Duke wins NCAA B-ball title – may the best coached team win

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

Not all gloomy for America. iPad released to rave reception by more than just the fanatics. What this portends for education and training is inspiring. I shared a look at my iPad with a friendly, hip young guy at the Kitty Hawk coffee shop this morning. His elegant Mac Book Pro looked like a mainframe compared to the iPad. Typical Mac community interaction, ie sharing a look at Apple products. Can you imagine PC types doing this?!

Last night my son streamed a movie to the iPad from wifi system that came with the beach house rental. The NetFlix app for video is super. So is the iBook reader; so is the speaker for the iPod; so is the picture viewer; so is, so is, so…..I’m one of the fans, for sure. Wouldn’t you agree that this yet-another-hit-from-Apple offsets the well intentioned bumbling and intentional deception which seems to dominate the news, even in a period of declining news coverage. Who can we trust?! Are we in this together or not?! As Casey Stengal once asked, ” does anyone here know how to play this game?!”

Coach K does. He doesn’t wear it on his sleeve and he is a graduate of West Point, class of 1969. His recruiting of late suffered repercussions of the 2006 lacrosse racially scarred scandal. With a Gold Medal and his 4th NCAA trophy, not a problem any longer.

He showed this year that he knows how to win with the team that he’s got – good players but not the best players. Kentucky, Baylor and several others had faster and more athletic teams of players. Maybe even Carolina. But no team played with the confidence, cohesion and simple understanding of role and circumstance as did Duke. Leadership matters.
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This is what Duke and Apple have in common: a commitment to exceptional performance – some may describe this as innovation – that borders on cult worship but is genuinely about the expectation of excellence. I observe that the heart of achievement is trust: trust in ourselves – the notion of letting it happen – after we’ve worked hard to learn how it is suppose to happen ( call this education). If we might assemble a team or unit or platoon or department or start-up of so educated, self-trusting individuals and provide the rigor of expectation in an atmosphere of sincere, mutual support, then the results or the potential will be as they are supposed to be. A good bet is that this formula will most often produce team success and invariably produce a product championship or two along the way.

America can do better; needs to do better; had better do better if only because never knowing how to win can become a way of life as well.

Here’s hoping that Butler is the next to join the ranks of hero programs.

Tags: Duke_basketball, NACC_final_4
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