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Leading with the Heart: Coach K's Successful Strategies for Basketball, Business, and Life

4.16  ·  Rating Details ·  1,360 Ratings  ·  88 Reviews
In his more than twenty years coaching the Blue Devils, Coach Mike Krzyzewski has made his program the most admired in the nation, with back-to-back national championships in '91, '92, and again in 2001, and ten Final Four appearances since 1986. Now, in Leading with the Heart, Coach K talks about leadership-how you earn it, how you practice it, and how you use it to move ...more
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Published January 30th 2010 by Grand Central Publishing (first published March 1st 1900)
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Anthony Venturini
I read the non-fiction book Leading with the Heart by Mike Krzyzewski who is the head basketball coach at Duke University. I think that the purpose he had in writing this book was to inform the reader on how to develop good coaching skills as well as applying them to your everyday life, and allowing you to become a better individual along with becoming an even better teammate. In the book, Coach K talks about using your time wisely, and not wasting it doing things that are going to hurt you, and ...more
Eduardo
I had higher hopes for this book because of what I know of Coach K's character. I was disappointed because there was not much to separate this book from any other leadership book written by a coach.

I did find chapter 12 (Celebrate Tradition) to be a neat insight into some of the unique aspects of Duke basketball culture. It is this chapter that reaffirmed my respect for Coach K and how he chooses to live his life and run his program. His description of the time he spent with Jim Valvano was also
...more
Jonathan Da-silva
Leading with the heart is a inspiring book made by the legendary Duke university basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski. In this book, Coach K talks about the types of players he wants to coach, and what type of leader he want to be. This book taught me a lot it. It taught me to never give up, to respect everyone, and that everything comes for the heart. One day I wanna go to Duke university and play for Coach K, hopefully that happens.

This book is good for people who like basketball and want
...more
Maria
Coach Mike Krzyzewski lead Duke University to multiple championships. This is his advice about coaching and living a successful life.

Why I picked up this book: You probably already know about Coach K if you follow college basketball. Since I don't, I learned about his book from the Navy's recommended reading list.

Why I finished it: I struggled with this a little... it was easy for me to put this down and pick up another book. See above about me not being a college basketball fan. His leadership
...more
Josh
Jul 03, 2007 Josh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
even if you don't like Coach K or the Duke Blue Devils, after reading this book I think you can at least respect the man and have some admiration for his coaching style... i haven't read too many books written by coaches, so maybe this is like many others, but it basically provides some practical advice to being successful in life, & there are certain pieces of it that might even be post-it note worthy for inspiration around the office.
Nicole
Dec 17, 2008 Nicole rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received this book from my high school softball coach. It has outstanding life lessons that I have used ever since. I re-read it every year before softball season and will be able to apply it towards the future. I love how Krzyzewski uses examples from his team and the business world. He has quite a heart and it shows by his former players raves about his personality and character.
Jon Fugler
Nov 01, 2015 Jon Fugler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is not about basketball. Coach K shares leadership lessons that span all of life. Lots of gems in here.
Darek Khabani
Nov 08, 2016 Darek Khabani rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is about leadership. It shows some of Coach Mike Krzyzewski’s development as a leader, from the organizer of high school pick-up games, through his coaching contract at West Point, his experiences of assistant coaching, and his time at Duke. He tells lessons from his experiences, and also the important people in his life overall, and returns to the same lessons time and time again throughout the book. It shows discipline, persistence, trust, leadership, honesty, and of course, how to ...more
Peter N.
Picked this up from the free bin at the local library. It was a fun read. Coach K gives some pretty common sense insight into leadership. And there are a lot of fun stories throughout the book. For example, he said that if a recruit rolled his eyes at his mother he would not offer him a scholarship. One unique aspect of this book compared to others is how the team and even the coaches change year to year. In most organizations there are some personnel that remain constant. At Duke there is a lot ...more
Lauren Head
Apr 13, 2015 Lauren Head rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to my participation in BetterBookClub.com my way of looking at leadership has changed because of this book. Instead thinking that leadership just comes from someone with the word "manager" in their title I will look at others around me who are positive and show a good work ethic more. Coach K said, "Leadership on any team should be plural and not singular." This makes you stop and think...businesses have a leadership team instead of one person for a reason. Having a collective group of ...more
Kaylin R
In the book, "Leading with the Heart", by Grant Hill, he brings the reader on a variety of adventures throughout the book. This book is based off of a man named Mike Krzyzewski, the current coach of the men's basketball team of Duke University. Hill brings you through situations that Mike has been through, and how he conquered them; Hill explains how Mike Krzyzewski has become one of greatest coaches of basketball. Hill first gives the reader background information on Mike Krzyzewski. ...more
Kevin Slisz
Jan 07, 2016 Kevin Slisz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Leading with The Heart was an amazing book for basketball fans, players and any sport coach around the world. This book focused on developing leadership and trust within a team. Coach K explains throughout the book to be a successful team everyone needs to feel connected and as if everyone is equal. Having everyone on the same level of importance leads to motivating everyone to give their 100% effort for their basketball family. In this story there is not much character development because this ...more
Tie Kim
Aug 04, 2014 Tie Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: leadership
Outstanding. My lone regret is that I wish I had read this book many years earlier when it was first published in 2000. Coach Kryzyewski opens his vault of coaching and leadership knowledge. I’m looking forward to applying Coach K’s principles of leading from both a managerial perspective as well in my volunteer youth coaching endeavors. This book complements the teachings of John Wooden in Wooden on Leadership: How to Create a Winning Organizaion.

There are numerous foundational tenets and menta
...more
Ashtyn
Feb 04, 2016 Ashtyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this book! Each time I read I gained something from it. Whether it was about a life lesson, the game itself, or I even learned more about myself and the type of person that I am. I really enjoyed the way that this book was written. Each chapter had a main topic and then within the chapter different sections were written. Coach K did a phenomenal job explaining why he did the things the way that he did and how each step was so important. My favorite part of the book was when he ...more
Laura
Mar 04, 2010 Laura rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
you know, it wasn't as bad as i thought it would be. a coworker gave it to me, so i felt obligated to read it. i was finishing it while my parents were here this past weekend, and my dad aptly called it my 'homework.'

in any case, the most laughable part of it is that it's truly a book about Coach K and about Duke basketball and about coaching. And if it strictly purported to be just that, it would be fine. I even have more respect for Coach K now and his little devils (though I still won't root
...more
Bobsie67
Coach K tells some very touching stories about his parents, his family, Coach Jim Valvano, and his players. Some practical advice is given on how to build a strong team, which the book summarizes at the end of every chapter as "Coach K's Tips." The book seems to fall a bit short in making a strong connection to strong business leadership strategies. You the reader needs to make all the inferences regarding the business practicality. Coach K's philosophy is easy to take and the reading is light. ...more
Dawson Reading
Sep 19, 2013 Dawson Reading rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Coach K has gone through many parts of life and literally everything he has done, he applies to basketball, which also finds a way to other parts of life like business. He develops a very easy to attain sense of life perspective that many may not see. He attended West Point Academy and learned so much there that he was able to apply later in coaching. Everywhere he has been or done he has found a way to apply it for the better. A brilliant man writing a brilliant book.

One thing that really stick
...more
David
THE worst book I have read by any coach: I am a professional College Coach. I have read Coach K's book and I found it to be the worst book I have ever read. The book repeats itself over and over again. Almost like he doesn't have anything really to say so he filled the book with filler. Nothing in the book made me go wow. Nothing was new to the coaching or leading world. Save your money and get a real book on Leadership.

I do not know one Coach in the NCAA world that has not read this book. And
...more
AGC
Jul 18, 2012 AGC rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book by Coach K and I definitely feel like a better person after reading this book. Of course, he gives a lot of the same advice as many of the business tycoons, like always tell the truth, look into people's eyes when you speak, remember your families and friends, don't be afraid to ask, etc., but it's coming from a different perspective. He's a coach, and an amazing one at that.

As an athlete and basketball fan, I was able to connect with the team and family. And the refer
...more
Ben  Campopiano
Many people set rules to keep from making decisions. I don’t want to be a manager or dictator. I want to be a leader – and leadership is ongoing, adjustable, flexible, and dynamic. As such, leaders have to have and maintain a certain amount of discretion. Too many rules get in the way of leadership.

I really believe that if a leader is a stickler on high performance, on excellence, then winning games will be a natural by-product.

In building any winning team, it’s important to remember that the me
...more
Willie Green
Apr 23, 2015 Willie Green rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Coach K does a good job of highlighting his background and the tools he uses to implement a competitive yet family atmosphere within the Duke Basketball Program. He shapes the book in a way that allows you to see how to implement these things within your organization if you are the leader. I can see how some of these tools are hard to implement if you're not in charge but the discussion of honesty, integrity, and excellence are definitely things that can be implemented by anyone at whatever ...more
Lindsay Gillingham
This book not only focuses on important lessons for athletes but also for life. Coach K emphasizes important aspects such as communication and trust that will help one become successful and then stay that way. I really enjoyed reading this book because of the importance that Coach K places on leadership and being a team player. Being selfless by putting the team before yourself is something that I strongly believe in and reading Coach K's words about the subject reinforced my thoughts. I would ...more
Tim
Jul 19, 2012 Tim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought it was just okay. Seemed much more like a memoir than "successful strategies for basketball, business, and life." I just can't imagine too many business leaders could translate a conversation with Christian Laettner into a new revenue-producing aspect of their company.

That said, I did love the insider details and individual stories about players and coaches. And I can obviously steal a few ideas and use them for my teams in the future. But overall, I felt a bit disappointed with the b
...more
John N
Nov 16, 2015 John N rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In regards to leadership, there is nothing new in this book. There was not one moment where I was blown away by some revelation or insight Coach K. provided. The stories were interesting enough but they didn't really capture my attention. Specific to sports, this book would be more helpful; however, the rigid cyclical nature of sports does not always apply outside of the sports world. I would recommend this book to someone who has studied leadership before. Having this book as an introduction ...more
Bob Schmitz
If you are interested in Duke Basketball this book has some interesting inside tidbits and outlines the strategies that Coach K has used to build his program. He is a remarkable man, has a remarkable program and the "secrets" to his success is not XX's and 00's but the way he builds and leads his team. As far as a book for business leaders to read to get ideas on how to run their businesses I think it is less useful. I would recommend "A Season is a Lifetime" if you want a good Duke B-ball book ...more
Cathy Allen
This was a really good one from leader with world-class credentials. Very few people can ever lay claim to being the best in the world at what they do, but Coach K can. I found his book to be clear and instructive. I especially love the way he weaves narrative with teaching. Each chapter ends with "Coach K's tips" which distill the lessons from the chapter into a few golden nuggets. Few leaders have ever articulated how they do what they do, decide what they decide. We owe Coach K a debt of ...more
Mr. Pollock
I thought it was just okay. Seemed much more like a memoir than "successful strategies for basketball, business, and life." I just can't imagine too many business leaders could translate a conversation with Christian Laettner into a new revenue-producing aspect of their company.

That said, I did love the insider details and individual stories about players and coaches. And I can obviously steal a few ideas and use them for my teams in the future. But overall, I felt a bit disappointed with the b
...more
Mike W
Jan 23, 2014 Mike W rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved the principles in this book. The illustrative personal stories of principles applied to basketball players in Coach K's career are important for the book, but not as specific to my interest in applying Coach K's wisdom to those I may coach, train, or advise. The extra star could easily be included here, but this rating is for me and my purposes, which were to pick up on the gist of Coach K's high yield principles.
Phillip Miles
Leading with the heart has not only lead me to another book complete, but alot learned from one man. He has taught me to understand and appreciate life itself. He compares the game of basketball to life it self a lot. Which is why I believe why we have the same understandings. This book I would share with any body who wants to be something in life and believes they cant be any thing in life. This is by far my favorite book.
Karen & Gerard
This is a helpful book about coaching. Every coach should read this one because there are so many practical tips that Mike shares and solid principles to follow. After each chapter is a summary of the main points. Mike shares from his experiences to illustrate his points in a very interesting way.
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“In order to be a winner, you have to look for ways of getting things done and not for reasons why things can’t be done. People who live with excuses have things that can’t be done hovering around them all the time.” 2 likes
“at the heart of character is honesty and integrity.” 1 likes
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