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Coach: What Great Coaches Can Teach Us About the Four Kinds of Leaders With Best-Selling Author, Justin Spizman

By Jeremy Weisz posted 29 days ago


Pat Summitt, the former Head Coach of the University of Tennessee Lady Vols basketball team, once said, “Most people get excited about the games, but I get excited about practice because that’s my classroom.” This wisdom doesn’t only apply to athletic coaches. Whether on the court or in an office, leaders have to be students of the game. This is just one takeaway from award-winning author Justin Spizman’s study of the chemistry and capability of coaching, which he describes in his book, Coach: The Greatest Teachers in Sports and Their Lessons for Us All.

In his book, Spizman interviews 168 renowned leaders in sports, including famous coaches like Pat Summitt, Bill Belichick, and Aimee Boorman, and also dozens of unknowns who lead high school teams or stand at the side of individuals and teams in minor sports, to discover their strategies for developing top-performing players and teams. Although every coach has a unique approach, Spizman breaks down their action plans into four main coaching styles: the strategists, the team builders, the technicians, and the closers. When you understand your coaching style, you can better play to your strengths, hire for your weaknesses, build an impressive team, and help individual players reach their full potential.

However, these four categories aren’t the only keys to success. No matter if you’re in business or sports, all coaches need fortitude, dedication, and an insatiable desire to learn and improve. Spizman talks about this and more as he joins Thomas A. Stewart on The Leading Edge — a place where new ideas emerge and are sharpened, and where leaders look to find the edge that brings success for themselves, their teams, and their enterprises.

In this episode of The Leading Edge, Thomas A. Stewart talks with best-selling author and consultant, Justin Spizman, about lessons on leadership from some of the best coaches in the sports industry. Spizman shares how this wisdom applies to the business world, guides listeners through the four coaching styles, and explains why it’s crucial for leaders to be a student of their craft.

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Here’s a glimpse of what you will learn:

  • How Justin Spizman got into writing — and the inspiration behind his most recent book, Coach: The Greatest Teachers in Sports and Their Lessons for Us All
  • The differences between coaching a single athlete versus a team
  • Spizman describes the four types of coaching styles, starting with the strategist
  • What are the important elements of a team builder?
  • How “technician” leaders achieve success through the details
  • The main strength of a closer coach: focusing on the single defining moment
  • Why coaches still need to be a student of the game

About Our Guest:

Justin Spizman Justin Spizman is an award-winning and best-selling author, ghostwriter, editor, and proposal writer. Since beginning his writing career in law school, Spizman has worked on numerous nonfiction books and successful book proposals. He now works with people from all different backgrounds, upbringings, and expertise (including celebrities, athletes, and entertainers) to author and consult on their books.

Working closely with some of the most successful people in their respective industries, Spizman has gained strong insight and understanding into the most efficient and effective ways to create a marketable story. He collaborates with clients to not only write books, but also strengthen brands, build legacies, and create enormous opportunities.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Sponsor for this episode:

The Leading Edge is brought to you by AchieveNEXT. 

AchieveNEXT empowers individuals, teams, and enterprises to meet ambitious growth goals through our powerful combination of peer-to-peer learning and solutions.

We bring together thousands of the top finance and HR leaders from across North America to connect and share business and industry insights through our Alliance Networks.

We empower individuals, teams and enterprises through powerful solutions which include 

- Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Training & Leadership Development 

- Business Relationship Training

and Executive Coaching for individuals and teams.

This powerful combination helps today’s business leaders level up and achieve next-level growth.

Learn more at