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The Door Is Left Ajar
on 11 February 2014
Phil Jackson was successful as a coach of eleven winning champion teams because he knew how to talk to his team. Certainly he was a great leader, but he also taught his players how to lead, to communicate and how to win.
It takes a team to win a championship. We all know about the famous players, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Shaquille O'neill, but they can't win a game by themselves. Jackson has the wisdom and expertise to be able to see what each player needed from him. His observations of their egos and how to stroke them or reach them, drew them in. In one game, Jackson had a plan that Scottie Pippen didn't like. It was near the end of the game, and Jackson knew he had to have the team work together. He asked Pippin if he was in or out. Pippin said, "I'm out", so Jackson subbed someone else, and they won the game. Another player talked to Pippin after the game about his lack of teamwork. That was more effective than anything that Jackson could have done or said. Most of the book is filled with how the eleven games were won, and the players involved.
Jackson is a spiritual man, and he employs the use of inspiration and Zen Buddhism to lead his life. He decided at one time he wanted to rest his mind and his soul, and through Zen he was able to Master his life. He would talk with his teams about Zen and yoga, and they would listen appreciatively. Jackson is a very intelligent man, reads a great deal, listens or attends TED discussions. He talks about his move from coaching in Chicago to Los Angeles. How he was able to get Kobe and Shaquille to work together for the team. He saw the advance in Kobe from a very selfish player to a leader. He takes some credit, but much of the success of the Lakers he attributes to the team working together.
Jackson has thirteen championship rings. Eleven as a coach and two as a player. This is a man who has seen more championships than others, but is not as arrogant as depicted, he just does not have time to suffer fools. It was his physical body issues that caused him to stop coaching, a difficult but necessary decision. Phil Jackson deserves all the recognition he receives. A book well written by his co-writer, but the words are all Phil Jackson.
Recommended. prisrob 02-11-14