Exploring Leadership in the News with Steven Pearlstein and Raju Narisetti
Zen Lessons for Leaders?
Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson has now won his 10th NBA championship. Is Jackson the greatest-ever NBA coach? The best coach in professional sports? Does his unconventional use of spirituality provide a lesson for other leaders?
Posted by Ben Bradlee and Steve Pearlstein on June 15, 2009 1:51 PM
No two leaders have the same combination of factors; like DNA, each of us has unique characteristics. In Phil Jackson's case his spirituality is part of his guiding leadership philosophy, and it works for him.
Phil Jackson said his own approach to coaching "embodied the Zen Christian attitude of selfless awareness." Other leader shouldn't copy him: Instead they should express their own values and vision through their leadership style.
Posted by Michael Maccoby, on June 15, 2009 2:14 PM
Jackson has always been committed to the idea that people who work together can accomplish much more than individuals seeking their own personal glory, something he may have learned from his parents, who were pastors.
Phil Jackson made explicit what most great coaches and managers have understood intuitively: that the hardest challenge of leadership is to resist the impulse to take the work off of the shoulders of those who own the problem.
Posted by Marty Linsky, on June 15, 2009 2:05 PM
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cmecyclist: Maybe Jackson's zen "training" allows him to stay calmer - and therefore able to think more clearly - but professional sports is almost the ...
george22_1999: He had Shaq calling himself the big Aristotle-nothing wrong with that(on at east two levels-he had Shaq mulling over the idea that his happi...
mythsdreams: Zen Christianity. It sounds as if Jackson may have discovered Gnosticism, the heretic Christian sect of about the time of Jesus whose spiri...