San Antonio Spurs Head coach, Greg Papovich – An Exemplar of Stellar Leadership.

Given the enormous success of the San Antonio Spurs, it is clear why Greg Papovich is considered by many to be the best coach in the NBA.  The reasons why were demonstrated last week.

In 20 years as a coach, Greg Papovich had never had a player asked to be traded.  How Greg Papovich’s responded to LaMarcus Aldridge’s request demonstrates a number of qualities and behaviors that executives would be wise to emulate.

Leadership Lessons

Curiosity and openness to feedback: First, Papovich asked Aldridge to dinner and had a number of conversations in which Papovich listened to Aldridge’s concerns.

 Self awareness: Secondly, when Aldridge told him that he was “over coaching” him, Papovich was willing to recognize and acknowledge his behavior.’

Honesty and vulnerability:  Third, Papovich shared this information with the team, the press, the fans. He openly accepted part of the responsibility for the problem.

Willingness to change: Finally, Papovich said that he’d “taken care of it,”.  One can assume that meant a change on his part.

The result?

A loyal team member who’s returned to performing at a superb level.

If you want high performing teams who are committed to the mission of the organization you would do well to follow his example.

To watch and read the ESPN interview of coach Papovich click here

Dr. Joanne Irving is a strategic advisor and coach for senior executives at mid and large size companies, helping them dramatically improve business outcomes and the quality of life for themselves and those around them.  Learn more.

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