Leadership tims by Mike Krzyzewski, head coach of the Duke Blue Devils.

Teamwork is the foundation of Coach K’s success. The topic is something he’s studied closely, beginning with his education at West Point. It’s no coincidence that he delivers one of his most famous strategies in the form of an analogy.

“I look at the members of our team like the five fingers of a hand. Individually, the fingers aren’t as powerful as all of them coming together into a fist.” Kryzyzewski writes in his book, Leading with the Heart (a metaphor for leadership). The fact that a basketball team has five players on the court makes the analogy even more perfect.

Coach K extends the analogy further: “There are five fundamental qualities that make every team great: communication, trust, collective responsibility, caring, and pride. I like to think of each as a separate finger on the fist. Any one individually is important. But all of them together are unbeatable.”

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