Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success

Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success

by Phil Jackson, Hugh Delehanty
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Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success by Phil Jackson, Hugh Delehanty

The inside story of one of basketball's most legendary and game-changing figures

A New York Times bestseller

During his storied career as head coach of the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, Phil Jackson won more championships than any coach in the history of professional sports. Even more important, he succeeded in never wavering from coaching his way, from a place of deep values. Jackson was tagged as the “Zen master” half in jest by sportswriters, but the nickname speaks to an important truth: this is a coach who inspired, not goaded; who led by awakening and challenging the better angels of his players’ nature, not their egos, fear, or greed.

This is the story of a preacher’s kid from North Dakota who grew up to be one of the most innovative leaders of our time. In his quest to reinvent himself, Jackson explored everything from humanistic psychology and Native American philosophy to Zen meditation. In the process, he developed a new approach to leadership based on freedom, authenticity, and selfless teamwork that turned the hypercompetitive world of professional sports on its head.

In Eleven Rings, Jackson candidly describes how he:

   •  Learned the secrets of mindfulness and team chemistry while playing for the champion New York Knicks in the 1970s
   •  Managed Michael Jordan, the greatest player in the world, and got him to embrace selflessness, even if it meant losing a scoring title
   •  Forged successful teams out of players of varying abilities by getting them to trust one another and perform in sync
   •  Inspired Dennis Rodman and other “uncoachable” personalities to devote themselves to something larger than themselves
   •  Transformed Kobe Bryant from a rebellious teenager into a mature leader of a championship team.
Eleven times, Jackson led his teams to the ultimate goal: the NBA championship—six times with the Chicago Bulls and five times with the Los Angeles Lakers. We all know the legendary stars on those teams, or think we do. What Eleven Rings shows us, however, is that when it comes to the most important lessons, we don’t know very much at all. This book is full of revelations: about fascinating personalities and their drive to win; about the wellsprings of motivation and competition at the highest levels; and about what it takes to bring out the best in ourselves and others.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780143125341
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/29/2014
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 86,924
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

PHIL JACKSON is arguably the greatest coach in the history of the NBA. His reputation was established as head coach of the Chicago Bulls from 1989-1998; during his tenure, Chicago won six NBA titles. His next team, the Los Angeles Lakers, won five NBA titles, from 2000 to 2010. He holds the record for the most championships in NBA history as a player and a head coach. He also has the highest winning percentage of any NBA coach (.704). Jackson was a player on the 1970 and 1973 NBA champion New York Knicks. In 2007 Jackson was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.

A former editor for Sports Illustrated and People, HUGH DELEHANTY is the co-author with Phil Jackson of the bestselling memoir, Sacred Hoops.

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Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 42 reviews.
Heather_Wietz More than 1 year ago
Phil Jackson is a fine writer. His latest book "Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success" is another great one. The Zen-Master does a fine job recounting his 20 year NBA coaching career. He coached some of the greatest players to play the game: Jordan, Kobe, Pippen, Shaq, and Rodman (among others). The psychology of how he got the best out of his players is amazing to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This isn't a book about sports. It's a book about creating relationships and forming a unified tribe mentality. It is such an incredibly well told story. I highly recommend this book.
David_Bremmerton More than 1 year ago
Definitely a book worth reading. Phil Jackson is a masterful storyteller. His account of his 20 year NBA coaching career is wonderfully entertaining even if he comes across as something of a know-it-all at times.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the most interesting basketball books I've read - not only basketball, but leadership as well.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
his book "Eleven Rings." I won't promise after reading this book, that you wont want to watch and catch up on some sports such as basketball after reading this book. The story he tells on the challenges he faced, and events that occured during his coaching career are described and re-lived as if you were with Phil during his whole career. It's a great book and a must read for any reader. You will be definetly be satisfied after reading this book and may find yourself re-living these events in your head as if it was a movie when you read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I don't even read books but this got me into reading more, Phil doesn't only talk about basketball in this book, he talks about life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was fun to relive the 11 championships as Phil recounts his journey. It was interesting to hear his perspective as a coach ion players and the game. I hoped he could shed more insight on the strategies of the game, but instead he, more recounts the game as it were. Still a fun read and enjoyable.
ministerdoc More than 1 year ago
First off let me say "I Loved This Book".Yes i must confess I'am a Phil Jackson fan due in part of being a lifetime L.A.Lakers fan,but with even that said just reading this book made me feel like the pages were coming to life very detailed and well written.I loved the stories and especially finally Phil comparing Kobe to Jordan.If you love sports books then this is a must for your library or bookshelf down in your man cave.Phil Jackson is quite possibly the greatest coach to ever coach in the NBA and one of the smartest geniuses of basketball.If you like sport stories and all the spirituality of the zen then buy this book it was such a treat to read this.
mpsarch More than 1 year ago
Aside from the NBA stories, Phil takes us on a journey of leadership realization - I mentioned odyssey in my headline because that's really what it is. You will come away thinking, "this book has so much more to offer than what I thought". I seriously thought I was picking up a biographical re-write of another work but I knew after just the first chapter that this was not only a page-turner, but an impactful one; a work that's going to stick, an hold muster. Leadership really is about not forcing your way on others but rather, knowing when and how to yield.
MinTwinsNY More than 1 year ago
Review: Phil Jackson has proven with his previous books that he is as skilled a writer as he is a basketball coach, and he shows it again with “Eleven Rings.” This book is mostly a recap of his coaching stints with both the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers. He talks about what he had to do to take these teams that were loaded with talent and make them blend together into a cohesive team in order to win all those championships. There are some aspects of leadership that books about business leadership use. However, Jackson will put a unique spin on how he might use this model, so that it becomes clear that he is not doing this from a manual, but instead putting his own perspective and methods into the work he does with his teams. One of these is that he often refers to his teams as a “tribe” and each member of the tribe will know what his role is in order for the goals to be achieved. What I liked best about Jackson’s sharing of his coaching secrets was how he treated different individuals differently. He realized that one method will not work for everyone, and because his teams had so many superstars with egos to match their talent, he worked on each individual in methods to which the certain player would most respond positively. Jackson described how he did this with his superstar players on each team – Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman on the Bulls, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal on the Lakers. I thought the best example of this was how Jackson handled a situation with Pippen during the 1994 playoffs, when the Bulls were playing without Jordan who had gone into his first retirement. Pippen was supposed to inbound a pass to Toni Kukoc for a last second shot in a playoff game against the New York Knicks. Pippen was not happy to have this role for the play and refused to leave the bench after a time out. Jackson made a quick substitution for Pippen. Kukoc made the shot, the Bulls won the game, and the coaching staff decided on what to do about Pippen. After one assistant coach told Pippen it was a bad move (in much saltier language), the team said the Lord’s Prayer, Pippen apologized to his teammates with tears in his eyes, and everyone got a turn to state how they felt. That doesn’t sound like much when a team leader says no to the coach in such a crucial time, but because Jackson knew that this type of action would affect Pippen greater than a fine or suspension, that is what Jackson did. It is stories like this, the manner in which Jackson treats his player and most importantly, how he articulates this in the book is why I believe this is a book that would be enjoyed by readers of all types, whether or not they are sports fans. The personal stories in this book are refreshing, not judgmental, and a source of great information on some of the biggest names in basketball history. Excellent book. Did I skim? No Did I learn something new? Yes. While I did know of some of the more well-publicized events of Jackson’s teams, such as how he handled Scottie Pippen’s meltdown in the 1994 playoffs or when the Lakers didn’t immediately offer him new contracts, the manner in which Jackson handled these situations was telling. These passages delved much deeper than what was told in the media. The best of these was how he handled Scottie Pippen’s situation, which is detailed in the review. Pace of the book: Very good. It moved along nicely and stayed in chronological order, which is something I appreciate. Positives: The manner in which Jackson describes how he handled many of his players, especially his best players such as Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal was the strength of this book. I also liked that it stuck mostly with basketball-related issues. Jackson certainly did talk about literature, spiritual life and other such topics, but instead of full chapters devoted to these topics, he mentioned them as they related to his teams and/or coaching. Negatives: At times, I found Jackson to come across as condescending toward other teams, players and coaches that may not have achieved the same level of success as he has achieved. That has been a consistent characteristic mentioned by Jackson’s distracters over the years, and it seems to show in this book. Not enough to be blatant or libelous but it does appear nonetheless. I also found a few typos and spelling errors, especially of some opponents’ names. Do I recommend? Yes, especially for basketball fans. However, I think that fans of other sports and even some readers who may not be sports fans, but want to see how successful leaders build teams would like this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read so far, about a hundred pages left. Phil truly is the Zen Master.
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Phil Jackson has done an exceptional job with writing this book.  “Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success” is about the journey of Phil Jackson a coach in the NBA, with his two championship teams the Los Anglos Lakers and the Chicago Bulls.  The book goes past the basketball side of the story, and dives into what the players were like.   Leadership was a common theme throughout the book, and how it affected each team.  Jackson went into depth about how players like Jordan and Kobe were natural born leaders, and would do anything to win.  Oppose to great players like Rodman, who were not as focused, and did not have a drive to win like a leader should have.  Jackson discusses issues that he had with leadership and the team and the relationship he was able to develop with his team. This book is an inside look at how Phil Jackson coaches, and why he has been deemed the Zen Master.  Jackson reveals how his famous Triangle Offense functions, with all of the problems and adjustments he made to the triangle.  The design of the Triangle is truly interesting, and is worth the read.  The book also goes into depth about his strange methods of coaching, and relaxing his players before and after the games.  One of the many examples would be bringing in private detectives to talk to the team. Jackson truly deserves the nickname The Zen Master. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn more about the game, or about being a better leader and how to think outside of the box.
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CathyD-A More than 1 year ago
Was asked for as a Christmas Gift. Read dust jacket, before given. Looks like a good read. Sure it will be enjoyed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
More than just a book about an NBA coach.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He looks diwn..and gallops after her.
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