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  • Writer's pictureDavid and Marilynn Chadwick

Leadership Principles: How the Team Improves

Coach Dean Smith instilled many significant leadership principles into my life. I am sharing some of them with you over these two weeks. I hope they are especially meaningful as we experience March Madness. One of his principles was, “As individuals improve, the team improves.” I went into Coach Smith’s office after my sophomore year for my annual interview. I wanted to know how I could get more playing time. In asking him, I used the mantra I knew he would appreciate, “Coach, how can I help the team?” He looked at me and repeated my question back to me. “You want to help the team next year?” he asked. I nodded affirmatively. He responded, “Then become a better player.” He knew the whole is only as strong as the individual parts. If I became better, the team would as well. He went on to give me a list of things I needed to do. Get stronger. Quicker. Faster. I took to heart every word he said. I even got on a weight program to give myself accountability for my personal growth and strength. Guess what? The next season, I got more playing time. In Revelation 3:20, Jesus says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” Jesus offers the world an invitation to host his presence and to know his heart. If we accept this invitation, we become members of his team. But we must respond to his invitation. We have to open the door for him to enter! Leaders, are you extending invitations to those around you to improve? How are you helping them in their dreams? What are you offering them as resources to improve their work habits and personal goals? Remember this. As each individual around you is strengthened and improves, the whole team will too! It is an immutable leadership truth! Our Leadership Principles blog series is inspired by David's book "It's How You Play the Game: The 12 Leadership Principles of Dean Smith." If you would like to receive this book, please go here.

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