Characteristics Of Coach K

Submitted By aimeeguise
Words: 1263
Pages: 6

Aimee Guise
Coach K Paper
December 8, 2013

Coach K. was a very influential and positive leader. As the back cover states, “Coach Krzyzewski is a family man first, a teacher second, a coach third, and a winner at all three.” I read the back cover of the book before opening the book and reading it through, it then became apparent to me that Coach K. took his job and his position as a coach very seriously. The four main traits I noticed that coincided with our Understanding Leadership text and Leading with the Heart are: ethical leadership, power and influence theories, trait theories, and leadership vs. management. When I first read the quote on the back cover of the book, I knew immediately that ethical leadership would probably be one of the points I discussed and compared between both books. Knowing that Coach K. put his family before his team gave me insight that he was very focused on molding and shaping his team even more than winning as a team. In our class text the Leadership as Ethics chapter emphasizes that an ethical leader will be ethical in not only their leadership roles but in all of their other relationships and activities as well (for example, his family life) (page 151). In chapter four (Dynamic Leadership), Coach K. mentions that one must define their own success, meaning that whether in a group setting or as an individual a person or team must define a goal that they can work towards. Coach K. specifies that many coaches select winning the national championship as their goal, obviously since only one team can achieve this goal, many of the teams wind up unsuccessful. (Page 54) This point also makes it apparent that Coach K. is very humble and passionate about his job; he tries very hard to empower his athletes to love each of their performances but also to strive harder to improve their personal future performances. Being a humble leader allows Coach K. to put faith in his team to make some of their own decisions and to determine some successes on their own as well. As a leader he must use experience to plan his season and help determine his successes, in turn he can use his power as a coach to influence his team. In chapter seven (Turn Negatives into Positives), there is a situation described in a game against Clemson where the Clemson players got physical with Duke and no foul was called but the Duke player had to sit the rest of the game out due to injury. Coach K. took the situation into his hands and used his power to get the team hyped up and wound up winning the game (page 105). Being brought up playing basketball and eventually going to West Point to play not only gave Coach K. a very strong foundation full of structure but also equipped him with experience and expertise knowledge of basketball. The obvious form of power that Coach K. holds is expert power as described in the Leadership text as holding the position of a credible leader because of the leader’s expert knowledge (page 74). Personally Coach K. doesn’t seem like he was especially forceful or power hungry by any means, anyone reading Leading with the Heart should be able to tell that Coach K. was a very respected and humble coach; a person who was very focused on instilling morals and values into the kids he influenced. Throughout Leading with the Heart I found it very apparent that Coach K. held many of the traits from Stogdill’s review over successful leaders. One part of the book that I picked up multiple traits from was where Krzyzewski had been very discouraged after his second consecutive year of a losing record. He is describing a late night with staff members at a Denny’s talking about plans for the future, he explains that even after a losing season, he stuck with his core beliefs and with the players he had spent so much time recruiting (page 225). When I compare this particular scenario to the list of traits on page 35 in our Leadership text I find so many parallels, Coach K. was achievement-oriented,