Eleven Rings – Phil Jackson

eleven rings - phil jackson The ring is this sole symbol of team championship sports, but the NBA championship despite its marketing and sales driven mindset, is a team game. If you can get your best players to put away their egos, you can win championships.

Phil describes the five stages of tribal leadership from the book Tribal Leadership. He says the Chicago Bulls from 1995-1998 were at a stage 5, the highest level.

The keys to leadership here:

  1. Speak from the heart and avoid lemming behavior. Lead from the inside out not the other way around.
  2. Temper the ego. Distribute power widely, and be the keeper of the team’s vision.
  3. Let each player discover their own destiny. What players think for themselves so they can understand how to act in the heat of battle.
  4. The road to freedom is a beautiful system.
  5. Turn the mundane into the sacred.
  6. One breath = 1 mind
  7. The key to success is compassion.
  8. Keep your eye on the spirit not on this scoreboard.
  9. Sometimes you have to pull out the big stick.
  10. When in doubt do nothing.
  11. Forget the ring.

The success of a team depends on how selfless superstars can be to win together. Never put your own ambition above that of the team.

Zen Buddhism teaches you to enter each situation with an open mind without judgments. Life can be found only in the present moments.

Doug Collins (the former Bull coach prior to Phil Jackson) lost his job because he wasn’t willing to adapt his system to his stars (Jordan). He couldn’t let go of his ego.

Allow the players to grow individually and create a while in a team structure. Don’t try to pigeonhole them into a role.

Abraham Maslow tells us that people fail to reach self-actualization which is the full use of peoples potential because they get stuck on one of the other rooms on the pyramid.

  1. Experiencing life vividly totally and with full absorption
  2. Making choices for Growth
  3. Being more attuned to your inner nature and acting in concert with who you are
  4. Being honest with yourself and taking responsibility for what you say and do
  5. Identifying your ego defenses and having the courage to get them up
  6. Gathering the courage to determine your own destiny and daring to be different
  7. Creating an ongoing process for reaching your potential
  8. Fostering the conditions for having peak experiences (flow)

Mindfulness is remembering to come back to the present moment.

Before enlightenment chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment chop wood, carry water. In other words, don’t worry about the past or the future, focus on the present, get to work.

What team leaders job was to build team members up, not tear them down.

You can’t be a leader of the team or drive if no one follows you. You have to make efforts to socialize and be a part of a team.

Sometimes you can resolve disputes by non-action. This is not passivity, but by sleeping on it, it can resolve itself.

Enthusiasm brings a wave of energy that seemingly continues to provide motivation and energy. All you have to do then is just ride the wave.

In Western culture, anger is considered something that must be eliminated. But Indian Braves realize that if you can understand anger and then use it to your vantage it can become a powerful force for tribal leadership. Anger actually focus is the mind if used correctly. It can be intensely creative