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Leading with the Heart: Coach K's Successful Strategies for Basketball, Business, and Life

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In this informative and inspirational book, Coach K, Duke University's head basketball coach, tells readers how he coaxes peak performances from his team, relying on lessons he learned as a captain in the U.S. Army. Duke University's head basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski has proved himself a leader both on and off the court. He's led the Duke Blue Devils to five straight Fi In this informative and inspirational book, Coach K, Duke University's head basketball coach, tells readers how he coaxes peak performances from his team, relying on lessons he learned as a captain in the U.S. Army. Duke University's head basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski has proved himself a leader both on and off the court. He's led the Duke Blue Devils to five straight Final Four appearances, culminating in back-to-back championships in 1991 and '92. He has received five National Coach of the Year Awards—and many of the players he coached in college have gone on to NBA stardom. From sportsmanship to respect, Leading with the Heart is a genuine gift from a coach who knows how to lead with heart.


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In this informative and inspirational book, Coach K, Duke University's head basketball coach, tells readers how he coaxes peak performances from his team, relying on lessons he learned as a captain in the U.S. Army. Duke University's head basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski has proved himself a leader both on and off the court. He's led the Duke Blue Devils to five straight Fi In this informative and inspirational book, Coach K, Duke University's head basketball coach, tells readers how he coaxes peak performances from his team, relying on lessons he learned as a captain in the U.S. Army. Duke University's head basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski has proved himself a leader both on and off the court. He's led the Duke Blue Devils to five straight Final Four appearances, culminating in back-to-back championships in 1991 and '92. He has received five National Coach of the Year Awards—and many of the players he coached in college have gone on to NBA stardom. From sportsmanship to respect, Leading with the Heart is a genuine gift from a coach who knows how to lead with heart.

30 review for Leading with the Heart: Coach K's Successful Strategies for Basketball, Business, and Life

  1. 5 out of 5

    Eduardo

    I had higher hopes for this book because of what I know of Coach K's character. I was disappointed because there was not much to separate this book from any other leadership book written by a coach. I did find chapter 12 (Celebrate Tradition) to be a neat insight into some of the unique aspects of Duke basketball culture. It is this chapter that reaffirmed my respect for Coach K and how he chooses to live his life and run his program. His description of the time he spent with Jim Valvano was also I had higher hopes for this book because of what I know of Coach K's character. I was disappointed because there was not much to separate this book from any other leadership book written by a coach. I did find chapter 12 (Celebrate Tradition) to be a neat insight into some of the unique aspects of Duke basketball culture. It is this chapter that reaffirmed my respect for Coach K and how he chooses to live his life and run his program. His description of the time he spent with Jim Valvano was also moving and again highlights who Coach K is and what matters most to him. If you like Duke or Coach K and you are looking for leadership book to read, then I recommend this book. If you are looking for a leadership book to read, pick up a dart and throw it at the board to choose as I find most books in this genre to be very similar. In my opinion, the one book in this genre that transcends the others is Wooden on Leadership. As great a coach and human being as Coach K may be, his book doesn't come close to Wooden's but neither does any other that I have read.

  2. 4 out of 5

    *Layali*

    Probably one of the only books from school that I actually have enjoyed so far. It was definitely interesting seeing Coach K's thoughts and experiences with leadership and its theories. I'm not a huge basketball fan, so I was really dreading this book going into it. I'm glad that I did read it though, as I've gained some great insight on someone who is a successful team leader and I can definitely apply this to my every day life. Probably one of the only books from school that I actually have enjoyed so far. It was definitely interesting seeing Coach K's thoughts and experiences with leadership and its theories. I'm not a huge basketball fan, so I was really dreading this book going into it. I'm glad that I did read it though, as I've gained some great insight on someone who is a successful team leader and I can definitely apply this to my every day life.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ben Jenson

    This book was good! It’s 20 years old, but Coach K has some really good insight on leadership and how to build a successful team. I read a book on John Wooden a month or two ago and Coach K is another coach who has built his life and program on good, unshaken values. I was also pleasantly surprised at how much my #1 man crush Quin Snyder was mentioned. It’s nice to realize how big of an impact Quin had on Duke and Mike Krzyzewski. Also props to my boy Drew for giving this to me.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Anthony Venturini

    I read the non-fiction book Leading with the Heart by Mike Krzyzewski who is the head basketball coach at Duke University. I think that the purpose he had in writing this book was to inform the reader on how to develop good coaching skills as well as applying them to your everyday life, and allowing you to become a better individual along with becoming an even better teammate. In the book, Coach K talks about using your time wisely, and not wasting it doing things that are going to hurt you, and I read the non-fiction book Leading with the Heart by Mike Krzyzewski who is the head basketball coach at Duke University. I think that the purpose he had in writing this book was to inform the reader on how to develop good coaching skills as well as applying them to your everyday life, and allowing you to become a better individual along with becoming an even better teammate. In the book, Coach K talks about using your time wisely, and not wasting it doing things that are going to hurt you, and also the team. He also discusses the importance of trust and leadership in order for the team to succeed. Another thing that Coach K talked about in his books was academics. This stood out to me because he makes sure that his players are getting their work done, and also using their time wisely and not waiting till the last minute to get their work done. I think that this book is an exposition, and that this writing style fits the book well because throughout the book he is explaining and giving examples. I really liked this book because it deals with basketball and also Coach K is a role model to me, and hearing the things he has to say, and the way he approaches things really had me interested throughout the book. I don't read books very often, but this book had me interested the whole time, and kept me thinking about his way of coaching, and how effective it really is. Coach K's book Leading with the Heart is an excellent book, and I really recommend reading it!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan Da-silva

    Leading with the heart is a inspiring book made by the legendary Duke university basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski. In this book, Coach K talks about the types of players he wants to coach, and what type of leader he want to be. This book taught me a lot it. It taught me to never give up, to respect everyone, and that everything comes for the heart. One day I wanna go to Duke university and play for Coach K, hopefully that happens. This book is good for people who like basketball and want Leading with the heart is a inspiring book made by the legendary Duke university basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski. In this book, Coach K talks about the types of players he wants to coach, and what type of leader he want to be. This book taught me a lot it. It taught me to never give up, to respect everyone, and that everything comes for the heart. One day I wanna go to Duke university and play for Coach K, hopefully that happens. This book is good for people who like basketball and want to be inspired. This book makes me want to work harder to get to my goal. To keep on going no matter what happens, if I fall, I get back up. If I fail, I will try again. This book also taught me that school always comes first, education is key, you won't get anywhere in life without education. This is a once in a lifetime book that will never come again.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Blake Wilkins

    This was another book my grandma told me to read since I liked the Duke Blue Devils. I really enjoyed learning about Coach K's life. I really enjoyed how he talked about how he got his team ready for the four national championships he won. I enjoyed how he described what practice was like through his eyes. I liked the part where he said he dove on the floor after a ball to prove a point his players to hustle more. My favorite part of the whole book was when Jim Valvano a basketball coach at Nort This was another book my grandma told me to read since I liked the Duke Blue Devils. I really enjoyed learning about Coach K's life. I really enjoyed how he talked about how he got his team ready for the four national championships he won. I enjoyed how he described what practice was like through his eyes. I liked the part where he said he dove on the floor after a ball to prove a point his players to hustle more. My favorite part of the whole book was when Jim Valvano a basketball coach at North Carolina State was dying of cancer and Coack K wrote in this book about how he spent everyday at the hospital with him and how they talked basketball and how they talked about life. I smiled and cried at this part because it just showed what a true and good friend would look like.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Maria

    Coach Mike Krzyzewski lead Duke University to multiple championships. This is his advice about coaching and living a successful life. Why I picked up this book: You probably already know about Coach K if you follow college basketball. Since I don't, I learned about his book from the Navy's recommended reading list. Why I finished it: I struggled with this a little... it was easy for me to put this down and pick up another book. See above about me not being a college basketball fan. His leadership Coach Mike Krzyzewski lead Duke University to multiple championships. This is his advice about coaching and living a successful life. Why I picked up this book: You probably already know about Coach K if you follow college basketball. Since I don't, I learned about his book from the Navy's recommended reading list. Why I finished it: I struggled with this a little... it was easy for me to put this down and pick up another book. See above about me not being a college basketball fan. His leadership tips, were good reminders but nothing new. I did like reading about the 1992 Olympic Dream Team.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Josh

    even if you don't like Coach K or the Duke Blue Devils, after reading this book I think you can at least respect the man and have some admiration for his coaching style... i haven't read too many books written by coaches, so maybe this is like many others, but it basically provides some practical advice to being successful in life, & there are certain pieces of it that might even be post-it note worthy for inspiration around the office. even if you don't like Coach K or the Duke Blue Devils, after reading this book I think you can at least respect the man and have some admiration for his coaching style... i haven't read too many books written by coaches, so maybe this is like many others, but it basically provides some practical advice to being successful in life, & there are certain pieces of it that might even be post-it note worthy for inspiration around the office.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    I received this book from my high school softball coach. It has outstanding life lessons that I have used ever since. I re-read it every year before softball season and will be able to apply it towards the future. I love how Krzyzewski uses examples from his team and the business world. He has quite a heart and it shows by his former players raves about his personality and character.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jon Fugler

    This book is not about basketball. Coach K shares leadership lessons that span all of life. Lots of gems in here.

  11. 5 out of 5

    CTEP

    The book that I read for November book club is by Mike Krzyzewski, Duke Men’s Head Basketball Coach. The book discusses the values that Coach K holds and how he uses these values to coach his teams. Some of these values include sticking to your plans and holding onto your commitments, learning how to adjust quickly and which things change, and taking responsibility for the performance of your team. The main messages that I derived from reading the book are that you must command excellence in ord The book that I read for November book club is by Mike Krzyzewski, Duke Men’s Head Basketball Coach. The book discusses the values that Coach K holds and how he uses these values to coach his teams. Some of these values include sticking to your plans and holding onto your commitments, learning how to adjust quickly and which things change, and taking responsibility for the performance of your team. The main messages that I derived from reading the book are that you must command excellence in order to win and you need to focus 100% of your attention in order to receive 100% of their effort. Some of the other ground it covers includes whether or not the culture of an organization can and will be changed and will the leader be willing to take the necessary steps, procedures and time to do so and will the leader be able to effectively communicate the overall new vision of the company to its members. I believe this book relates to my AmeriCorps year by providing me with some very useful leadership lessons. Being able to adjust quickly and adapt to changes is a useful skill in any job. As an AmeriCorps member it is important to understand the commitment made and to stick with it. I think coaching a team can be a lot like working with people and teaching them technology skills. I will only get 100% effort from my clients if I give them 100% attention. I personally believe everyone possesses leadership skills and whether they use them or not determines if they become a leader. All the messages and lessons from this book are valuable not only for me but for my clients as well. I believe other AmeriCorps members should read this book because of the valuable lessons that they can gain from it. It is especially helpful if you have an interest in learning about coaching and sports. Coach K is a great leader and someone that I respect greatly. I have followed Duke Basketball for many years and this is one of the reasons I gained so much from the book.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Don Putnam

    Another book we read as part of our Scrum Master network. I listened to this one on Audible. Quite enjoyable! I love basketball and coaching, so this book was right up my alley! Coach K really is an amazing person! He has accomplished so much and he did it with heart and working with people. While the "tips" and learning aspects were very good and our Scrum Master network focused our conversations around these topics, I often found myself wondering if Coach K had written this book to address criti Another book we read as part of our Scrum Master network. I listened to this one on Audible. Quite enjoyable! I love basketball and coaching, so this book was right up my alley! Coach K really is an amazing person! He has accomplished so much and he did it with heart and working with people. While the "tips" and learning aspects were very good and our Scrum Master network focused our conversations around these topics, I often found myself wondering if Coach K had written this book to address critics. At times in the book, it felt like he had a chip on his shoulder and was attempting to set the record straight. Perhaps this is true as Duke and Coach K have attracted a LOT of critics over the years. So, I'll say I really enjoyed the book! I got some good stuff out of it - especially the dialogue in our book club. But ... I will add a couple of "digs" on the coach. 1) why hasn't it taken it to the next level? Either in the NBA or by beating Coach Dean or Wooden in the statistics arena? 2) His 1994-95 season was completely wheels-off as he had to deal with health issues. Why? Is Duke basketball and Coach K really THAT inseparable? It just seems like a team should still be able to perform better than that if the head coach misses games. So despite all his rhetoric about "we" and not "I", when the "I" left, the "we" faltered. And lastly, if you read or listen to the book, Coach K comes across as some pious, patriotic, red-blooded American. But there is much more to him than his book lets on : https://www.thesportster.com/college-...

  13. 4 out of 5

    Nathan

    In the novel, Leading with the Heart: Coach K's Successful Strategies for Basketball, Business, and Life, by Mike Krzyzewski and Grant Hill the authors talk about important games such as rivalries, march madness championship games, and others. They also give on the court and off the court advice to inspiring coaches or future players as well as current players or coaches who want advice. Coach K got a scholarship to West Point Academy where he learned various life lessons. Mike is a big believer In the novel, Leading with the Heart: Coach K's Successful Strategies for Basketball, Business, and Life, by Mike Krzyzewski and Grant Hill the authors talk about important games such as rivalries, march madness championship games, and others. They also give on the court and off the court advice to inspiring coaches or future players as well as current players or coaches who want advice. Coach K got a scholarship to West Point Academy where he learned various life lessons. Mike is a big believer in team building because he says he encourages them to spend time at his house. One impactful thing I like about this book was how they gave life lessons afterlife lessons. In conclusion, If you are a sports fan especially a basketball fan then you would like this book. As well if you are a coach you would love this book because you are learning important coaching lessons from the best college basketball coach.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Drew Davis

    I have always been heavily into the coaching books where they talk about how they improve their players mindsets by using their psychology back ground. Coach K of the Duke blue devils basketball team is arguably the best to ever do it. He grew up in a poor family always loving to organize basketball games. Where he then talked about his time playing on the basketball team of the college ARMY. He then goes on to talk about how he changed big games that he played in just by remaining calm in exoti I have always been heavily into the coaching books where they talk about how they improve their players mindsets by using their psychology back ground. Coach K of the Duke blue devils basketball team is arguably the best to ever do it. He grew up in a poor family always loving to organize basketball games. Where he then talked about his time playing on the basketball team of the college ARMY. He then goes on to talk about how he changed big games that he played in just by remaining calm in exotic situations.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    Maybe 3.5 stars would be more accurate. All things considered, this was a pretty generic book on leadership. It gets the extra half-star because the basketball stories did make it more interesting and easier to read. If you are a big fan of Duke basketball, you will probably like it more than I did.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kyle Monsees

    College basketball lovers take heed. If you want to understand the forces and experiences that drive Coach K, this book is superb. His love of the game, his family, and his players is palpable throughout. Even Duke haters will appreciate Coach K’s integrity and discipline to playing and acting the right way.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Holly

    Coach K has his favorite players and if you didn’t know who they were before, you’ll certainly know after. In the meantime, if you’re coaching youth sports, I think that you’ll find the leadership lessons offered useful. However, I had a difficult time translating these lessons into a business environment even though I know college basketball is big business.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Forrest

    Some sections of this book were really cheesy, but the end of the book is nice. Coach K opens up about his experience being “overly committed” to winning and to the sport that he had neglected himself and his family. As coaches, it’s easy to become fixated on our sport, but it’s always nice to hear that Hall of Fame coaches experience the same struggles at the biggest stages.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Isaac Castilla

    This book is the best! Everything in this book is acceptable and accurate. I wanted to get better at basketball and just found this book, so I thought I could just skim through, but boy was I wrong, the book was page turning. I recommend this book for any basketball player.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Marcelle

    Some of this book is just fun reminiscing, but most of it is a really helpful window into what Coach K prioritizes. It isn’t a script you can exactly execute, rather it offers broad generalizations to help you focus when you have leadership questions.

  21. 5 out of 5

    William "Spig"

    Beat leadership book I've read in years. Totally applicable to military leadership and my style. Highly recommend Beat leadership book I've read in years. Totally applicable to military leadership and my style. Highly recommend

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ash Crowe

    My father buys me books sometimes

  23. 4 out of 5

    Luke

    Following in the footsteps of John Wooden, Coach K shows how his strategies for basketball span his entire life. The way he treats his family is how he coaches.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Chris Kennedy

    Recommended to everyone.

  25. 5 out of 5

    JP H.

    Coach K is the GOAT of coaching... period.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mohammed Azzam

    The stuff of legends. Coach K's work ethic and leadership in the face of so much change is truly both heartwarming and inspiring. The stuff of legends. Coach K's work ethic and leadership in the face of so much change is truly both heartwarming and inspiring.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Elise

    Good easy read with good examples if you like basketball; nice little leadership tidbits.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jesse Mechler

    This was one of the most enjoyable leadership books! Very inspiring even for someone who isn’t a sports fan.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Head

    Thanks to my participation in BetterBookClub.com my way of looking at leadership has changed because of this book. Instead thinking that leadership just comes from someone with the word "manager" in their title I will look at others around me who are positive and show a good work ethic more. Coach K said, "Leadership on any team should be plural and not singular." This makes you stop and think...businesses have a leadership team instead of one person for a reason. Having a collective group of pe Thanks to my participation in BetterBookClub.com my way of looking at leadership has changed because of this book. Instead thinking that leadership just comes from someone with the word "manager" in their title I will look at others around me who are positive and show a good work ethic more. Coach K said, "Leadership on any team should be plural and not singular." This makes you stop and think...businesses have a leadership team instead of one person for a reason. Having a collective group of people with various backgrounds and insights working together for the benefit of all should only lead to success. Coach K believes that a leader needs to be fair, but not equal. In business this is a tight line to walk because if some does or gets something others are always looking and questioning that managers decision. However, if a manager is has a history of being fair to everyone, employees should not be second guessing their decisions. Being fair is a great lesson that isn't just important in business, but in everyday life as well. "A leader with too many rules is making it appear that is is 'my' team and not 'our' team." Reading this quote from Coach K it got me thinking about how important it is for there to be trust within a business setting. Managers need to trust that their employees will do quality work without having a lot of rules about how things should be done. An employee that has this type of a trusting relationship with their manager will have a great foundation for a team. This book is full of great quotes! A few of the really inspiring quotes are as follows: "When you first assemble a group, it's not a team right off the bat. It's only a collection of individuals." I really liked this quote because it shows the importance of having a team leader or a manager that steps up and shows the individuals how to work together. The leader needs to be there bring out the best in someone and also be able to correct and guide someone so that they are always learning and progressing. "Whatever a leader does now sets up what he does later. And there is always a later." and "A little negative thing must be dealt with immediately-before it becomes a big negative thing." Both of these quotes point out that things can't be swept under the rug and forgotten about. If an employee isn't performing up to standard don't not deal with it because you as a manager don't want to deal with it. Things like that truly effect the entire team. "There are five fundamentals qualities that make every team great: communication, trust, collective responsibility, caring, and pride. I like to think of each as a separate finger on the fist. Any one individually is important. But all of them together are unbeatable." This is a great quote because it is not just about basketball or sports in general. It's not just about a team in the workplace either. This quote is something that can cross over from work to home life. "Confrontation simply means meeting the truth head-on." One of my all time favorite books is "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team" and this quote reminded me of that book. When someone challenges an idea of yours they aren't (typically) doing it to be mean. They are doing it to make the team better in the long run. "A leader has to show the face his team needs to see." When there is turnover, when morale is down, when a pitch didn't go so well, a team needs to see that their leader is focused on the road ahead. It is important to talk about things that went wrong, but not to focus on those things. A team needs to see their leader as fearless. I love self-help and business books based upon the sports world. Books like this really help the message stick! I would recommend this book to anyone who is sports minded, even if they are a UK fan. I would also recommend this book to any leader within their company.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kaylin R

    In the book, "Leading with the Heart", by Grant Hill, he brings the reader on a variety of adventures throughout the book. This book is based off of a man named Mike Krzyzewski, the current coach of the men's basketball team of Duke University. Hill brings you through situations that Mike has been through, and how he conquered them; Hill explains how Mike Krzyzewski has become one of greatest coaches of basketball. Hill first gives the reader background information on Mike Krzyzewski. Throughou In the book, "Leading with the Heart", by Grant Hill, he brings the reader on a variety of adventures throughout the book. This book is based off of a man named Mike Krzyzewski, the current coach of the men's basketball team of Duke University. Hill brings you through situations that Mike has been through, and how he conquered them; Hill explains how Mike Krzyzewski has become one of greatest coaches of basketball. Hill first gives the reader background information on Mike Krzyzewski. Throughout the book, the reader will learn the aspects Mike has to his coaching style, that many coaches don't. This book is an inspiration, a key to success in the world of basketball. My favorite character in this book is obviously the main character, Mike Krzewski. I choose Mike because throughout the book he keeps surprising you. In the first 50 pages I knew that Mike is a smart guy, and that he is good at what he does, but by the 100th page, I had a whole different perspective on him, and that is what I loved about him. For example, on page 7, it states, "Time management is a lesson that the students learn through us-not only as it relates to them individually, but as it pertains to a group". Mike is a division I college basketball coach, has won multiple national championships, and is a huge success for a reason. He cares for the kids education, and wants to help them get to where THEY want to be in life. Throughout the book Mike shows just how unselfish he is, and that is one of the many reasons he is my favorite character. Last, one quote that really stands out to me from the book as a whole is that of the cover. On the cover it states, "Successful Strategies for Basketball, Business, and Life". This is part of the cover for a reason, it explains what Coach K is all about. It shows that it isn't just about basketball, that there is much more to being successful. Even if you are the greatest basketball player in the universe, you still need the education, skills, proper manners, and good tips in order to be successful in anything. Last, I would recommend this to anyone who is looking to coach in their future, or to work with kids. Weather you want to be a teacher, a soccer coach, even a professor, this book will help shape a way that will help you take the skills you need to shape your success. It will show you leadership skills, unselfishness, teamwork, and ways to keep yourself from going insane. I personally think this book was very well written, and well told. I am not the person who likes to read, i very rarely find books i like, and i can say actually read cover to cover with complete interests and excitement. Not only was it enjoyable, but it was educational. It teaches you not only how to be successful, but how to be a good person.

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