5 Leadership Tips From UVA Basketball Coach Tony Bennett

BY DREW GREENBLATT | Inc.com | January 14, 2015


University of Virginia’s basketball coach Tony Bennett shares five core principals he uses for his phenomenal basketball team and those pillars can be applied to your business and life successes.

The five pillars that UVA’s basketball program is based on:

1) Humility
Coach teaches us “Don’t think too highly of yourself.” The competition is fierce. They are gunning for you. Look at your firm objectively. How can you improve? We are not perfect. What can we do to improve our client experience? Your success is because of many team members’ contributions. How can we up our game and train players to perform better so we can enchant our clients?

2) Passion
You only live once. Give it all you got. Let’s be the best so no competitor can keep up. Provide a product that is second to none. At Marlin Steel, our mantra is “Quality Engineered Quick.” This is our passion. We are focused on having the best quality, most innovative parts shipped faster than anyone else. We discuss it all the time. We game plan on how to execute to make these words reality. What is your passion? Will you be the best in your niche? How can you leave the competition in the dust?

3) Unity
Your firm is dependent on the mutual success of the individual performers. At Marlin Steel, we stress we are “in this together, “competing with sophisticated smart people in Germany and China and Mexico. We have to count on our cohesiveness to prevail so we can thrive. The coach eloquently shared, “basketball is one of the greatest team games there is because there can be individual talent, but boy, if the guys come together, they can be so good together. And they can overcome more talent or tough situations. ” Business like basketball requires coming together.

4) Servanthood
Do what it takes to make your team more effective and productive. Our laser-cutting cell at Marlin Steel wanted to improve the surface finish and edge quality of our sheet metal fabrications but they did not have all the right tools. They proposed getting a state of the art deburring machine so we can have the world’s best surface finish. Our approach to our teammates was to embrace and accept their suggestions and purchase this technology. As Coach Bennett stresses “Whatever your role is, be a servant to the team and make your teammates better.”

5) Thankfulness
Gratitude must be a constant drumbeat of your dialogue. Infuse your conversations with appreciation of your team’s acumen and determination to improve. The Coach stresses to “be thankful certainly when there’s great success, but also be thankful for what you’ve learned through the hard times, because there’s great wisdom in those experiences.” After you have been knocked down, gain your composure, reflect on why this occurred and make changes. If you learn from the pain, you should be thankful because it will not happen again.


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