When Kerr was hired, “he made a peculiar request.” He wanted staff to produce for him a reading list that had nothing to do with his profession, basketball. Throughout the NBA season PR staff have been giving Kerr reading material. Not books but articles and clippings ranging from the scientific to the odd to the serious. Kerr ‘s reading list is eclectic and he reads whatever is prepared for him.
According to Cohen, those who know Kerr see him as just a curious individual who just wants to always be learning. Interestingly articles totally unrelated to basketball occasionally inspire a coaching strategy or tactic.
1. Whether it is books, reading lists, or other, the best leaders read. One of my favorite questions is, “What are you reading now?” I have heard this question from others many times. As followers of my blog may know, I pose this question every January.
2. I think Kerr’s reading list underscores the value of life-long learning and to some degree the merits of a liberal arts and sciences education. There is often much ambiguity at the top of our organizations. Different modes of thinking, different ways of approaching problems, different bits of information may be useful. My guess is this is what Steve Kerr has found. Inspiration comes from many places. If you are not reading and learning, you may be missing the inspiration for great ideas or how to compete smartly or up your game.
Cohen, Ben. (May 13, 2015). "The peculiar playbook of Steve Kerr." The Wall Street Journal, p. D6.
The image of Steve Kerr is from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Steve_Kerr_(16453076458).jpg. It was originally posted to Flickr by Keith Allison at http://flickr.com/photos/27003603@N00/16453076458. FlickreviewR reviewed on 1 March 2015 and confirmed the image to be licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.
Follow me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/johnballardphd
On Twitter: @johnballardphd
Decoding the Workplace: 50 Keys to Understanding People in Organizations, coming May 31.
Available for pre-order at leading on-line bookstores such as Amazon.com