Sherri Coale coached the University of Oklahoma’s women’s basketball team for 25 years. She took over a program in turmoil and led them to three final fours. She’s the all-time winningest basketball coach in Oklahoma history and she’s a member of the women’s basketball hall of fame. She’s also the author of an amazing book called Rooted To Rise.

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The Learning Leader Show

  • The Hard Makes It Good – A League of Their Own — Tom Hanks — when Geena Davis (Dottie Henson quit saying it just got too hard). It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard… is what makes it great.”
  • Writing A writing life may seem to lie somewhere on the other side of the moon from a life in athletics, but the two are scary similar in the things that they require. They’re both ridiculously hard, even if they sometimes look easy. And the reward for either isn’t what you get at the end, it’s what you go through to get there. The process in both is the prize.
  • Great teachers — “Great teachers crack open a door and cue the siren’s song that lures you in. Once inside, they give you hard. And then they let you decide what to do about it. I live indebted to them for the view.”
  • The art of asking — Dr. Darryl Tippens — a Shakspere class… “I admired all he knew, but I admired what he did with it even more.”
    • “His questioning and blatant unwillingness to give us the answers made us work for our conclusions. The process and the product stayed with us. We learned that what we strain for, sticks.”
  • The job — “if a leader’s primary job is to be a dealer of hope, Whitney Hand was a leader of rare air.”
  • It’s not about the trophy After winning the state championship, on the bus ride home with the team, Sherri noticed that she had left the trophy behind accidentally. And she said,“it so had never been about what you get in the end.”
  • Confidence is self-governed. Nobody can give it to you and nobody can take it away. I’ve found that regularly doing hard things helps me earn more confidence.
  • The makeup of a great point guard:
    • An outward perspective. They care more about setting their teammates up than themselves.
    • A capacity for understanding what each person needs.
    • Athletic eyes – They have a broad spectrum. They see things before they happen.
    • Sturdy, innate confidence.
  • Sherri’s Grandma:
    • She was very observant. She spoke with purpose. No wasted words. “She taught me how to be observant and listen.”
  • “Coaches are great tellers. They aren’t always great listeners. Questions are so much better than statements.”
    • Great mentors don’t give you the answer. They teach you how to think. They teach you how to figure it out on your own.
  • What makes up a great player (beyond the skill to score a basketball)?
    • The intangibles:
      • They build relationships
      • They’re observant
      • They pay attention
      • They are intentional about how they “do life”
  • What do you value most?
    • “Curiosity.”
  • “You can’t wring your hands and roll up your sleeves at the same time.”
  • Advice: What makes your heart sing?
    • Work to figure that out. What is that thing in you?
  • Apply to be part of my Leadership Circle

More Learning:

Episode 078: Kat Cole – From Hooters Waitress To President of Cinnabon