The Bookshelf – Everyone's a Coach by Ken Blanchard & Don Shula

Have you ever wondered what the elite coaches read each month?

My friend, Dr. Paul Schempp, at the Sport Instruction Research Laboratory at the University of Georgia, recently polled the top expert coaches in their sport and asked them to send in the most influential reads in their lives. This list is amazing and with each blog I will personally share with you a book from the shelf of the great coaches and teachers of all time.

Everyone’s a Coach: You Can Inspire Anyone to Be a Winner by Ken Blanchard & Don Shula. Zondervan, June 1995

Editorial Reviews:

From Scientific American
Audible Ready: On the football field, when the game plan just isn’t working, that coach and team ready to execute substitute plays inevitably have the edge. Just as Dan Marino’s on-field “audibles” (verbal commands) can turn crises situations into game-winning touchdowns, the office quarterback prepared with a variety of options can execute quick, on-target decisions in the face of unexpected change or challenges.

Consistency: The same reactions in similar circumstances may not seem a lot to ask of a leader – but many bosses let their moods, their “toughness,” or their need to be liked get in the way when it comes to offering appropriate praise or reprimands. For Shula and Blanchard, the rule is simple: “You can’t let poor performance go unnoticed – even from a superstar. The same goes for good performance – performance is all-important; that’s what you need to respond to on a consistent basis.”

Honesty-based: Effective leaders, Shula and Blanchard maintain, are always straightforward in their dealings with other people. Shula sets out to win fair and square and makes sure his team does the same: It’s no coincidence that during Shula’s seasons with Miami the Dolphins have been the least penalized team in the NFL. Though penalties in the corporate sector are less immediate than those in a stadium, studies show that the decline of ethics and integrity in a business inevitably lead to the decline of that business. Business leaders who tell it straight, who are open and honest even about bad news, develop the trust essential for strong long-term relationships – inside and outside of the company.

Featuring vignettes drawn from Shula’s training sessions and actual Dolphin games, and from the corporate offices where Blanchard has encountered the best – and the worst – of management coaches, Everyone’s a Coach sends leaders well on their way to creating a championship team. –This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From Booklist
Examples from the game of football are often used to illustrate determination, overcoming adversity and long odds, competition, and success; and our everyday language is filled with gridiron metaphors and memorable quotes. It is only natural, then, that Shula, the coach with more wins in professional football than any other, should write about inspiring others to win. He provided similar guidance with The Winning Edge (1973), his account of his success in turning around the ineffectual Miami Dolphins. He now teams up with Blanchard, author of the best-selling One Minute Manager (1982) and its popular sequels. Alternately, the two dispense their advice using key points based on the somewhat forced mnemonic COACH (conviction-driven, overlearning, audible ready, consistency, and honesty). Shula, a deeply religious person, includes frequent references to his faith and God. Blanchard, meanwhile, sings the praises of Shula and offers up business applications of Shula’s playing-field tactics. David Rouse