Master Class

We skimmed the book so you wouldn’t have to

The Power of Negative Thinking: An Unconventional Approach to Achieving Positive Results by Bob Knight, with Bob Hammel (New Harvest), $25

Stress the negatives — even when things are going well. “I didn’t say, ‘Hey, boys, we’re doing all right,’” when Indiana led at halftime during the 1976 National Championship. “Everything I talked about was ifs and can’ts and don’ts.” Indiana won. p38

Know your limitations. “All the willpower in the world won’t lift an average high jumper over the bar at seven feet,” Knight writes. “As a leader, you have to help people recognize and understand that — yourself first.” p55

Always be hard to please. “Remember that the people you lead are going to be satisfied with the minimum of what you demand,” he writes. “A great leader is an intolerant one.” p109

Pessimism should fuel your motivation. “Playing not to lose is the best way to win,” he writes. “If you genuinely eliminate all the ways you can lose, you’re a whole lot closer to winning.” p220

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