I recently read an article where the writer listed two non-negotiables in coaches: humility and non-stop learner.
I played college baseball with Ed Spiezio, who went on to be a Big League player with the Cardinals, Padres, and White Sox. Ed was by far the best hitter I have ever seen or played with or against in the Chicago area.
Leadership-Ed SpiezioPrior to Ed’s going to pro ball, we all played semi-pro baseball in the Joliet area. When we played at different parks on a Saturday afternoon and got together in the evening, Ed never talked about how he played unless someone asked him. It was not unusual for him to have hit two home runs that afternoon but I never heard him offer that information unless asked.
Everyone in our area was happy for Ed’s success in the majors because we all knew and respected him for his genuine humility.
Pete Tyrgovich played on Coach Wooden’s last UCLA national championship team. I’ll never forget Pete’s telling me that in his last year of coaching, at age sixty-five, Coach Wooden talked about how much he was learning about basketball that year. And this is the coach whose teams previously won seven NCAA tournaments in a row and ten in his last twelve years of coaching! So, arguably the best coach in collegiate basketball history, was a non-stop learner.
Every great leader I have ever known has embodied these two non-negotiables. They have been truly humble and never stopped learning.