The two sides of leadership

Using Machiavelli's question, 'Is it better to be loved or feared?', Harvard professor Scott Snook explores two contrasting leadership styles by looking at the careers of two very different basketball coaches.

by HBS Working Knowledge
Last Updated: 23 Jul 2013

Bobby Knight, known as 'The General', the head coach at Texas Tech, epitomised the fiery, intimidating style of management. He was fired from Indiana University for grabbing a student and in one game he threw a folding chair across the court in protest at a referee's decision.

The other is Mike Krzyzewski or Coach K of Duke University, who followed a more caring style. Snook uses the two examples to explore the nature of leadership. He does not say that one is better than the other and urges students to consider what kind of leader best fits their own natures.

At the heart of the matter is whether you believe people are innately good or bad: if the former, you will veer towards the Coach K style, if the latter you will be in the chair-throwing category. Both coaches inspired loyalty amongst players.

Source: HBS Working Knowledge
Sean Silverthorne
On Managing with Bobby Knight and "Coach K"

Review by Morice Mendoza

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