Danny Ainge, the President of Basketball Operations for the Boston Celtics, was asked about what makes Brad Stevens successful as a coach:
“It’s not like he has some secret formula,” Ainge said. “He’s a really hard worker, he’s a really smart guy, and he has great integrity. He has great communication skills and has a calming influence in a tense world. I’ve grown to appreciate that demeanor. He holds players accountable in a calm and consistent fashion. He looks at the positives–the things players can do and doesn’t focus, dwell and whine about the things players can’t do. He tries to put them in a position where they can succeed.”
Pretty simple, right?
Come in and do the work each day.
Tell the truth- be honest with people.
Consistently hold the people on your team to high standards in a respectful manner.
Seek the good, find the good.
Focus on solutions- as opposed to mindless complaints.
None of the things listed above aren’t things you and I don’t know about. As a leader, however, you must ask yourself if you live by your guiding principles each and every day? Are you consistent regardless of what a day brings? Do your actions align with the expectations you have set out for everyone else?
As Ainge pointed out, there aren’t any gimmicks or tricks to Stevens’ approach. Players love playing for Brad Stevens, and at the time I’m writing this article, the Boston Celtics are tied for first place in the NBA Eastern Conference. In my time learning about Coach Stevens, the consistency of his daily principles such as self-discipline, authenticity, high standards, and optimism regardless of circumstances has made the newfound Celtics success anything but an accident!