If you’re looking for proof or a glaring example of how Vision, Leadership, Attracting & Developing Talent and Team Culture leads to undeniable success, look no further than the story of Gonzaga basketball. 20 years ago they barely existed. Only 20 years later they were the preseason #1 team in the country. A powerful story for all.
1:28 – Jason introduces Season 4 episode 2 of the podcast. Welcome back to the podcast and thank you for listening. We wish to create content that engages your mind and heart and allows you to step back and think and add some positivity to your life. This podcast is about positive momentum and positive solutions. Jason shares lessons of 2020 and a short intro to the importance of leadership.
3:14 – Please amplify these messages by rating, sharing and reviewing this podcast to spread these messages to more people. Thank you!
3:50 – Jason shares some insights from 2020 and how it was a time to learn and to grow. It was a difficult year for all of us but also a time for us to learn from. The challenges are not behind us but to understand that we must get through those distractions. Hopefully, this podcast is one of those things to help focus on what we can control.
20 years ago you probably never even heard of Gonzaga University.
4:48 – The story of Gonzaga University basketball is a story of a great team and leaders coming together. It is not just one of basketball, if you don’t understand the game you can still appreciate this story. Jason tells one of his favorite stories about teams and leaders. This story is proof that developing people makes you better at what you do and can change your game and life.
6:47 – For anyone that needs proof that developing people is important to your culture, Jason points to some examples happening all around us. How doing these tactics point to people’s success directly.
7:50 – 20 years ago you probably never heard of Gonzaga University and that it is in Spokane Washington. This story is one of leadership, of culture, of the power of a team. The way they built this team from nothing over the last 20 years is an amazing example of success and high performance, but one of leadership and culture and diverse groups of people coming together that they couldn’t on their own.
9:19 – Jason loves basketball. He was a former player and point guard and says that is often how he thinks of situations in life. No matter where you fall, you can appreciate the story. Jason loves the zigs, the zags, the offense, the defense, he calls it poetry. He talks of continuity ball screens for one and efficiencies that Gonzaga has created. It is simply poetry to watch them play.
11:14 – The story of Gonzaga starts here. In the early 90’s Gonzaga was in trouble. The University was struggling. One strategic decision that they made was to invest more money and attention into their basketball program. This was a strategic move for them. The idea was basketball could bring more visibility to the University and town. In 1999, Gonzaga had a magical run in the basketball tournament in the elite 8 division 1 tournament. This magical run put Gonzaga on the map.
13:45 – Oftentimes a team that has a magical run one year and upsets a big team never comes back and it is dust in the wind of what once was. The last 20 years since that magical run what is unique is that it didn’t end. It was the beginning of that vision that was playing out. The rise of Gonzaga basketball has been truly magical but not magic. It is because it was tied to a vision and time, investment, training, that brought them there. It was intentional they Gonzaga was capable of more. How will we build this program? How do we lead this program? What is the culture we want to create? In 20 years’ time, they are the preseason no. 1 team in America and have been the winningest program in the last decade of College basketball, simply amazing.
16:31 – What all this has led to is the enrollment over the last 20 years has doubled. Applications to be part of the University has been up 300% and the school’s endowment has topped $212 million. So Jason focuses on some of these keys that led them there. 1. Vision. 2. leadership. The coach is not a yeller or a screamer, he not a top of the pyramid kind of leader. Mark Few is supposed to be at the bottom of the pyramid to put people in a place to be successful and grow the culture in alignment with that vision.
20:45 – Jason takes about the style and leadership Gonzaga University selects with Mark Few, coach of Gonzaga basketball. The play is fast but they are not in a hurry. Flow is important. The poetry of how they share the ball has led to them breaking records.
22:20 – What type of team are we going to be? It wasn’t easy to recruit when they were a no-name university. How did they attract talent? No one knew their brand. They had to think outside the box to find diverse talent. They looked at unconventional places to find talent and then would develop it. Tommy Lloyd knew to go all around the globe to search for international talent. They have gained players from France, Lithuania, Russia, Japan, all over the world.
25:10 – Culture buy-in. Jason talks about how players and talent are buying-in to this team kind of approach. They are dealing with so many variables even language barriers to teach them basketball and have made a commitment to helping people develop in the vision and the power of the team.
26:45 – No team is perfect but believing in people and the power of the team can be seen with Gonzaga University basketball program over the last 20 years. They have been the most successful college basketball team of the last decade and 20 years ago no one knew they existed.
What type of team are we going to be?
Questions to Ponder
- What is your vision for the future?
- What players do you need and how are you committed to developing them?
- What is that culture that you want to create?
Remember, creating that vision creating that culture, creating that buy-in doesn’t just magically happen. It takes intentional alignment in the culture we are trying to create and the results will be undeniable.
ABOUT THE THERMOSTAT
Conversations and micro-thoughts to engage your mind and heart.
A thermostat is proactive. It sets the temperature in a room. Controls the temperature. Regulates the temperature. But in today’s distracted, fast-paced and digital world, it’s easy for individuals and organizations to act more like thermometers, slipping into reactionary thinking, becoming scattered and inconsistent. The most compelling leaders, teams, organizations, families or collection of humans of any kind operate in thermostat mode. They calibrate their mind and heart to set the temperature for the vision and culture they want to create. Jason Barger, globally celebrated author, keynote speaker, and founder of Step Back Leadership Consulting, is the host of The Thermostat, a podcast journey to discover authentic leadership, create compelling cultures and find clarity of mission, vision, and values.