A Basketball, A Cello, A Bicycle and A Credit Union Walk Into a Bar

by Bo McDonald

There are four things that seemingly have nothing in common: A basketball, a cello, a bicycle and your credit union.

If you’re a sports fan you may know the name Phil Jackson. But if you’re not, you at least know the names Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippin. Phil Jackson coached both of them when they played for the Chicago Bulls. Or perhaps you’ve heard of Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal, both played for the LA Lakers under Coach Phil Jackson.

Jackson’s new book “Eleven Rings,” refers to the title that teams won under his leadership. Humbly, Jackson doesn’t count the two rings he won as a player for the New York Knicks in the title of his book.

What would seemingly be a snoozer of a book for a non-sports fan like me, turned out to be one of the best books on leadership I have ever read.  Jackson recounts the 3-pointer he’ll never forget.   He also describes the way to coach egotistical superstars,   the means to cultivate Zen-like team chemistry, and how he incorporated a lesson from cellist Pablo Casals on the court.

SUPERSTARS: Chances are there’s a superstar on the team at your credit union. The one person you know you can always count on to make things happen. But what about everyone else? The team members who stay in the shadows of that superstar for one reason or another? In a recent NPR interview with Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep, Jackson recalled an epic game against the Phoenix Suns.

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