Excellence Is Where You Find It

Will be speaking in Chicago/McCormick Place, to thousands of managers, along with the usual suspects … Welch, Giuliani, Bossidy, Hamel, et al. But I may have inadvertently tripped over the pick-of-the-litter of management-leadership ideas while browsing the fabulous Borders across from the Sears Tower.

GotYourBack.gifBrad Gilbert is a former World #4 pro tennis player, now a coach (Andre Agassi, Andy Roddick, among others). His book, I’ve Got Your Back: Coaching Top Performers from Center Court to Corner Offices, is a gem. Here’s how it starts: “Show me a coach (or a boss) who doesn’t listen—really listen—and I’ll show you a loser. Show me a coach (or a boss) who domineers and demeans, who manages through fear, and I’ll show you an accident waiting to happen. Show me a coach or boss who doesn’t think it’s just as important to empower the lowliest scrub on the team as it is to cater to the star, and I’ll show you a real short timer.” One nice (charming, really) thing about the book is that Gilbert learned about 100% of his coaching lessons the hard way, from error and trial—and he freely shares his learning process with us.