Phil Jackson’s Management Philosophies

Looking for examples of executives who are weathering a variety of business situations? There are many case studies of leadership success, but here, Counselor identifies three dynamic leaders who have been able to adapt to various business circumstances and shares quotes from each one about their leadership style and approach.

Phil Jackson, President, New York Knicks

How To Adapt Your Leadership Style

Phil Jackson, the NBA coach who has led teams to 11 championships, has been at the top and the bottom. Known as the Zen-Master for his love of all things Zen and his relaxed management style, Jackson successfully melded unique personalities on his teams into winners. As head coach of both the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, he mixed Hall of Famers with also-ran players and created cohesive teams that won big.

Now, Jackson is trying to turn around a moribund franchise: the New York Knicks. As president of the organization, he’s tasked with figuring out how to lead a last-place team to where his previous teams resided – not an easy job for somebody who spent most of his management career on top.

Here are some of Jackson’s management philosophies, in quotes:

  • “I think the most important thing about coaching is that you have to have a sense of confidence about what you’re doing. You have to be a salesman, and you have to get your players, particularly your leaders, to believe in what you’re trying to accomplish on the basketball floor.”
  • “Approach the game with no preset agendas and you’ll probably come away surprised at your overall efforts.”
  • “You have to be able to psychologically help your players, support-wise, be in touch with them, so I think managing people is very important.”