Geno Auriemma’s acceptance speech

By | September 11, 2006

Speaking to a crowd of roughly 1,000 people just before he and the rest of the Class of 2006 were inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame last Friday, Geno Auriemma, the head coach of the University of Connecticut (UConn) Huskies women’s basketball team, paid tribute to his players – past and present – as the driving force behind his induction.

His words were insightful and provides a valuable lesson for managers (especially CEOs) who have a tendency to take credit for every success the team achieves.

“When one of my players is named a first-team All-American, I think, ‘Yeah, I had something to do with that.’ When they get an award like Player of Year, I think, ‘Yeah, I had something to do with that.’ Right now,” Auriemma said, addressing his players in the crowd, “this is your opportunity to sit there and look up here and say to yourselves, you know what? If it wasn’t for me, you wouldn’t be here.”

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