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Mike Krzyzewski

Leading with the Heart: Coach Ks Successful

Strategies for Basketball, Business, and Life

Alyssa Kimbrough

The book Leading with the Heart is about
the methods used by Mike Krzyzewski for his
basketball team at Duke University and his
life experiences that lead his to his beliefs
and success.


The Fist
(communication, trust, collective
responsibility, caring, pride)

Basic Information
Occupation Basketball coach
Family Spouse: Mickie Krzyzewski
Children: Debbie Savarino, Lindy Frasher, and Jaime Spatola
Parents: William Krzyzewski and Emily M. Krzyzewski
Coach at West Point- Bob Knight

(very big influence, learned many of his strategies of basketball from him, learned a lot of organization and

preparation from him too)

Education United States Military Academy (West Point)

(this schooling taught him [honesty, honor, discipline] the importance of

being direct or honest and respecting authority, which he taught to all of his basketball teams) (much of his foundation as a coach, as a leader, was learned from West Point) Still wears his west point class ring,
represents what he wants for all of his players

Author Mike Krzyzewski, with Donald T. Phillips

Key Take Aways, Leadership

Trusting Relationships and Truthfulness

Coach K believes that almost everything in leadership comes back to relationships

To lead people you have to understand them, or get to know them
He demonstrated this by in the preseason he focused on getting to know every
member of the team (go to his house, out to eat, goof around) (by doing this he sees
their reactions and this gives them a basis of how to lead them)
Relationships have to form among all members of the team (players, managers, coaches)
Wagon wheel
when every member appreciates the aspects of every other job on the team it creates
strong bonds that helps the team succeed even if the leader isnt present
Leaders should always admit to their mistakes
Acknowledging your mistakes lets people know that you are trustworthy and real
If not the leader may seem arrogant or untrustworthy, a team with no trust could fall
apart if a crisis or bad situation occurs

Key Take Aways, Leadership


Krzyzewski generally gives the team only one rule to live by: Do not do anything
detrimental to yourself.
The upperclassmen players usually take time to let the freshmen know what is
expected of them
He believes that too many rules gets in the way of leadership
People set rules to keep from decision-making
Leaders should have flexibility instead of strict rules


Effective communication is manifested in talking (leaders should not assume that people will talk while doing their job)
Leaders have to remind people to talk, Coach K teaches players at Duke to talk
through repetitions, which helps the players react instantly
Everybody should be communicating
Its important for the coach to talk to the players, and its equally important for the
players to talk to the coach

Key Take Aways, Leadership

Collective Responsibilities

We win and we lose together

The whole team takes responsibility for an action, win or lose. There should be no
finger-pointing or blaming other players
Use pronounsOur, We, Us

Have Fun

Having fun helps reduce pressure

When the Blue Devils were in a really intense match Coach K would alleviate the
stress by reminding them to enjoy themselves, when they remember that big game
they should look back and remember it as being enjoyable
Maintain a good sense of humor
Krzyzewski would enjoy the moments with his players by telling jokes or goofing
He also makes certain important points by being humorous

Key Take Aways, Leadership


A leader should always be committed to helping people

The way Coach K shows his commitment to his players is to help them realize their
full potential
The players show commitment to Coach K by playing their best
If the leader is committed, the players will be committed

How to apply to us?

We can apply these leadership methods to
our everyday lives

Building relationships can benefit us especially when we are in a crisis

or bad situation
Always be honest to people, anything below honesty can make you
seem arrogant or untrustworthy
Having too many rules can be a distraction, instead use guidelines and
Always remember to communicate, it can strengthen the way you
understand and work with others
Dont make excuses to blame others, take the responsibility together

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