2013 Leadership Summit

BSU men's basketball coach shares insights on team leasdership

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Leadership has many common characteristics, whether it comes in a boardroom, during a maintenance foremen’s meeting or on the basketball court, Boise State University men’s basketball coach Leon Rice said last week.

To create an effective and successful team in those diverse arenas leaders must generate respect and show a genuine concern for the wellbeing of the members. At BSU, which advanced to the NCAA men’s basketball tournament last winter, it comes in the form of love for the game and for each other.

It’s a trite and oft-used saying, but Rice believes in the concept, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” His role is to help his players achieve their individual goals and the collective team goal.

He outlined 12 key components of a team culture:

1. Love for the game and respect for each other. “If you are not serving, you are not leading,” according to legendary college basketball coach John Wooden.
2. Accountability is a foundation for world-class performance. Choose to be a warrior, not a victim.
3. Competition among self and others.
4. Respond to mistakes and hardships with a TATS approach: Tough, Aggressive, Together and Scrappy.
5. Be unpredictable; some times less is more.
6. Be inspired and “in the moment.”
7. Take ownership of their team and the legend it creates.
8. Empathy, toward players. Yell praise, but whisper criticism.
9. Trust and honesty. Have an open culture in which players are free to share ideas and opinions.
10. Develop good habits. Learn through repetition.
11. Challenge others. Best teachers, challenge and encourage others and use ample doses of humor.
12. Never underestimate your impact on players; treat everyone fairly; not equally, but fairly. Practice patience, respect and love.

Published 10-11-13