Sports Ball Leadership Insights Pt. Deux

Book Review (Pt.2): “The Score Will Take Care of Itself” by Bill Walsh

I’ve completed a third book (Getting Things Done by David Allen) since my intent to finish the follow up review of the second half of this book, so I’ll keep it brief.  Although there are many, many phenomenal quotes to site from this book (I recently purchased a paperback copy to re-read later), these are a few additional quotes that stuck out with me as I finished the book.


“The culture precedes positive results.  Champions behave like champions before they are champions.  They have a winning standard of performance before they are winners.”

I see too often in general, particularly in my generation and younger, the expectation to be successful just because they showed up.  I think some of it started when everyone started getting a participation ribbon to make them feel “encouraged”, however it seems to have made a pendulum swing in the other direction where few are really willing to try.  It’s created a vacuum of work ethic, which makes it easier to get noticed for those actually putting forth the work.  And they can’t be completely to blame because they were never taught otherwise, however it is a somewhat sad state of affairs looking forward at the future generations of leaders.   I think we would do well to find a happy medium of positive reinforcement and developing a culture of standards.


“Conventional wisdom often produces conventional results.”

This simplistic, Confucius style statement really stuck out to me when I heard it.  Too often we run into the convention of “that’s not how we do it, we’ve always done it this way”.  Which, on one hand, is comfortable and low-risk.  It’s also inhibiting of the potential of growth.  I tend to get a bit of a reputation as a rebel rouser because I have a tendency to break convention… and it seems to have worked relatively well for me so far!  Calculated risks, although still risks, can reap great rewards.



“Flying by the seat of your pants precedes crashing by the seat of your pants.”

All of that being said, the key phrase is “calculated risks”.  By establishing purpose, followed by goals, followed by strategies and tactics, followed by measurable metrics for success… risks really aren’t so risky.  And even when they don’t work out as plan, typically you still have enough structure to learn something from it.  “Winging it” doesn’t often grant the same benefit with an increased amount of risk.


“Don’t mistake activity for achievement.” – John Wooden, Wooden on Leadership

This quote was featured in the book and I thought it was pretty solid.  Being busy does not equate to being successful.


“Don’t let anyone tell you that a big ego is a bad thing. It is reflective of anyone willing to take their talent as far as it will go.  Ego is pride, self-confidence, self-esteem, and self-assurance.  Egotism, on the other hand, is an arrogance that comes from your own perceived skill, power, or position.  It makes you self-important, self-centered, and selfish… and slow, vulnerable, and easily destroyed.”

That says just about everything, doesn’t it?


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