Hall of Famer Brings Championship Caliber Leadership Principles to Business Community

Fresh off Olympic gold, Mike Krzyzewski – legendary Duke University and USA Basketball Head Coach – today announced the launch of PowerForward, a new B2B digital, video-based leadership development platform focused on fostering growth for emerging leaders across the country.  Joining Krzyzewski as founders of PowerForward are leading entertainment and sports agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA), which is incubating the company, and Duke and Harvard Business School alumna Chrissie Gorman, who is running the company as CEO.

PowerForward is available to via subscription and features a robust collection of interactive content from Coach K and other prominent influencers from various sectors designed to drive impactful discussion and team-building.  The core audience for PowerForward ranges from fast-growing organizations to large-scale enterprises looking to empower up and coming leaders on their teams.

“Since my time at West Point, leadership has been a core passion of mine and something I’ve taught my teams at Duke and USA Basketball.  PowerForward captures the essence of many core leadership principles I’ve shared with my players for decades and applies it to business teams,” says Krzyzewski.  “What energized me about PowerForward is the ability to share my own storytelling approach with an entirely new audience off the court in the corporate and start-up communities.”

“With turnover in the workplace, younger employees are increasingly being thrust into leadership roles with limited preparation and limited time to develop as a leader,” adds Gorman.  “We believe there is an incredible opportunity in the $10B B2B leadership market for PowerForward to take the experiential approach Coach K has used successfully to develop players for the last four decades and empower these emerging leaders to realize their full potential.”

Strategic partners in the venture include Apple Senior Vice President Eddy Cue, Mandalay Entertainment Chairman & CEO Peter Guber, Oaktree Co-Chairman Bruce Karsh and Bain Capital Managing Director Steve Pagliuca.

“Coach K’s legendary leadership has created many champions both on and off the court,” says Cue. “Now with PowerForward, a much broader base of people can be inspired by his incredible perspective and teachings.”

“As someone who has run companies and sports franchises, I have seen first-hand the parallels between what you learn on the court and apply to the boardroom,” adds Guber.  “But this isn’t a rah-rah ‘let’s win one for the team’ pep talk, but specific leadership lessons that translate seamlessly, yet can shift the entire paradigm of corporate leadership needed to inspire today’s ‘disruptive’ workforce.

“Coach K’s leadership influence transcends his success on the basketball court, translating seamlessly into meaningful lessons applicable to any area of business,” said Brian Weinstein, Head of Global Client Strategy, CAA, and PowerForward board member.  “We worked closely with Coach K and Chrissie to ideate a new business that can deliver these powerful strategies to companies of all sizes and across all fields, and we look forward to continuing to harness the power of CAA’s vast resources to grow PowerForward.”

Based on its content and experiential approach, PowerForward is differentiated in the B2B leadership development space and built around the following key components:

  • Top Influencers – Spanning sports, business, military and beyond, PowerForward features the world’s most influential thought leaders in an interactive setting.
  • Real-World Decisions – PowerForward content immerses emerging leaders in the behind-the-scenes stories while challenging them to make real-time decisions.
  • Team-Building Focus – PowerForward is designed with team building in mind. Online and offline discussions deepen group learning and extend the learning well beyond the final video.

Throughout his illustrious career Coach K has used specific keywords – leadership themes that resonate with his players.  They include adaptability, failure, ownership, next play, and passion, among others.  PowerForward is structured around these themes to optimize the user experience and easily share perspective, tactical tips, and relevant experience.

For additional information on PowerForward and to request a product demonstration, please visit gopowerforward.com.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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
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

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

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
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