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Book Club with Dr. Ralph Pim

Following on previous Book Club features (see the recommendations from Andy Rogers and Tammy Mehrtens), we hear from Dr. Ralph Pim. 

Dr Ralph Pim is an inspirational teacher, dynamic team builder, and author of nine books. He’s recognised as a global expert in character and leader development through sport, and has built a number of successful teams. He’s a key advisor for Sport New Zealand on the Coaching for Character Pilot and recently helped run the successful the Transforming Character Strengths into Productive Results webinar

Dr. Ralph Pim’s are great starting points for coaches wanting to learn how to take a values-based approach to developing great people, athletes and teams. 

The Gold Standard, Mike Krzyzewski – Business Plus (2009) 

Mike Krzyzewski (Coach K) is the men’s basketball coach at Duke University. He is the winningest Division I Basketball Coach in America. He also coached the USA National Team to 75 victories in 76 games and 3 Olympic Gold Medals. The Gold Standard is Coach K’s guide to teambuilding. It captures his coaching philosophy and his approach to getting different (and sometimes difficult) people to work hard, work together, and succeed in reaching a common goal. Coach K believes that a team begins as a group of people that must learn how to work together to become a team. These individuals must be united by a foundation of character that will make them want to give of themselves to be a part of something bigger. Building a team requires trusting relationships and forthright communication. When developing teams, Coach K does not believe in rules; he believes in standards. Rules don’t promote teamwork, standards do. Standards are the things that a player does all the time. They are the things for which teammates hold one another accountable. Standards define the character of your team. Coach K believes there is no formula or recipe for building a team but he offers championship advice on the key requirements. This is a must-read for coaches because it shares the Gold Standard that was established for the USA National Team and the Duke University Basketball Team. 

The Score Takes Care of Itself, Bill Walsh – Portfolio-Penguin Group (2009) 

Bill Walsh is considered one of the greatest American football coaches in the history of the National Football League. His visionary leadership concepts transformed the San Francisco 49ers from the worst franchise to three Super Bowl championships. In this book, Coach Walsh presents his blueprint for excellence. He explains in detail his Standard of Performance that he used to get every person on the same page. It was a way of doing things that had as much to do with core values, principles, and ideals as with blocking , tackling, and passing; more to do with the mental than the physical. Coach Walsh had the ability to teach players how to think and play at a much higher level than they ever played before. He raised everyone’s standards by instilling a hunger for improvement and a drive to get better and better. The title of the book was one of Coach Walsh’s favorite phrases and is one of his most important leadership lessons… “Concentrate on what will produce results rather than on the results; the process rather than the prize.” The Score Takes Care of Itself has timeless wisdom on every page. 

Above-the-Line, Urban Meyer  – Penguin Press (2015) 

Urban Meyer is a retired American football coach who led his teams to three national championships. Meyer’s 17 seasons as a head coach featured a record of 187-32 and positions him with the third-highest winning percentage (85.3%) in college football history. In Above-the-Line, Coach Meyer highlights his coaching philosophy for creating a culture of success built on trust and a commitment to a common purpose. He believes that a performance of a team rises or falls on behavior. Leaders create culture; culture drives behavior, and behavior produces results. Exceptional performance is the result of an uncommon level of focus and discipline in the pursuit of greatness. Behaviors that lead to championship results are called Above-the-Line.Below-the-Line behavior is impulsive and resistant. It is taking the path of least resistance. Examples of Below-the-Line behavior are what Coach Meyers calls BCD: Blame, Complain, and Defend. The book discusses the importance of taking control over how one responds to events in life using the formula E+R=O (Event + Response = Outcome). Coach Meyer shares six Response Factor Disciplines they teach to their players. This is an excellent book for leadership development. Coach Meyer believes that talent cannot replace leadership. Nothing can stop the team that harnesses the power of leadership and character. 

Image Credits: Debby Hudson on Unsplash

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