Two Dozen Basic Management Principles — Pt. 18

The next thing he knew, he was next to Coach Mike Krzyzewski, the legendary Duke University basketball coach. Coach Jim Boeheim from Syracuse stood off to one side. Coach K put his hand on Lopez’ shoulder. “We watched your news conference.”

“You did?” Lopez could not believe this.

“We sure did. Listen, I need you to do me a favor. I want you to tell your story to my team exactly like you told it in that news conference. Tell these guys what it means to be an American and what it means to wear that jersey. I don’t’ think any of us understand it quite like you do.”

Lopez walked into the green room and into the presence of athletic royalty. The room was filled with guys he’d only watched on television. Kobe Bryant sat on one side of the room near Lebron James. Carmelo Anthony, who went to college in Syracuse, sat close to the front. The greatest basketball players in the world filled this room and their coach wanted Lopez to talk to them.

Lopez’ knees nearly knocked and his voice cracked a little when he started talking. But he did exactly what Coach K asked him to do. He told his story. Inside the room, every eye locked onto him. All of those players sat in complete silence as he spoke. They soaked in every word.

After Lopez finished speaking, Coach K got up. “Now you guys know what this is all about. You are ambassadors for our great country. Now go out there and get it done.”

The team broke out in huge applause. Afterward, Lopez posed for photographs with the team. One player after another shook his hand and told him how much they appreciated what he had said. Lopez walked out of the room with a standing invitation to come hang out with the team whenever he wanted.


Management Lesson #21 – Public Speaking

The number one fear (in most surveys) is the fear of speaking in public. That is a shame. I would argue that the number one differentiator for those in management is the ability to speak publicly. As such, you should develop sufficient public speaking skills to become effective in presenting and explaining your management vision.

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