Eleven Rings

  • by Phil Jackson, Hugh Delehanty
  • Narrated by Matt Walton
  • 10 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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 to be one of the most innovative leaders of our time. 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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Zen of coaching

Basketball, leadership, and life lessons from coach Phil as he molds the competing larger than life egos into the right teams for the team at the time. Always looked for how to get the most out of each player and pushed them constant on and off the court evolution. The stories of the different players with the demons they fought and the different game strategies for key match ups made for an absorbing read.
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- Sam Motes

Not as deep as I hoped for

I was hoping for a look inside Phil Jackson. I love the way a good memoir sheds so much light on who the person is and what events have made them who they are. I guess I shouldn't be too surprised that Phil didn't really open up and bare his soul, it's just not the kind of guy he is.

The book was basically a summary of Phil Jackson's playing and coaching career. He recapped the major games and personnel moves his teams made each season, but that was it. When I purchased this book I thought he could go two directions in it. He could reveal the deep personal journey it was for him as an NBA coach, or he could delve into the strategic X and O elements of coaching that made him stand alone as the coach with more championships than anyone else. I thought it would be great whichever direction he went. Instead, this book just scratched the surface of both elements, and was pretty much of summary of his career. He's lived an incredible life so it was interesting, just not awesome.
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- Brock

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-21-2013
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio