Monday, June 2, 2008

7 rules of great leadership

Does the name "Mike Pressler" ring a bell? He's the former lacrosse coach at Duke University who was fired in 2006 after a stripper accused some of his players of rape. As it turns out, his guys weren't involved in the alleged rape. But the school was under intense pressure to take action, and so administrators fired Pressler and cancelled the team's season.

Men's Health recently did a feature on Pressler, who in the article former Duke colleague Coach K described as a friend and "hard charger."

According to Pressler, he was angry his players had the party where the stripper claimed the rape occurred, but after speaking with them, he knew they weren't involved in the rape.

After he was fired, a black cloud hung over Pressler, who says he applied for several jobs, but couldn't even get an interview. That was until he got a call from the new AD at Bryant University, a small, private D-2 school near Providence, RI. The AD had done his homework on Pressler -- reading every story he could about the former Duke coach.

The AD invited Pressler to the school to meet with him and the school's president. According to the article, the interview was tough, but Pressler was hired. He had an immediate impact on the school's lacrosse program, guiding them to a 14-4 mark (9-1 in conference play).

He said he's been contacted by bigger Division I schools, but isn't interested, saying, "I want to continue to do things the right way. I know my faults, and I have many, but lack of loyalty isn't one of them. [AD] Bill Smith, President Machtley, Bryant University, they gave us our lives back."

Said Pressler: "Time's a great healer."

Pressler's "7 Rules of Great Leadership"

1. Build a Strong Foundation
2. Define Winning: When we break the huddle, the team says "All In" as a reminder to give all we have, all together
3. Create an Environment of Trust
4. Tell the Truth
5. Be Accounatble
6. Talk Less do More
7. Live with Honor