hall. There were pictures of a lot of the special players that played for Duke. Banners down the hall. Music was playing. I opened another door. I was now inside the one sports venue in America i always wanted to be in. My knees started to get weak as i walked down the steps toward the court. I thought to myself, “I want to get on the court. I want to be at ground zero!” So i told Bryan, “See that door over there? I bet we can walk on the court!” So we found that door and there i was, walking on Coach K Court. I looked up and saw all the banners from ACC Championships, to retired jerseys, to NCAA National Championship Banners. When i saw those i knew at that very point in my life that this was special. A moment ill cherish forever. A moment I’ll never forget. As I looked over to one side of the court,I turned to Bryan and said, “That’s where the magic happens. That’s where the Cameron Crazies give it there all for forty minutes”. I’ve been on the Jim Boeheim Court in the Carrier Dome back at home. I wont lie, I was really excited and an experience that Ill never forget. But this was almost like reaching “Heaven” in my sports world. Being at the “Mecca” of college basketball as most people describe it. A guy who worked there said, “where you from?” I responded “New York Sir.” He said, “Well the teams boarding the bus heading to California for the next round of the NCAA. Go out and meet them”. I looked at my friend and we jetted. I walked out the door to the outside and there was the bus. I saw Kyrie Irving saying goodbye to someone. I saw some of the other kids boarding the bus. But out of the corner of my eye I saw Coach K amongst a group of reporters. I walked over and stood there in awe. I could not believe one of my idols was standing right there in front of me. I must have took 15 pictures of him…at least! They boarded the bus and took of. My best friend and i toured Cameron Indoor for about 3 hours. I nearly took 300 pictures.I know this is the Coach K story. Here’s where it begins. Im in Syracuse, on December 14 2011, at a Barnes and Noble(Book store). I come across Coach K’s book, “Leading with the Heart”. I picked it up and bought it. I finished the book in the 3 days. I could not put the book down. I took his philosophy of team work and put it to the test in my own life with my job. I took his idea of Leadership and asked myself everyday, “what can you do to be a successful leader like Coach K?”. I implement his “fist” philosophy to my sports teams and co-workers. This book gave me the drive and the will to never back down. To take adversity and find a way to overcome. To do the impossible. Coach K’s intelligence is off the chart. His Passion for life is impeccable. I’ve never had the opportunity to say a single word to Coach K. But i will say he’s said a thousand to me and i never even met him. That right there is truly amazing. My hat goes off to you Coach. You are the standard of excellence, because you always give 100% no matter what. Even when you were in the hospital and didn’t have the strength to basically hold yourself up…you still felt obligated to be there for the team. You’ve probably heard this before, or maybe you haven’t…but you and your good friend(God rest his soul) Jim Valvano are alike in so many ways and he was angel…

Collective Responsibility

We win and we lose together. Handling the responsibility for wins and losses together removes the burden from one individual’s shoulders and distributes it among each member of the team. That atmosphere is conducive to high-level performance and places you and your team in the position to be bold and unafraid, and if you should lose, you are not alone.

- Coach K
Adversity

Adversity can teach you more about yourself than any success, and overcoming an obstacle can sometimes feel even better than achieving an easy victory. Through adversity, you can discover things about your endurance, your ability to turn a negative into a positive, and your personal strength of heart.

- Coach K
Adaptability

You have to adapt what you do based on who you are. In teaching, you must remember that no group or individual is the same as who you taught the day before, the year before, or the decade before. Your plan has to suit who you and your team are right now.

- Coach K
Care

When you care about someone or something, you show genuine concern for that person or thing, in good times or bad. When you care about one another and about your purpose, you are compelled to put your feelings into action. Care creates an atmosphere that breeds success and gives you the confidence to try again.

- Coach K
Balance

Take care not to allow one aspect of your life to so consume you that you neglect the others. Balance can put things in perspective, can bring you joy even when you are down, and can allow you to be at your best in all aspects of your life.

- Coach K
Belief

Belief can mean the difference between a fear of failure and the courage to try. On a team or in a family, belief makes each individual stronger and also fortifies the group as a whole. The basis of belief is in individual relationships.

- Coach K
Challenges

No matter how successful you believe yourself to be, you can never feel as if you’ve reached the absolute pinnacle. There are always new and wonderful challenges out there, and part of maintaining success is knowing when you need to accept them.

- Coach K
Courage

You can possess countless good qualities as an individual, but if you don”t have the courage to proceed, you may never see those qualities come into fruition. It takes courage to put what you believe to be best of you on the line, to test it, and to see how far it takes you. Courage means daring to do what you imagine.

- Coach K
Communication

Effective teamwork begins and ends with communication. Communication does not always occur naturally, and must be taught and practiced in order to bring everyone together as one. The most crucial element of communicating is telling the truth.

- Coach K
Commitment

When you are winning, your commitment is never challenged. But loyalty and dedication during difficult times can be tough. When commitment doesn’t waver, that’s when you have the greatest chance of winning. You can never give up.

- Coach K
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