Leadership Lessons from the G.O.A.T. with JJ Jackson


Leadership Lessons from the GOAT

When you care about someone or something, you show genuine concern for that person or thing, in good times or bad. When you care about one another and about your purpose, you are compelled to put your feelings into action. Care creates an atmosphere that breeds success and gives you the confidence to try again." - Coach Mike Krzyzewski

On this brand-new EdLeader special series, Leadership Lessons from the G.O.A.T., Dr. Rob Jackson is joined by his son JJ Jackson, host of the Locked On Blue Devils podcast, host of the daily radio show SportsCall Auburn, and Division 1 radio and television play-by-play announcer. Together, they delve into Coach K's book, Leading with the Heart, to share the leadership lessons of the basketball coach considered to be the G.O.A.T. (Greatest Of All Time!)

Coach K has served as the head men's basketball coach at Duke University since 1980, where he has led the Blue Devils to five NCAA Division I titles, 12 Final Fours, 15 ACC Men's Basketball Tournament championships, and 12 ACC regular-season titles. Coach K has also coached the US men's national basketball team to three gold medals and served as the head coach of the American team that won two FIBA World Cup gold medals. He is widely regarded as one of the best college basketball coaches of all time.

"We need, as leaders, to summon the courage to endure adversity and critics." - Coach K

Episode 1 - Courage

Regardless of the work we do, we will encounter adversity. Coach K, the G.O.A.T., says that we must summon the courage to endure. In this first episode of "Leadership Lessons from the G.O.A.T., special guest JJ Jackson joins Dr. Jackson to examine moments of adversity in Coach K's career. From losing first-round games during March Madness to three very weak first years as the Coach of Duke University, has encountered tough times and vocal critics. His response and subsequent success validate his thoughts on leadership.

Previously, Former State Superintendent of the Year Dr. Tony Jackson joined Dr. Rob Jackson on the EdLeader podcast to discuss Courageous Leadership

"We need to give others our time and attention." - Coach K

Episode 2 - Time and Attention

In this episode, Dr. Jackson and JJ explore Coach K's belief in authentically giving time and attention to those we serve. JJ shares the story of meeting Coach K for the very first time through the Make-a-Wish Foundation and the time Coach K spent one-on-one with him as JJ prepared for an upcoming procedure. The time and attention Coach K has invested in his players and coaches have paid off in tremendous team and individual accomplishments over the 42 years he has coached the Duke University Blue Devils. 

Previously, Dr. Jackson wrote about Intention and Attention as the pathway to making a lasting difference.

"It's not what I know, it's what they do on the court that really matters." - Coach K

Episode 3 - Growing Leaders

In this episode, Dr. Jackson and JJ discuss Coach K's strategies for growing leaders. Coach K says, "When teaching, always remember this simple phrase: 'You hear, you forget. You see, you remember. You do, you understand.'" A leader must have a plan for growing leaders as you cannot just tell people what to do and then expect them to perform well. With stories about Christian Laettner, Steve Wojciechowski, Wendell Moore, Jr., and AJ Griffin to illustrate Coach K's teachings, this is an episode you do not want to miss.

"I believe a big part of leadership is about winning the moment" - Coach K

Episode 4 - Focus on the Task at Hand

In this episode, Dr. Jackson and JJ discuss Coach K's encouragement for leaders to focus on the task at hand. With an update on Coach K's final season following the ACC Tournament, the lessons come alive in the context of the current season and flashbacks to the 1990 season where Duke lost in the championship game by the largest margin ever only to come back the next year to win the National Championship.

"You might have to throw out your well-crafted plan after only five minutes." - Coach K

Episode 5 - Final Four Game Day

In this episode, Dr. Jackson and JJ discuss Coach K's leadership in guiding the Blue Devils to his thirteenth Final Four. Following a tournament run through the West, a region the Blue Devils had never won on the way to a Final Four, facing college basketball's strongest defenses this year, Duke punched their ticket to New Orleans. Coach K said, "Game Day is not a time for long, drawn-out speeches. It is a time for interaction. Interacting with Coach K's writing and current season success, JJ and Dr. Jackson pull out leadership tenets ready for each of us to employ in our work.

"Touch people's hearts with sincerity and eloquence." - Coach K

Episode 6 - Life Beyond

In this final episode of the EdLeader special series "Leadership Lessons from the GOAT," LockedOn Blue Devils host and lifelong fan, JJ Jackson, joins his Dad one more time to wrap a special season and a special book, "Leading With the Heart" by the GOAT, Coach Mike Krzyzewski. After a recap of the season's final game, JJ and Dr. Jackson share a special story from courtside of another memorable NCAA National Tournament, one that did end with a National Championship. Coach K's final leadership tenets are explored as he reminds us to "Stop the Success Express once in a while to enjoy the journey." Coach K's book and journey as a coach ends with the words, "Please, God, help me do my best, help me be myself, and help me lead with my heart." May we all lead with our hearts.

JJ Jackson and Dr. Rob Jackson on Locked On Blue Devils

Coach K's Outstanding Leadership - Locked On Blue Devils

JJ Jackson is joined by his dad, Dr. Rob Jackson, for today's show on the Locked On Blue Devils Podcast. Dr. Jackson serves as a North Carolina school system superintendent and hosts the EdLeader Podcast. Together, JJ and Dr. Jackson talk about Coach K's decision to retire and his leadership over his 40+ years of coaching. 

Link to this Locked On Blue Devils Episode


Krzyzewski, M. and Phillips, D.T. (2000). Leading With the Heart: Coach K's Strategies for Basketball, Business, and Life. Warner Books. 

Intro Music on this podcast series by Aleksandr Shamaluev courtesy of AShamaluevMusic


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