Leadership and Achievement

If you’re a fan of leadership and achievement, you may want to take a few minutes to listen to the tributes to Pat Summitt that will be on all the news and sports channels in the next couple of days. She died this morning at the age of 64.

Summitt was the head coach of the Tennessee Lady Vols basketball team. Her teams won national championships and Olympic Gold medals. She has the winningest record in basketball history-men or women.

The tributes will speak of her ability to get the most out of her players. She recruited the best players and helped them to improve.

She started coaching at age 22 and continued until she was 60. Her initial pay was $250 a month. Her final salary exceeded $2 million a year.

It took her almost a decade to win her first championship. I’ve heard her say (and often quoted her) that she didn’t really begin to coach well until she learned that she could “demand” that her players reach for their potential rather than hope they would find it.

It caused me to realize that while encouragement and a good attitude are keys to leadership, we are also called to insist on high standards and not settle for less than our best.

I got a new Pat Summitt quote this morning: “The world isn’t a place where you come to live. It’s a place that you come to change.”

Sort of rhymes with “PalletOne leaders happen to the world” doesn’t it?


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