Posted by: knightbird | April 16, 2012

Outstanding Book on Teamwork

I spent part of my vacation last week reading one of the more outstanding books on leadership I have ever come across: “Sacred Hoops: Spiritual Lessons of a Hardwood Warrior” by Phil Jackson. I didn’t read it because of my love for basketball. With my recent studies on “Mindfulness” in order to guide Chugachmiut’s implementation of our Restoration to Health Strategy, I have been more interested in the use of Mindfulness in business. Part of this interest was sparked by a YouTube video I watched of Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn teaching Google employees about Mindfulness.

Phil Jackson said this in Sacred Hoops: “In basketball — as in life — true joy comes from being fully present in each and every moment, not just when things are going your way.” In business, as in sport, we encounter myriad challenges every day. We can either approach challenges with anger, or we can be fully present as we encounter those challenges and address them using our lean tools.

Jackson and Bill Bradley, his New York Knick teammate, conducted basketball camps on the Pine Ridge reservation and there he encountered some of the wisdom of Black Elk, a Medicine Man of the Oglala Lakota (Sioux). Jackson incorporated Lakota thinking into his coaching, and I can understand why. Here is a quote attributed to Black Elk” “There can never be peace between nations until there is first known that true peace which is within the souls of men.” Mindfulness is seeking that true peace by being in the present, being here in each and every moment, as Jackson says in Sacred Hoops.

My words do not do the book justice, and I would encourage each of you to read it. The lessons are as relevant to building a business team as they are to building a sports team.

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