Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari is highly regarded for his unparalleled ability to recruit the country’s top high-school talent without making outlandish promises. Instead, he tells his players, “Commit to each other, be about each other without sacrificing your goals, and by doing this you can achieve all your dreams and more.”
Here, for the first time, he distills his team-building methods in ways that apply to CEOs, business owners, coaches, teachers, and leaders of all kinds—lessons for anyone seeking to inspire talented individuals to reach for their best selves and contribute to a greater good.
A basketball team is an intimate workplace, in which blend is everything and character matters. As such, it is a window into the nature of successful leadership. Calipari views each new team like a startup business—one composed of new players, new relationships, and new challenges. Each season is a series of discoveries as he learns how to unleash the extreme talent in each of his players and mold them into championship material as college basketball comes to a crescendo every spring. While he can’t control everything, he is responsible for everything—just like a CEO.
An enlightening look at leadership, management, and team building, Success Is the Only Option offers the keys to winning, on and off the court.
John Calipari is the head coach of men’s basketball at the University of Kentucky. He led the Kentucky Wildcats to the 2012 national championship and has been to a total of six Final Fours in his career, including four in a five-year period. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2015. He lives in Lexington, Kentucky.