Coach K’s Most Important Characteristic for Success

Coach K’s Most Important Characteristic for Success

Coach Mike Krzyzewski won his 903rd game a week ago, surpassing Bobby Knight as the winningest coach in men’s collegiate basketball. (Basketball super-fans know that Pat Summitt holds the overall coaching record with 1,071 and counting).

Amazing accomplishment for Coach K! He’s built the strong, winning tradition of Duke basketball through qualities like dedication, hard work and perseverance. Yet, when asked after the win for the single most important characteristic for a coach to have in order to achieve success, Coach K said “trustworthiness.” (2 minute ESPN video)

With the myriad of answers he could have given, he says trustworthiness? Yes. And I couldn’t agree more.

Trust to a team is like the foundation of a house. If you build a house on a foundation that’s been poured correctly, when the storms come up against that house it will still stand. But if your foundation has cracks and fissures, the rain and wind will tear your house apart.

Same is true for your team. If you create strong team trust, your team will stand in the face of adversity like injuries, losses or other drama. But if your team trust has cracks and fissures, the tough times will tear it apart.

As the leader, you are responsible to create an environment of trust. Check out some of my previous posts for practical ideas on how to get started:

With all the crucial ingredients that go into building strong, healthy, winning teams, don’t forget that it all starts with creating strong team trust!


What are your most effective strategies for creating team trust? Please share your ideas below.