Model the Behavior (Excerpt from Rebound: From Pain to Passion – Leadership Lessons Learned)

Model the behavior you want from your team. If you don’t model it, but you demand it, you are a fraud! “RTCP.” Showing respect, clean up after yourself, show up on time, give people your full attention, follow up in a timely manner, etc.

Consistency is critical, as once people witness you doing something wrong, it will stand out more than when you do something right. Your mood needs to be consistent, too. Leaders who are up and down emotionally create an atmosphere of uneasiness that will inhibit overall production and reduce trust. Temperament is such an important part of leadership. The ability to stay calm in the face of adversity is a challenge for many of us, but it can be developed.

Dean Smith NEVER cursed. That is a statistic that is more impressive than his all-time wins record. With all the stressful situations he faced, he never once cursed. Not even on the golf course!

I wish I could be more like Coach!

Being on time was important to Coach Smith, Coach Williams, Bob McKillop, and me. My first game at Notre Dame was at Ohio State. After pre-game meal, everyone would go back to their rooms and rest before getting on the bus and heading over to the arena. Since we were staying only a couple of miles away, we told the team, “The bus is LEAVING at 5:30p.m.” We got on the bus. It was 5:30 p.m. We left. On the short ride over, there was a lot of traffic. As we sat in traffic, I see this man dressed in all black walking over the small bridge, carrying a duffle bag. It was our priest!


• “Start how you finish.” —Dean Smith.

• “If you are late, you are telling others that your time is more important than theirs.” —Dean Smith

• “People don’t like moody!”

• “Actions speak louder than words!”

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