In this inspiring and moving book, Phil Jackson reveals the keys to his astonishing success in a candid, insightful, and poetic voice. Drawing on his experience as the coach of the Chicago Bulls and the Los Angeles Lakers–where he won championships with both teams–he shows how he got the most out of his players by unlocking their full potential as human beings. As he did as a player under coaching legends like Red Holzman and Chuck Daly, Jackson uses basketball to reveal what it means to live life fully.
Phil Jackson is the most celebrated coach in history, with a record-setting 11 championships. In Eleven Rings, he offers a rare combination of insight into what it takes to win and beautiful stories about his experiences with many of the game’s greatest players and coaches. He writes about each stage of his life in basketball: learning the game as a boy growing up on an Indian reservation; carving out his signature style in college; returning from consecutive retirements to coach two franchises that were losers when he arrived; living with HIV; and being mentored by two great Zen masters, Japanese author Shunryu Suzuki and Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh.
Throughout his legendary coaching career, Phil Jackson has never lost sight of the fact that being a great coach is about more than Xs and Os. It’s about leading your people – from the front office executive to the star player – with the same dignity and respect demanded by any king. In Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success, Jackson tells his story for the first time ever on paper. Here are never-before-revealed details about his championship teams, personal experiences playing for an alcoholic coach, and his battle with cancer.
About Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success Book
During his storied career as head coach of the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, Phil Jackson won more championships than any coach in the history of professional sports. Even more important, he succeeded in never wavering from coaching his way from a place of deep values. Jackson was tagged as the “Zen master” half in jest by sportswriters, but the nickname speaks to an important truth: this is a coach who inspired, not goaded, who led by awakening and challenging the better angels of his players’ nature, not their egos, fear, or greed.
This is the story of a preacher’s kid from North Dakota who grew up as one of our time’s most innovative leaders. In his quest to reinvent himself, Jackson explored everything from humanistic psychology and Native American philosophy to Zen meditation. In the process, he developed a new approach to leadership based on freedom, authenticity, and selfless teamwork that turned the hypercompetitive world of professional sports on its head.
In Eleven Rings, Jackson candidly describes how he:
Learned the secrets of mindfulness and team chemistry while playing for the champion New York Knicks in the 1970s
Managed Michael Jordan, the greatest player in the world, and got him to embrace selflessness, even if it meant losing a scoring title
Forged successful teams out of players of varying abilities by getting them to trust one another and perform in sync
Inspired Dennis Rodman and other “uncoachable” personalities to devote themselves to something larger than themselves
Transformed Kobe Bryant from a rebellious teenager into a mature leader of a championship team.
Eleven times, Jackson led his teams to the ultimate goal: the NBA championship—six times with the Chicago Bulls and five times with the Los Angeles Lakers. We all know the legendary stars on those teams or think we do. What Eleven Rings shows us, however, is that when it comes to the most important lessons, we don’t know very much at all. This book is full of revelations: about fascinating personalities and their drive to win; about the wellsprings of motivation and competition at the highest levels, and about what it takes to bring out the best in ourselves and others.