3 thoughts on leadership from Duke's Coach K

Before the Duke Blue Devils take the court Friday as part of March Madness, Mike Krzyzewski, better known as Coach K, shared words of wisdom about college basketball and leadership as part of Bloomberg's "The David Rubinstein Show: Peer-to-Peer Conversations" series.

"What an interesting life it is to be a leader," Mr. Krzyzewski said during the wide-ranging interview, which covered how he turned around the basketball program at Duke University in Durham, N.C., what it was like to coach gold medal-winning Olympics basketball teams and more.

Here are three nuggets of leadership wisdom Coach K shared with Mr. Rubinstein.

1. Failure isn't the destination. "In order to get better, you change limits," he said. "And when you change limits you're going to look bad and you're going to fail. And at West Point [the U.S. Military Academy] I learned that failure was never a destination." This means leaders need to reflect when something is going poorly, figure out why and adapt.

2. You're not in it alone. Teamwork is necessary for success as a leader, he said. "Surround yourself with good people."

3. Be a good listener. "You're not going to learn with you just talking," Mr. Krzyzewski said, emphasizing the importance of listening. "And when you do talk, converse. Don't make excuses."

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