What Great Coaches Know But Business Executives Don't

I've written before about that Peter Drucker "quote"  so many business people believe. It's a lie, and a dangerous one. It not only hurts their companies in the long run, it leads people to do very bad, unethical things. They become bad people. 

And Drucker never said, "What gets measured gets managed." The guy who said something like it was wrong. So stop living by it. 

Instead, think about great sports coaches like John Wooden and Bill Walsh. 

Wooden, you probably know, was the great UCLA basketball coach who produced both champions and very good men. He built character that became success. And he never measured himself, his teams, or his players by wins and losses.

Bill Walsh transformed the San Francisco 49ers from the NFL's doormats into perennial Super Bowl champions. And he had no room in his brain for winning percentages. 

Instead of focusing obsessively on the final outcome, which neither these coaches nor their players could control, Wooden and Walsh focused on the building blocks of greatness. Here are two quotes that tell you all need to know about their philosophies.

John Wooden

Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.

Bill Walsh

The score takes care of itself.

Contrast that with most corporate executives. They talk only about profits. And because they can't actually control their profits, they use financial engineering to give the illusion of extreme growth and obscene profits. They talk about "making their number" and "shareholder value." Rarely do they talk about the qualities that tend to produce great outcomes. 

What are those qualities that produce great outcomes?

Again, the great coaches told us, if only you would listen. 

Wooden's Pyramid of Success

John wooden lived and coached according to his Pyramid of Success:


John Wooden's Pyramid of Success


Coach Wooden recognized that he and his players could not control the outcome of any game. They could control all the other qualities. And when enough players practiced those qualities, his teams won. 

Walsh's Standard of Performance

  1. Ferocious and intelligently applied work ethic directed at continual improvement.
  2. Respect for everyone in the program and the work that he/she does.
  3. Be committed to learning.
  4. Demonstrate character and integrity.
  5. Honor the connection between details and improvement.
  6. Demonstrate loyalty.
  7. Be willing to go the extra mile for the organization.
  8. Put the team’s welfare ahead of my own.
  9. Maintain an abnormally high level of concentration and focus.
  10. Make sacrifice and commitment the organizations trademark.

Know What You Control

It all comes down to knowing what you control and doing something about those things. Profits and growth are a result of the things you can control plus fortune. Success depends on improving things within your control and gratefully accepting the outcome. 

Both of these legendary coaches built their models on the ancient philosophy of stoicism. And knowing what you can and cannot control is the foundation of all stoic philosophy. As Epictetus wrote:

The chief task in life is simply this: to identify and separate matters so that I can say clearly to myself which are externals not under my control, and which have to do with the choices I actually control.

Steve Jobs created the most valuable company in history by focusing on things in his control: designing great products that people loved. The profits took care of themselves. 

I know you're not Steve Jobs and your company isn't Apple. Maybe it never will be. But if you keep focusing on profits and hoping character will take care of itself, you're in for a miserable downfall.


Print Edition of Fight to Evolve Now Available on Amazon. Rush!

Most of my readers asked for a print edition of my new book, Fight to Evolve: The Government’s Secret War on NTX.

Great news! Your book is waiting for you on Amazon. It’s just $17.99, and you’ll be happy to know that I don’t get a penny from the sales. All proceeds go to the Coalition for Safer Drinking and its fight to reduce alcohol’s negative effects on health.

If you, like me, prefer electronic books, you can get the Kindle version of Fight to Evolve for just $3.99 today, too.

If you know someone who drinks and you worry about their health, be a friend and buy a copy of Fight to Evolve for them, too. Two hardbound copies are about the same price as on bottle of good vodka. And you might save a life.

You've Been Drinking Wrong All Along - Podcast

It’s a beautiful day in spring. The sky is radiant and wonderful blue. Birds singing, trees starting to bloom, grass an impossible shade of vibrant green. A cool and welcoming breeze licks your bare skin, your cheeks, and playfully ruffles your hair like a lover.

Your work is done, now, so you sit in your favorite outdoor chair and take in the relaxing, comfortable view. Smell the freshness of spring wildflowers. Let the sun gently warm your body from the top of your head to the tips of your toes. That’s right, you deserved this.

Now you reach for a perfect vodka and cranberry juice to relax a bit more and damage your liver.

Wait, what?

I said “damage your liver.”

Yes, it’s true. Every sip of alcohol produces a measurable spike in liver stress just minutes after. Take a look:


Liver stress caused by alcohol consumption by Chigurupati Technologies

Now you have something to think about, don’t you, as you try to relax on this beautiful day in spring. You try to enjoy that delicious Cape Cod, but a little voice now whispers in your ear: “liver damage, my friend. Liver damage.”

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

[Win a Free Copy of Fight to Evolve. No Purchase Necessary. Free Giveaway Closed. Thanks!]

And maybe it isn’t that way for you. If you happened to make your drink with vodka made with NTX, that 300% increase in DNA and liver damage is 93% smaller. Ninety-three percent safer. Almost completely safe. Almost no damage at all.

That’s right, you might be drinking a safer drink and not even know. 

The reason you don’t know? It’s not your fault. You don’t know what’s in your drink because some bureaucratic nerds at the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau in Washington decided you don’t deserve to know. These government weasels have banned discussion of NTX’s health benefits in the United States. The TTB, as it’s known, has ruled that the First Amendment does not apply to health and wellness.

And this isn’t the first time the federal government has tried to prevent consumers like you from learning heath information that could save your lives or protect your children from crippling diseases. In the 1990s, Bill Clinton’s administration tried three times to deny women safe access to information about folic acid and spina bifida. As a result, over 25,000 new, preventable cases of spina bifida occurred while the federal government censored information from the public.

That’s disgusting, and every employee of the TTB should ashamed. And shunned. Do you know anyone who works at this secretive agency? If so, ask them why they won’t let you know what’s in your drink.

You’ve been drinking wrong all along, but now you have a healthier choice. Demand your right to know what’s in your drink. It could save you life.

On Wednesday, I will take part in a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington where Bellion Spirits, Chigurupati Technologies, Campaign for Liberty, the Coalition for Safer Drinking, and legendary First Amendment lawyer Jonathan Emord will announce plans to force the TTB to honor the Constitution and let you know what’s in your drink. What you do with that information is up to you, but you have every right under the Constitution to have the information now.

Ponder that as you enjoy this beautiful spring day.

Discsolure: I am the National Spokesperson for the Coalition for Safer Drinking and author of Fight to Evolve: The Government’s Secret War on NTX now available for the Kindle on Amazon for just 3.99. Cross-posted from www.hennessysview.com.

Why You Should Keep Readers Guessing

Harsha Chigurupati wants to make your spirits functional. 

Don't you want functional spirits? 

Functional spirits potentially help billions of people. 

At this point, you're probably wondering "what the hell are functional spirits?" And that's precisely what you should be thinking. Congratulations. 

You might feel a little frustrated--maybe even angry at me, the writer. You might be thinking, "why doesn't he tell me what a functional spirit is?"

And I will, dear reader. I will. In just a moment. 

But there's great benefit in keeping you in suspense. Benefit for both of us. 

For you, it make this story more interesting. For me, you will remember both the phrase "functional spirits" and its meaning better. Because you're wondering what I mean by "functional spirits," your brain will celebrate when you get it. That celebration will include a little shot of dopamine, the reward chemical. Dopamine makes you feel pleasure, like when you eat something good, win a prize, or have sex. And when you discover something gratifying, like the meaning of "functional spirits." 

Discovery is the key here. When suspense is satisfied, you feel more powerful. You've discovered the missing ingredient. It helps when you, the reader, had a hand in unveiling the truth. Like putting the final piece in a puzzle. A mental puzzle. 

Harsha Chigurupati invented a technology that eliminates most of the physical harm from drinking. In other words, Harsha's made alcohol work for us instead of against us. His spirits function for humanity's betterment, thus (you're way ahead of me) functional spirits. 

You won't forget that term now. You might even find yourself using "functional spirits" in conversation. Or you might modify other nouns with "functional" in the next few days. Functional bread. Functional shoes. Functional pets. You'll apply it to anything that works for you instead of against you. 

Alcohol gets us buzzed, but it messes with our livers, our genome, and with all of our cells because of oxidation. But functional spirits protect our cells and our livers. They're functional. They serve a purpose without the detriment. 

Now you've learned three things in one post: functional is good, delayed gratification aids memory, and alcohol infused with NTX protects your liver and other organs from damage. Good reader.

Feel smarter? I thought so.

Safer Drinking? It's Here

Ever feel a just a little guilty about the drink with friends after work? That beer at the ball game? A glass of wine with dinner?


Do you pay attention to the studies saying moderate drinking is good for you? Or the ones that follow quickly saying drinking's bad for you? 

Do wish you could have a vodka and cranberry juice without guilt or worry?

Well, you can. A research company called Chigurupati Technologies has invented and patented a technology that reduces liver stress from alcohol by over 90 percent. That's better than some fast foods. The technology is called NTX and it's already available in a vodka brand. 

Not only does NTX reduce liver damage to near zero, it also protects against the damage alcohol does to your DNA. Not to mention increasing the liver's production of antioxidants. 

(Read more about NTX and Chigurupati Technologies here.)

But with all good news there must some bad news, right? 

Of course. The US government has put a gag order on Chigurupati Technologies. They're not allowed to tell consumers that vodka with NTX could save their lives. The rotten bureaucracy at the heart of this anti-consumer nonsense is the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.

There's an epic battle brewing right now in Washington over safer alcohol. And an organization called the Coalition for Safer Alcohol has asked me to help in its fight to defend the First Amendment for consumers. The Coalition for Safer Drinking believes it's a good thing that people can drink without getting sick. We're not advocating drinking for people who don't, and we implore people to drink responsibly. 

We believe that drinking responsibly includes choosing alcohol that does the least possible amount of body damage. We know that just 15 minutes after your first drink, your liver enzymes show signs of stress, you DNA processes go sideways, and oxidation of your cells increased. We also know, based on two human studies in India and the in the U.S., that alcohol produced with NTX reduces those bodily stresses to the point of insignificance. And we are flummoxed by the government's attempt to hide this lifesaving information from consumers. 

Check out the Coalition's website for more information. If you'd like updates from me, subscribe below. Otherwise, subscribe at the Coalition for Safer Drinking. It's up to you. 

4 Incredibly Simple Questions To Make Any Company Successful

Derek Sivers of CD Baby. And life. Here's my favorite story from Derek Sivers's brilliant tiny book Anything You Want. Sivers was in Las Vegas talking to his cab driver. The cabbie told Sivers he misses the mob. Sivers asked why:

“When the mafia ran this town, it was fun. There were only two numbers that mattered: how much was coming in, and how much was going out. As long as there was more in than out, everyone was happy. But then the whole town was bought up by these damn corporations full of MBA weasels micro-managing, trying to maximize the profit from every square foot of floor space. Now the place that used to put ketchup on my hotdog tells me it'll be an extra twenty-five cents for ketchup! It sucked all the fun out of this town! Yeah... I miss the mob.”

(Sure, we could bring up other issues with the mob, but let's just leave it as a metaphor and a lesson.)

I told this story a lot at CD Baby.

Sometimes MBA types would ask me, “What's your growth rate? What's your retained earnings rate as a percentage of gross? What are your projections?”

I'd just say, “I have no idea. I don't even know what some of that means. I started this as a hobby to help my friends, and that's the only reason it exists. There's money in the bank and I'm doing fine, so no worries.”

They'd tell me that if I analyzed the business better, I could maximize profitability. Then I'd tell them about the taxi driver in Vegas.

Never forget why you're really doing what you're doing.

Are you helping people? Are they happy? Are you happy? Are you profitable? Isn't that enough?

Sivers, Derek (2011-06-29). Anything You Want (pp. 28-29). AmazonEncore. Kindle Edition.

Four questions that define the only just reason for any business to exist. This should be a consultant's checklist:

  1. Are you helping people? If not, you should figure out a way to help or shut down the business. Companies that aren't helping are hurting, and that's evil.

  2. Are they happy? This goes beyond merely helping. Helping is the bare minimum. If they're not happy, you're doing it right.

  3. Are you happy? This might be the most important question of all. If making people happy by helping them doesn't delight you, find something that does.

  4. Are you profitable? Yes, you have a responsibility to make a profit, but only if you answered "yes" to the first three questions. If you're not helping, or if they're not happy, or if you're not happy, then you have no right making money doing what you're doing.

I read business journals and blogs every day that talk about companies squeezing another nickel out of unhappy customers they're killing before the CEO jumps off the roof of his 128-story tower.  What a waste of lives and money.

I know business schools don't teach helping, happy, happy, profit, but they should. And if they don't, why would anyone go?

Later, Sivers sums up the Tao of Business beautifully:

But even well-meaning companies accidentally get trapped in survival mode. A business is started to solve a problem. But if the problem was truly solved, that business would no longer be needed! So the business accidentally or unconsciously keeps the problem around so that they can keep solving it for a fee.

(I don't want to pick on anyone's favorite pharmaceutical company or online productivity subscription tools, so let's just say that any business that's in business to sell you a cure is motivated not to focus on prevention.)

It's kind of like the grand tales, in which the hero needs to be prepared to die to save the day. Your company should be willing to die for your customers.

That's the Tao of business: Care about your customers more than about yourself, and you'll do well.


Help people, make them happy, have fun, and make a profit. That's all it takes to run a successful business.