Phil Jackson, current coach of the Los Angles Lakers, is revered as one of the greatest basketball coaches in history. Nicknamed, the Zen Master, he has won 10 NBA Titles as coach and has the most championships in NBA history. Phil Jackson has a unique approach to coaching and has written several books on the subject. He is a success on and off the court.
Similar to basketball players, we learn the strategies (skills) we need to complete the tasks and responsibilities that are entrusted to us by our employer. Each day, we are on the court (workplace) implement “plays” (making decisions) so that we can stay in the game (remain employed) and ultimately reach the championship to reap the rewards (promotion). As office professionals, we can observe his coaching tactics and style and apply them to the workplace environment. Here are ten lessons office professionals can learn from Phil Jackson in order to be successful on the “court.”
1. Always Remain Calm.
Commentators have made remarks about how Phil Jackson always keeps his composure and is always calm, even when the game isn’t going in his favor. This is something to learn because appropriate results cannot occur if you are irrational or emotional. In the workplace, we are approached by difficult co-workers, demanding supervisors, and irate customers or clients who can test our patience. The important factor is to think before you react and most importantly, remain calm. Assess the situation and come to a conclusion of how to approach the situation as a calm, cool, and collected individual.
Phil Jackson is always telling his players to concentrate on the game and stay focused. In the workplace, we must concentrate on tasks and projects for accuracy and completion. If our attention is diverted, we lose track and have to re-focus which by that time could be too late.
3. Take a time out.
Sometimes we have to get out of the game to rest and refocus. Sit down and think about what you are doing, now is the time to strategize about what your next play will be. As office professionals, we need to realize that we may need to take ourselves out in order to re-evaluate our current plan.
4. Own up to mistakes and do something about it.
As a coach, Phil Jackson allows his team to make mistakes and then expects them to correct them. In other words, learn from your mistakes. This lets his team know that we are all human and make mistakes in the game, it is our responsibility to acknowledge those mistakes and make plans to correct them.
5. Give 100 percent wherever you go.
From 1989 to 1998, Phil Jackson was able to lead the Chicago Bulls to six championships. Then he started the new millennium leading the Los Angeles Lakers with three championships. He has made his point clear that wherever you go, give 100 percent. When you leave a job or department, go to the next with one thing in mind, to be the best you can be and give it your all everyday!
6. Teamwork is vital to any organization.
Phil Jackson once said, “Good teams become great ones when the members trust each other enough to surrender the Me for the We." Trust within a team is important to its success and trust is built through communication. Just like a basketball team, workplace teams need to communicate with each other so that each member knows what the strategy will be to complete the task or project.
7. Take pride in what you do.
Phil Jackson always has his head held high, even when his team is losing and not completing the proper plays. At the end of the day, he knows he is a good coach and comes back the next day with the same attitude as the previous game. Take pride in what you do. I hear so many people when asked what they do for a living say, “I am just……” You are not “just” anything! Recognize that you make a difference in your job and that you are an important asset to the company. Office professionals are the backbone of the office, everyone looks to us for answers, we know what’s going on in the office at all times, and we know where everything is, so why wouldn’t we be assets?
8. Don’t let challenges deter you from your goal.
"People think I would never take on a team that has no legitimate chance to win a championship,... This is one of the major misconceptions about me. Success can be measured in many different ways. . . . Either way, I would find the challenge invigorating." If Phil Jackson would have looked at Chicago as a challenge and not accepted the position as head coach, who knows what the history of the Chicago Bulls would be. If you aren’t open to challenges, such as a new job responsibility, you may be passing up the chance of a promotion or at least letting your supervisor and others know that you are capable of getting the job done.
Throughout the day office professionals are approached with challenges and difficult situations – it’s a part of the job. As duties and responsibilities are increasing, so is the need for people to be able to solve problems effectively and come out on top. Approach a challenge as a way to improve or develop your skills, show the fans (colleagues) that you are the right person for the job!
9. Set goals.
"The ideal way to win a championship is step by step." Completing the steps to reach goals gets you to the reward. We need to set short and long term goals in order to complete our goals. Having a clear outline of what those steps are gets you one step closer to completion.
10. Always have a plan B.
"Yes, victory is sweet, but it doesn't necessarily make life any easier the next season or even the next day." Now that you have reached your goal, what do you do now? Plan for the next. Phil Jackson never stops at one win; he is always looking and planning for the next and so should you. There is always another set of goals that need to be accomplished, so start planning.
Think of Phil Jackson as your coach and you are in the huddle, he is asking you to focus and think about a new strategy to approach how you play the game. Come out of the huddle, charged up and rejuvenated and ready to start a new quarter with a new attitude. This is a good plan of success for office professionals and to get that “championship ring.”