Bert Schmidt was nice enough to send us this transcript from Coch K's
appearance on CNBC. Thanks Bert!!
Leading with the Heart, Coach K runs one of the most successful basketball
programs in the country will be joining us in a moment
Duke university head coach will join us moments away will talk about lessons
he learned on the court that will work in the board room as well.
Interview with Bob Sellers and Liz Claman on Today's business:
Bob: He has coached 19 years with 439 wins at Duke
Bob: He is among the one of the most successful coaches in collage basketball
easily one of the most respected, if not revered, when it comes to winning
and leadership it is strictly, been there done that, not that he is tired of
And now he has written a book which extrapolates the leadership lessons
learned on the hardwood to those of the board room
The book already ranks number 8 on New York Times Business best sellers list
and here he is Mike Krzyzewski:
Bob: You have been to the NCAA final four more than any one else.
Coach K: just about, in the last decade, yes
Bob: After being in the final game last year, won two championships 91 and
92. How do you assess this year?
Coach K: Well we had a great year. We got beat in the third round, by
Florida, who made the national championship game. But my team won the ACC
tournament, and won the ACC regular season. We finished the regular season
number one in the country. We just couldn't make it go a little bit further
Bob: Hopefully you will have another great year next year, except if you play
Virginia, my alma mater.
Coach K: Virginia took us to overtime this year.
Bob: Personal relationships are important to you. How so, and how is your
approach different from others?
Coach K: It's not my goal to say that other people don't do it the right way.
I think you can always say how you do it and how it works for you.
Winning takes care of itself, if you develop really sound relationships with
It is not a coach being a dictator, rather it's a coach trying to get the
most out of people. I think people will give you more if they trust you and if you establish
that trust then you can connect and all of a sudden,
If you connect with a number of individuals and then as a group all of a
sudden your Team is functioning at a really high level, and that's what I
Bob: You don't believe in lying You believe in looking people straight in the
Coach K: I think the single most important quality to develop is trust,
wither it's between a man and a woman or between a coach and his team or
between team members.
If you don't lie, that is if they can always believe you, you can accomplish
a lot together.
Bob: Now you went to West Point. How does that play into your philosophy and
Coach K: West Point was really critical for me in developing my leadership
Because I learned that failure was a part of the process of becoming
instead of not trying to do things because you might fail.
To go past certain limits you have to fail at times
It is what you do with those failures. You use them as steps to success.
Bob: After you loss to Virginia by 41 points, You were sitting around with
the assistant coaches, and one of them said "Here is to forgetting tonight
ever happened" And you said?
Coach K: "Here is to never forgetting". We lost by 43 points and I think at
times that people only use success as bench marks for improvement.
Through adversity you become closer.
It's our fault that we were successful and it's our fault that we lost.
And as a result you teach collective responsibility which is a building block
for successful teams
Bob: Operate with a game plan but you say don't be a slave to it. Trust your
instincts Can you explain that in the Duke-Kentucky game, the regional final
back in 1991 tell us what happened then?
Coach K: Called the greatest game in the history Collage basketball. They
went ahead, it was 103-102, a real defensive battle. We had 2.1 seconds to
go. I think most people at that time then felt we were going to lose.
We said We are going to win
You have to convince them at that moment. (the team) If you were siting
around having a soft drink it would be easy.
That's where a leader steps in. You have good relationships
It's a crisis. What do you do in a crisis? You have to trust one another. If
that trust is not built until that point it would not work.
Bob: You didn't see the shot go in, yet you knew?
Coach K: Laetner was 19 for 19 in that game 10 for 10 from the foul in and 9
for 9 from the field. Grant Hill threw the ball to Laetner, Laetner hit the
shot and we won and we went on to win the national championship two game later
I didn't have to see it go in. I only had to see it leave Laetner's hands.
You have a feeling about that after being in this business.
Bob: You did something interesting in that game, the first person you hugged
was not one of your players.
Coach K: I think As a leader and a coach
If your team needs you, you go to them. My team was jumping around going
nuts, because we won. Right in front of me was Richy Farmer as dejected as he could be. I saw him.
I knew him, I went to him, then I went to some of the other Kentucky players.
I knew it was a great game. And a great game is a shared experience by the
team that wins and the team that loses. And they needed recognition at that
Bob: You say that if life was only about winning collage basketball, You say
Life would be pretty shallow. How important is winning?
Coach K: Winning is important, but balance is even more important
Just try your best, to me that's being a winner. Try your best I mean really
work hard at it,
winning takes care of itself and that's what we try to get across in the book.
Bob: You talk about Fundamentals. Your working on the fundamentals not as
paying your dues. Your working on the fundamentals
Think of it as getting better. If you know you are getting better, there is
an appetite for more. That's what I want to convince my players that it's not
me making them do something its them doing it and getting better and us
working as a team to become better.
I think that is healthiest way of doing it.
Liz: I want to try on that ring
(regrettably shortened a little bit, I hope Coach K will forgive me if I
missed any of his key points.)
PS. I was at the game sitting in the Kentucky section with a friend of mine.
We scalped tickets and we were about 10 rows up just off center court. We
took a lot of abuse in after Kentucky scored. After Duke scored, I was afraid
there were not enough emergency rooms in all of Philly. the Kentucky Fans
looked as white as ghosts, and were unable to speak as if death had grabbed
each one by the throat. the look of horror in their faces was unimaginable,
and moment was not to captured by the camera. (I taped the game.) Truly a
Bert Schmidt BSE '77