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Russell Rules: 11 Lessons on Leadership from the Twentieth Century's Greatest Winner Paperback – 1 May 2002

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: New American Library; Reprint edition (1 May 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451203887
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451203885
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.9 x 23 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,932,057 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Mr. Russell and Mr. Falkner have combined to create a fascinating series of insights into the elements that turned Mr. Russell's competitive intelligence and zeal into a winning approach to basketball wherever Mr. Russell played or coached. Basically, the idea is to play your own role in such a way that the performance of the team versus its competition will be elevated. The book contains many riveting basketball and personal examples from Mr. Russell's life. There are also a number of business examples to help you apply these lessons to your own situation. Although the book advertises 11 rules, these are supplemented by three subrules for each rule. So, in total, you get 44 rules. Although it's more than you will easily be able to remember, it will certainly round out your understanding of the mental, emotional, and physical processes involved in building the successful habit of winning. I thought that the book was the best example of sports thinking applied to business that I have seen.
I was a Lakers fan when I first moved to Boston in 1964. Naturally, I went to the Boston Garden to see the Celtics play. That was a transformational experience, because television and radio did not really capture what the team did. Never before or since have I seen basketball like I saw in those glory days. My admiration for the Celtics and Mr. Russell knew no bounds. Anyone who has been a fan or an admirer of the Celtics will find this book to be essential reading. You will get many new perspectives on what you saw during those 11 world championshps in 13 years.
Mr. Russell deserves respect for an unequaled sports record. He was named the 20th century's greatest team player by Sports Illustrated. HBO called him the greatest winner in the 20th century.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars 26 reviews
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How to Have the Brilliant Eye and Mind of a Great Innovator 9 May 2001
By Donald Mitchell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Mr. Russell and Mr. Falkner have combined to create a fascinating series of insights into the elements that turned Mr. Russell's competitive intelligence and zeal into a winning approach to basketball wherever Mr. Russell played or coached. Basically, the idea is to play your own role in such a way that the performance of the team versus its competition will be elevated. The book contains many riveting basketball and personal examples from Mr. Russell's life. There are also a number of business examples to help you apply these lessons to your own situation. Although the book advertises 11 rules, these are supplemented by three subrules for each rule. So, in total, you get 44 rules. Although it's more than you will easily be able to remember, it will certainly round out your understanding of the mental, emotional, and physical processes involved in building the successful habit of winning. I thought that the book was the best example of sports thinking applied to business that I have seen.
I was a Lakers fan when I first moved to Boston in 1964. Naturally, I went to the Boston Garden to see the Celtics play. That was a transformational experience, because television and radio did not really capture what the team did. Never before or since have I seen basketball like I saw in those glory days. My admiration for the Celtics and Mr. Russell knew no bounds. Anyone who has been a fan or an admirer of the Celtics will find this book to be essential reading. You will get many new perspectives on what you saw during those 11 world championshps in 13 years.
Mr. Russell deserves respect for an unequaled sports record. He was named the 20th century's greatest team player by Sports Illustrated. HBO called him the greatest winner in the 20th century.
What many will forget is that he also had a very successful coaching career. He led the Celtics to two world championships as a player-coach (with no assistants!). He also built up the Seattle franchise into a world champion as general manager and coach.
What many never knew about are all of the individual examples of his integrity. For example, after divorcing he raised his daughter by himself.
Let me rephrase Mr. Russell's 11 rules to make them clearer to a business person:
(1) Commitment is essential to success, and commitment has to be based on insatiable curiosity that emotionally rewards the person. In other words, pursue an area of business that endlessly fascinates you.
(2) Apply your ego to the success of your team and your business, rather than to your individual success.
(3) Become the best and most active listener you can be. Act on what you learn.
(4) Be tough about demanding what needs to be done, but be considerate of people as you do this.
(5) Cast a long shadow with your ideas and standards, so that you influence the right result even when you cannot be present.
(6) Seek perfection and encourage it in others, bolstered by joy in what you are doing.
(7) Encourage trust, truthfulness, and mutual reliance.
(8) Immediately take control of the action to move forward constructively, regardless of what happens to your organization.
(9) Use your imagination to design new and better ways to enhance performance.
(10) Lead by establishing and reinforcing discipline, as much delegation as possible, and cooperative participation in decision-making. But don't forget to lead when it counts.
(11) Always be looking for the win, even when it seems impossible.
The book's final section emphasizes how to apply these principles of Celtics' Pride to your own organization.
I found the examples employed for rules 1, 2, 5-9, and 11 to be extremely helpful in understanding how to make a business better, even though they were usually basketball examples.
I recommend the chapter on Everyone Can Win as the best articulation I have ever seen of why focus on winning can make the difference.
Even if you are not a basketball fan, you should read this book. If you do not know the professional game, some of the examples won't work for you, but most of the message will.
After you finish this book, I suggest that you give it to those you work with, and follow up with a discussion of what the lessons are for your work.
Be a winner . . . always!
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Useful, Insightful, Inspirational 9 May 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Bill Russell has never been called conventional. With the myriad of self-help, leadership and personal improvement books in the marketplace, it's hard to break through the clutter...RUSSELL RULES clearly does. This book, like the author, is a WINNER.
As a woman, I was a little skeptical of the usefullness of the book, quite expecting a macho look at winning. A lot of kick butt talk and posturing.
I read this book and found the lessons applicable within minutes with my family and other situations we all experience on a daily basis.
The chapters on listening vs. hearing was particularly meaningful and are worth reading and rereading. He also introduces a very unique concept that is simple in meaning but powerful in reality; the concept of outside-in thinking.
This book is for everyone and we are going to introduce it as the first book of its kind to our book club.
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A little pretentious, but entertaining reading 22 May 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I always find it a bit pretentious when a sports book is written or marketed to have general application to life (Rick Pitino's obnoxious Success is a Choice comes to Mind), but with that caveat almost anything Bill Russell has to say is worth listening to if only because of the man's profound intelligence, wit, insight, and unique perspective on sports and the world in general. Will this book change your life? I doubt it. But then again, if we read for entertainment and enrichment, this book well suits the purpose, and if you happen to be a sports fan or better yet a basketball fan, so much the better as Russell provides much material about the golden age of basketball and the wonderful Boston Celtics before too much money spoiled it.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Clarification of "Winner" 16 May 2001
By Robert Morris - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Other reviewers have correctly praised Russell for his achievements in competitive basketball throughtout his school, collegiate and professional years. Fair enough. What I most admire in this book is his clarification of what a "winner" is. Long ago, Jack Dempsey said that "champions get up when they can't." Russell has essentially the same attitude toward "winners" and thereby extends the definition to include people who are not "celebrities" but who demonstrate exceptional courage, decency, and integrity...especially amidst adversity. They are the appropriate role models for young people. By their example, they reveal themselves to be values-driven leaders. The "rules" Russell affirms are the same rules by which he has defined himself both on and off the basketball court. They are worthy of our consideration.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rules To Live A Better Life 12 Feb. 2007
By Best Of All - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I had the pleasure of meeting Bill Russell when he was on a brief book-signing tour that made a stop in Cleveland, Ohio.

I never saw him play pro basketball, but his life has not been defined by the success he had as a player and coach. Russell is a champion in the game of life, with a very small part found on the parquet floor.

Russell Rules is not some book for people simply striving for success in the corporate world. The rules Russell defines can be applied to any facet of life. We all can be better leaders in the things that we do.

From personal relationships, school and work, Russell succinctly provides 11 rules as a guide. His game plan includes commitment; being an active listener; encouraging trust, truthfulness and mutual-reliance; using the imagination to design new & better ways to enhance performance and seeking perfection & encouraging it in others, while having joy in what you are doing.

The book may initially be a quick read, but it will be picked up time and again in the future. And doesn't that define a book with a "winning" message?
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