Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski drilled that point home when he came to New York this week to accept Sports Illustrated's Sportsman of the Year award. Speaking to an audience that included a few other champions--Chris Evert, Wayne Gretzky, Sugar Ray Leonard, and the University of Tennessee's Pat Summitt, who is SI's Sportswoman of the Year--Coach K told a story that explained who gave him what it takes to be great.
In the summer of 1992, when he was still in the glow of Duke winning back-to-back national championships, Krzyzewski was sitting on his porch in North Carolina with his wife, his three daughters and his mom. "Mike, why you?" his mother asked.
"What do you mean, Mom?" he replied.
"Why were you the one to win two national championships?" she said, in a way that only a mother could ask a man who was on his way to becoming the greatest coach in the history of men's college basketball.
"Mom, 'Why me' is you." Coach K explained. "I never thought I could lose because of you."
The best advice he ever got, he told his mother, was something she had said to him before he started high school. "You said to make sure that I only let good people on my bus.
"And if I ever get on someone else's bus, make sure to take it great places."
If you read business books, you may realize that another leadership evangelist named Jim Collins must have caught wind of the wisdom of Celestina Krzyzewski, a Mexican immigrant cleaning lady who bred the world-famous Coach K. To this day, after 40 years of coaching collegiate basketball, son Mike deploys Celestina's advice to breed his own champions. Coach K tells his Duke players: "I want you on my bus."
And as SI writer Alexander Wolff details in this week's cover story, Krzyzewski, who at age 64 has 907 Duke wins on his scoreboard, tells his players: "If you own the program, you know every person on the bus. Who cleans our locker room? Felipe does. Who cleans our practice facility? Stephanie does. Who cleans our offices? Celestina does."
Coach K is a natural storyteller. Celestina...Anyone who really knows the guy knows who he's talkin' about.
Warren Buffett and Sandra Day O'Connor walk onto a fairway...
Mark Zuckerberg tees off against Biz Stone....
Bill Gates plays Arnold Schwarzenegger.
These are among the 32 fantasy match-ups in the Fab Foursome Bracket Challenge, a new app that Golf Magazine launched on Facebook today.
Golf Magazine publisher Dick Raskopf says that his group came up with the app after actor Will Ferrell, who appeared on the cover of Golf's big fall issue last MOREPatricia Sellers - Jun 13, 2011 3:01 PM ET
by Patricia Sellers
Elizabeth McKee Gore works at Ted Turner's UN Foundation and oversees Global Partnerships there.
She told me the cool story about creating Nothing But Nets five years ago. The UN Foundation wanted to help cure the world of malaria. Her bosses charged her to develop a strategy to build a public campaign.
She came up with a program called the UN Foundation Campaign to End Malaria. And she commissioned a MOREPatricia Sellers - Apr 25, 2011 11:58 AM ET
"The only thing that means a lot to me is winning."
-- Tiger Woods, after missing just the fourth tournament cut of his career back in October, 2005. All was not lost though. Since fellow golfer Vijay Singh also missed the cut that weekend, Woods stole the PGA Tour money title back from him. The quote reveals the mindset that makes Woods, four years later, the $100 Million Man, landing him MOREJessica Shambora, Writer-Reporter - Jul 1, 2009 6:07 PM ET
I'm on the run in Washington, following meetings at the White House yesterday and a spectacular "Most Powerful Women Evening With..." dinner that Fortune hosted on Monday night in the Benjamin Franklin Room at the State Department. We had eight U.S. Senators with us--including our speakers, Senators Barbara Boxer of California and Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas--and scores of women leaders, a touch of royalty (HM Queen Noor, who is MOREJessica Shambora, Writer-Reporter - Apr 29, 2009 3:25 PM ET
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