Just finished reading Pat Riley’s The Winner Within: A Life Plan for Team Players. I decided to read this book, because as I interacted with So-san over the blog, I was intreagued with Pat Riley, the NBA’s winningest coach ever. The book is fantastic! His story is about coaching, change, life of organic growth and decay, work, mastery. I think his book is closer to business situation more than other such books I have read, because it is story of sustainability in winning. In business, winning means staying profitable in healthy way. It seems that life cycle of winning team, innocent climb, disease of me, core covenant, thunderbolts, choke, breakthroughs, complacency, mastery, anteing up, core cracks, move on are the same between basketball or business.

What rare treat it is to be able to learn about the entire process in sequesnce, with emotional stories, along with facts of results! Whenever I read about real stories about success, which is always about serendipity and hard work, along with close calls where it was simply incredible that the whole thing did not fall apart, I feel exhilarated. At the same time, I become more weary of stories told by onlookers, by consultants who only takes part in a blip of the team or company’s history. One simply can not predict what happens in the long run as result of efforts made in a short period of time.

I’ve thought of The Art of Possibilities by successful conductor of the Boston Philharmonics, Benjamine Zander, Mastery by George Leonard, Life Work by Donald Hall. I’ve thought of numerous autobiographies that illustrated the road to mastery through work. Those Holywood movies. They are not realistic in the way that success is shown without overwhelming time and effort put into work, but they are realistic in the way that winning crucial battle comes at the eleventh hour like they do at Star Wars movies.