Four Leadership Lessons from a Living Legend
We caught up with John Beilein (U-M Basketball Coach from 2007–2019) this September when he stopped by to share the wisdom he’s gained over decades of leading successful teams.
Coach Beilein revealed his four game-changing principles to students from the Entrepreneurial Leadership Program, the Perot Jain TechLab series, the Entrepreneurial Venture Club, and the Wilson Center Project Teams.
Earn a PhD in Me – “Look inside yourself, establish core values and find out what’s really important to you.” Beilein ignited the room with his convictions, urging us to dig deep and discover our true selves. “You can’t lead others if you don’t know yourself. If you stay out of the gray area and if you follow the spirit of the rules, you will find success. Live with integrity, identify your core values, write them down on paper – it may sound corny, but it helps. Then once you have them live them and actualize them.” His words resonated as he went on and shared his core values of integrity, unity, passion, diligence, and appreciation.
Relationship building – Beilein’s energy was infectious as he stressed the importance of relationship building. “Make the effort when others won’t,” he challenged the room. “Remember, it’s the tone at the top—the energy and attitude—that set you apart.” Be the leader who knows the name of your teams’ pets names, if their kid has a little league game, and remember special dates. Understand that it’s this tone set by leaders that resonates throughout the organization – it’s your energy, your attitude that sets the course.
Embrace Adversity – With the grace of a seasoned coach he went on to explain, “Sudden changes are inevitable and need to be embraced.” Its how you react that will be remembered. Leaders don’t point fingers; they embrace adversity head-on. React positively, and the culture you build will always come out on top.
Championing Growth Mindset – Beilein wrapped up his perils with a rally cry for a growth mindset over a fixed mindset The leaders of tomorrow are those who hunger for growth. Be vulnerable, empathetic, and transparent. Never settle; always strive to be better for you and your team.
John Beilein’s visit was nothing short of a slam dunk for our entrepreneurial community. His passion, wisdom, and championship spirit left us fired up. These principles are not just words; they are the keys to an exciting and successful journey ahead.
Remember: there is no ‘I’ in TEAM!