Vitale: Chaney, Coach K deserve call to Hall

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Leadership ability sets coaches, managers apart


June 7
When looking at the world of sports these days, certain leaders jump out because of their consistency as winners.

Mike Krzyzewski
Mike Krzyzewski and Duke have a tough road to another title.
Think about the newest class of the Basketball Hall of Fame. Mike Krzyzewski and John Chaney have had tremendous success, both on and off the court. Look at baseball with Joe Torre and Lou Piniella. Who would have believed the Mariners would open the season with a 46-12 record?

Few teams could afford to lose potential Hall of Famers Randy Johnson, Ken Griffey Jr. and Alex Rodriguez. The Mariners have filled the holes with players who, despite lacking superstar talent, are positive contributors and blend as a unit.

In college football, Steve Spurrier and Bobby Bowden are knocking on the door, year in and year out. In the NFL, Brian Billick took the Baltimore Ravens to the Super Bowl championship. Bill Parcells was a dominant force for so many years.

In the NBA, there is none better than Phil Jackson, who is going for another ring, his eighth. And Lenny Wilkens has accumulated all of those victories in becoming the NBA's winningest coach.

What do these guys all have in common? It is the ability to lead. There is a special, unique talent in motivating, inspiring and getting people to the winner's circle.

Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your players is a tremendous talent. The same applies to the corporate world. I do a lot of motivational speaking, and when I share my words -- as I will next week in Tampa with the franchise owners of Checkers fast food restaurants -- I stress several important elements to be successful:

  • Develop a passion and love for what you do.
  • Build a great work ethic and a sense of pride.
  • Show the desire to do your best.
  • Think about being better today than your were yesterday.
  • Make solid decisions in life regarding the drug-and-alcohol scene.

    When I think of those sports leaders, they have the ability to be corporate leaders, CEOs in the business world. They can be giants because they understand how to communicate.

    If you can communicate your concept and get someone to perform to the best of his or her ability, it is such a plus. You also have to understand the limitations of your personnel.

    So many times, we take the men and women who strut the sidelines for granted. Fans should understand that we are talking about special people.

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