Duke’s Basketball team won the National Title last night. What makes the Duke Basketball team so special? You could point to the roster of eight scholarship players, half being freshmen. You could point to the Coach who has won five national titles. Together, they point to an underlying and foundational intention to develop team leadership. Team leadership is recognized as important both in the sports arena and in the corporate/communal world.
Coach K was interviewed recently to describe his process to recruit and develop leaders. He adjusts his own leadership based on who he has to help him lead the team. “Leadership is plural, not singular” so he strives to develop a number of leaders; each is asked to do different things depending on their capabilities. The goal is to help budding leaders realize their potential. “As you get more secure as a leader, it becomes easier to share leadership, to empower others.”
How does Coach K create a stable and sustainable environment and culture for success with over 30 years at Duke? He asks his players what they believe in. “In my experience, the best teams have standards that everyone owns.”