KAL Publications, Inc. – Talks



I won eight state championships and 11 of 13 years I was there. And I'll never forgive us for not winning the 12th. We lost a lot of sleep after that one.

In professional athletics there's a misconception: we play. I want to tell you there is no play. It is extremely hard work. You have to be willing to learn. You have to be willing to be dedicated. And if you want to win you have to be kind of smart.

Bill Russell 151-067

Why are people afraid of change? People overestimate the value of what they are giving up and they underestimate the value of what they may gain by giving it up.

We tried to cover all the bases and do all the things so there would be no surprises.

We played basketball according to the alcoholics creed: one day at a time.

We practice so every day we can do the plays better than we did yesterday. And we did that every year so no one could catch us.

The Celtics had pride. We took pride in our workmanship, our craftsmanship. We trusted our teammates and we trusted our coach.

We always treated everyone with respect. If you treat them with respect, they treat you with respect. One of the key components is listening. This is not a passive endeavor. To listen you have to engage. Within the Celtics, that's what we did.

Before you give an assignment, ask: can you do this? If you can, we expect you to do it. If you can't, tell us and we'll help you do it. This is your part of our organization. Our only interest is making you a better performer.

We were the biggest Celtic fans. And we took care of each other. On the way to practice, we had to say: what can I do today to make us better. And we wanted to improve every year.

We had fun. That was a fundamental thing we did that works in every business.

Craftsmanship. I have a profession and it is a craft. I must, for my own benefit, develop my craftsmanship so I can be the best I can be.

Whatever your life's work is, take it and make the journey from journeyman to craftsmanship. And once you do that, take it from craftsmanship to an art.

If someone pays you $5 for a day's worth of work, you give him $7 worth of work. Why? Because if you give him $7 worth of work, then you're worth more to him than he is to you. And if you give him $7 worth of work, then you can look him in the eye and tell him to go to hell if need be because you're really working for yourself.

I didn't play for my coach. I played for the Celtics. And he worked for the Celtics. And we worked together. And the sum was far greater than all the parts.

You don't have to prove anything to anybody. You just have to take your talent and skill to your company and do it the best you can.

Companies and businesses don't do things. People do things. And you are the people. You all want to be respected and listened to. Recognize that's true of everyone here.

When we got beat, we spent 7 months not knowing what to do. We got beat. That was new territory.

We took pride in being ourselves. We played together. We worked together. We had a lot of fun. We built a team.

You are rude to each other every place you go. Every city with traffic knows about flipping the bird every day. We are an extremely prosperous society but everyone seems to be annoyed.

We were great athletes who learned how to play basketball.

People thought they were talented but most people had a flaw in their game. They could shoot but they couldn't defend. They could defend but they couldn't pick. We were physically and skill-wise better than the other team. That's why we knew we could beat them.

I always tried to learn something every game.

It's a team game. We look at personalities and stars. But we were a basketball team where people knew our first substitute. That's because we were a team.

Assess other players in the framework of their team.

Know what you have to be doing. Once you recognize what you're doing, then you can figure out how to do it better.

You respect their knowledge and ask what you do. And once you do that, you can do it better.

All of you have things you believe in. All of you have ambitions. And one thing I always ask people to do: respect yourself and all the people you encounter. Respect and honor their place in life.

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