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

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  2,114 ratings  ·  115 reviews
Duke University's head basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski has proved himself a leader both on and off the court. He's led the Duke Blue Devils to five straight Final Four appearances, culminating in back-to-back championships in 1991 and '92. He has received five National Coach of the Year Awards -- and many of the players he coached in college have gone on to NBA stardom! N ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published March 1st 2001 by Grand Central Publishing (first published March 1st 2000)
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Feb 08, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Mar 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Probably one of the only books from school that I actually have enjoyed so far. It was definitely interesting seeing Coach K's thoughts and experiences with leadership and its theories. I'm not a huge basketball fan, so I was really dreading this book going into it. I'm glad that I did read it though, as I've gained some great insight on someone who is a successful team leader and I can definitely apply this to my every day life. ...more
Ben Jenson
Feb 09, 2021 rated it really liked it
This book was good! It’s 20 years old, but Coach K has some really good insight on leadership and how to build a successful team. I read a book on John Wooden a month or two ago and Coach K is another coach who has built his life and program on good, unshaken values. I was also pleasantly surprised at how much my #1 man crush Quin Snyder was mentioned. It’s nice to realize how big of an impact Quin had on Duke and Mike Krzyzewski. Also props to my boy Drew for giving this to me.
Anthony Venturini
Oct 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Jonathan Da-silva
Feb 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Blake Wilkins
This was another book my grandma told me to read since I liked the Duke Blue Devils. I really enjoyed learning about Coach K's life. I really enjoyed how he talked about how he got his team ready for the four national championships he won. I enjoyed how he described what practice was like through his eyes. I liked the part where he said he dove on the floor after a ball to prove a point his players to hustle more. My favorite part of the whole book was when Jim Valvano a basketball coach at Nort ...more
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
Jul 03, 2007 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
Dec 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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 rated it really liked it
This book is not about basketball. Coach K shares leadership lessons that span all of life. Lots of gems in here.
Jun 23, 2020 added it
Shelves: 2012-13
The book that I read for November book club is by Mike Krzyzewski, Duke Men’s Head Basketball Coach. The book discusses the values that Coach K holds and how he uses these values to coach his teams. Some of these values include sticking to your plans and holding onto your commitments, learning how to adjust quickly and which things change, and taking responsibility for the performance of your team. The main messages that I derived from reading the book are that you must command excellence in ord ...more
Don Putnam
Aug 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another book we read as part of our Scrum Master network. I listened to this one on Audible.

Quite enjoyable! I love basketball and coaching, so this book was right up my alley! Coach K really is an amazing person! He has accomplished so much and he did it with heart and working with people.

While the "tips" and learning aspects were very good and our Scrum Master network focused our conversations around these topics, I often found myself wondering if Coach K had written this book to address criti
Drew Davis
Apr 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
I have always been heavily into the coaching books where they talk about how they improve their players mindsets by using their psychology back ground. Coach K of the Duke blue devils basketball team is arguably the best to ever do it. He grew up in a poor family always loving to organize basketball games. Where he then talked about his time playing on the basketball team of the college ARMY. He then goes on to talk about how he changed big games that he played in just by remaining calm in exoti ...more
Mar 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Maybe 3.5 stars would be more accurate. All things considered, this was a pretty generic book on leadership. It gets the extra half-star because the basketball stories did make it more interesting and easier to read.
If you are a big fan of Duke basketball, you will probably like it more than I did.
Kyle Monsees
Feb 06, 2020 rated it liked it
College basketball lovers take heed. If you want to understand the forces and experiences that drive Coach K, this book is superb. His love of the game, his family, and his players is palpable throughout. Even Duke haters will appreciate Coach K’s integrity and discipline to playing and acting the right way.
May 27, 2020 rated it liked it
Coach K has his favorite players and if you didn’t know who they were before, you’ll certainly know after. In the meantime, if you’re coaching youth sports, I think that you’ll find the leadership lessons offered useful. However, I had a difficult time translating these lessons into a business environment even though I know college basketball is big business.
Isaac Castilla
Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is the best! Everything in this book is acceptable and accurate. I wanted to get better at basketball and just found this book, so I thought I could just skim through, but boy was I wrong, the book was page turning. I recommend this book for any basketball player.
Feb 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Some of this book is just fun reminiscing, but most of it is a really helpful window into what Coach K prioritizes. It isn’t a script you can exactly execute, rather it offers broad generalizations to help you focus when you have leadership questions.
William "Spig"
Jul 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Beat leadership book I've read in years. Totally applicable to military leadership and my style. Highly recommend ...more
melissa jane
Oct 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
College Assignment. While it had a handful of positive advice for leadership, it had some harmful advice also. Read Harriet Lerner and Brené Brown’s work and then we’ll talk about Coach K.
Ash Crowe
Mar 23, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2019
My father buys me books sometimes
Luke Stannard
May 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Following in the footsteps of John Wooden, Coach K shows how his strategies for basketball span his entire life. The way he treats his family is how he coaches.
Chris Kennedy
Jun 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommended to everyone.
Lauren Head
Apr 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Thanks to my participation in 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 pe ...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. Throughou ...more
Kevin Slisz
Jan 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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
Lj McNeill
I haven't received my book it has been several weeks since my date of purchase. ...more
Tie Kim
Aug 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Feb 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 04, 2010 rated it it was ok
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
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