You often hear management coaches equate corporate team management with sports coaching. It's become a cliché, but sometimes the same strategies used by coaches to create game-winning teams can translate to business. But I think there's one celebrated and successful coach who the business leadership gurus would be hard-pressed to use as an example in a management seminar.
If you follow college basketball, and probably even if you don't, you've heard about Bobby Knight's sudden mid-season retirement from Texas Tech. Professional successes aside for a moment, I think it's fair to say that if this man were a manager in an American corporation, he would be corporate counsel's biggest headache.
Most business folks won't turn the other cheek if you toss a chair across a conference room, or if you wrap your hands around a staffer's neck, which Coach Knight is famously known for doing on the basketball court.
So why all the wins? Did his players perform as well as they did out of sheer terror? Why do many of his former players say they owe so much to the man, including Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, who played for Knight at Army? Krzyzewski says, "Outside of my immediate family, no single person has had a greater impact on my life than Coach Knight."
So let's weigh in on this. Would you work for a guy who is a tactical genius but who apparently has little control over his temper and impulses?
Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.