A Leaders' Speech
Hi, the other day I had a class where we discussed what is leadership, and everyone had to write a speech of a famous leader telling how they became leaders. This one is coming from Phil Jackson (Lakers coach) who I played in the class. Can you see if I said everything correctly? Thanks very much for your help.
"Hello, everyone. My name is Phil Jackson. Iím 65 years old. And I hold the position of the head coach for NBA team the Los Angeles Lakers. Thank you very much for inviting me. Iím very glad to be here tonight. Today I would like to talk about leadership, what it is all about, how I see it, and how it affected my life and the life of others as well.
First, I want to share the story of my childhood and how it shaped my personality. When I was a kid my parents worked in a church in Montana where they preached on Sunday mornings. So my mother and father were priests, and in a Protestant church they were called ministers.
I had three brothers and a half-sister. We lived very modestly. I never watched TV and neither did my brothers. The first movie that I saw was in my senior year in high school. And the first dance that I had was in College. So, thatís the way my parents brought me up. I think it contributed to what I then become in the future and what I am now. Because today you see a lot of videos and a lot of news reports showing terrible scenes of violence that might be disturbing for the young generation. I wasnít allowed to watch any TV, so I had avoided all that.
I had 3 brothers, as I mentioned earlier, and growing up I had always been a leader among them. It was me who would decide what to buy for dinner, what to give our parents for their anniversary, what kind of books to read, and many other things. I donít know why I had become a leader in my family then but I just felt that I had those qualities that pushed me to make my family better, to support it and help it no matter what".
Re: A Leaders' Speech
Thanks a million, Gillnetter. I very much appreciate it.
Re: A Leaders' Speech
That's the last part of my speech as Phil Jackson. If anyone has time, please take a quick look at it to see if there are any mistakes.
In my college years I had played for a basketball team. I was not the captain of the team but I could definitely say that I was the leader who would come up with all the strategies, plans for the game. Sometimes I would substitute for our coach because he trusted me so much. And the team trusted me also. I think that one can’t become a leader if he is not trusted. He may not be loved but he must be trusted.
When I played for the New York Nicks we won 2 NBA titles in 1970 and in 1973. Unfortunately in 1970 I missed most of the season due to my spinal injury. But I was still a vocal leader for my teammates. I would give them words of advice and other recommendations. I would never give up on them even when they did something wrong.
I think if someone wants to be a leader he has to be very persistent. Leader will always fight until the end, until he achieves what he wants. So I think persistence and determination are one of the major qualities that a leader must possess in his arsenal. There were times in my life when everything went wrong, when our team lost many consecutive games, but I’d never give up, never quit, I’d keep on fighting, keep on proving that this is possible, and that I can do it no matter what.
Now, being a coach for the Los Angeles Lakers I see that my previous experience is helping me very much. I know that sometimes you lose, sometimes you win, sometimes you face challenges and obstacles, but if you have a strong will, if you’re determined, if you are patient enough, you will get there. A real leader doesn’t let anything break his spirit. If his spirit is broken, you can be no more called a leader. But you should understand that losing is a part of life as well as winning.
And now I would like to name one guy who was a role model for me when I was in high school. And that is Bill Russell. He is the greatest basketball player of all time. I’ve learned a lot of things from him. My life would never be the same without this man. I’ve always looked up to him. He taught me how to play basketball, but most importantly, he taught me how to live. And I really thank him for that.
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