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Super Coach: Man of Steel Nerves

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The San Antonio Spurs were 28 seconds away from its fifth NBA championship title in Game 6. They were ahead by 5 points with ball possession. Miami Heat fans had already given up, many leaving the stadium.

But not Filipino American coach Erik Spoelstra, who maintained his composure and fielded the right players at the right time with the right plays. The Heat came back and won both Games 6 and 7—and their second straight NBA title!

Erik Spoelstra or Spo is the first Asian American coach of a major American sports league. He is also one of the few coaches who has won back to back NBA championships.

Spo’s mother is from San Pablo, Laguna. By climbing the summit of a major sport, he proved that Pinoys are winners. Credit his success to his work ethic as well as the knack for surrounding himself with the right people and maximizing their potential.

Unlike other teams that rely on superstars playing one on one, Spo’s team can be a management case study on how to run an organization at full throttle. Here’s Spo’s formula for success.

1. Get the right people with complementary talents and synergistic skills and maximize them.

2. Tame the egos of superstars and make them leaders instead.

3. Involve role players by making them feel important.

4. Inspire trust among teammates.

5. Execute plays methodically based on the highest conversion rate. This focuses the team on efficiency, converting wins into small, incremental successes.

6. If mismatched, play one on one.

7. Pass to the open man with the highest field-goal percentage.

8. Help those who are struggling and get them back on their feet.

9. Encourage those who are slumping by boosting their confidence.

If we manage our business the way Spo runs his team, we too will also be unbeatable like the Heat.

Print ed: 08/13


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