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The Leadercast Podcast
The Leadercast Podcast

Episode · 3 years ago

28: Nancy Lieberman on Leading Without Fear

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Two things can happen when you play basketball.

You can win, or you can lose.

Nancy Lieberman, one of the biggest names in U.S. basketball and the first female head coach in a men’s professional league, has gained insight on fearless leadership from her decades of playing and coaching basketball.

“I'm a basketball player,” Nancy said. “I'm wired to win, and I'm wired to compete.”

Nancy has essential tips for leaders about how to handle fear, how to trust your team, and how to balance work and life.

This is the leader cast podcast, helping you be a leader worth following. Hi there, and welcome to another episode of the leader cast podcast. I'm Bart and I'm really excited to be talking to basketball legend Nancy Lieberman on this episode of the leader CAS podcast. Nancy is a two time Olympian National Basketball Hall of Famer and has been a professional coach since retiring in one thousand nine hundred and ninety eight. Actually, that was the first time she retired. She actually came out of retirement for a couple of games to become the oldest woman to play professional basketball. But really what she has been most noted for is the fact that she was the first female head coach of a men's professional basketball team. This happened in two thousand and nine when she took over the Texas legends, which is the developmental team for the Dallas Mavericks. She has also coached for the Detroit shock in the W NBA and the Sacramento Kings and the NBA, and she is currently the head coach of the power in the Big Three League, which is a professional three on three basketball league. In fact, the power, coached by Lieberman, just one the Big Three Championship this past summer. Now, in this episode of the leader CAS Podcast, I chat with Nancy about how she became the first female head coach of them as professional basketball team, the challenges she faced in that position and the challenges that basketball coaches and athletics coaches based in general, how we can balance work and life, the way that professional athletes have to balance that persona with being a family man, and how coaching the team and leading a company cross over. She also shared wisdom on a lot of other topics and I'm just super excited for you all to hear the nuggets of wisdom she had to share with me. But before we get started, I want to remind you that we have leader cast women take courage coming up on Friday October eighteen here in Atlanta. Now, this will obviously be broadcast live and Atlanta to host sites around the world, but some of those are actually flex cast sites, meaning that they show the event at a later date. So when you're looking for one, be sure to note the date, because the post site nearest you may be not in October. So before we get started, here is an ad for leader cast women and I'll catch you on the other side when I sit down and talk with Nancy Lieberman. Leader cast women is an inspirational one day leadership event featuring renowned female leaders. Male and female audience members alike leave leader cast women with the tools they need to be leaders worth following. Attend the event live in Atlanta or at a host site near you. To learn more, visit women DOT leader castcom. Well, it's my pleasure to have on this episode of the leader cast podcast a true basketball legend and icon, Nancy Lieberman. Nancy, thank you so much for being here with us on this episode. How are you? I your wonderful mean thank you for having me now. You are, quite honestly, just one of the biggest names in US basketball, women's basketball, you name it. You're a basketball legend and icon. But I have to ask what are you up to nowadays? I mean, you're still involved with basketball, but it seems like you're doing a lot more outside of the world of sports. I am the head coach in actually I work for Ice Cube. How about that? You and he hired me last year to be the first beam, the head coach in the men's professional league with the Big Three, which is all former NBA studs and it's an honor and a privilege to be around some of these just the enormous talent of the men that you know, played for you know, ten, fifteen years in the NBA and still have this passion and competitiveness. And so I'm the head coach of team power and I will humbily say one of the great ...

...moments of my career is that we won the Big Free Championship last year and Corey mcgetti, with my mv key and I was coach of the year. And then there's never happened to a woman before in the men's league. So it was a blessed year and we hope to defend our title. Yeah, it's really cool to obviously you've kind of watched the big three in this new, I don't want to say it passed their Prime League, but I you know, I leave. That allows guys who still have the competitive nature to compete, and obviously you still have that competitive nature. How have you been able to sustain that for so long? Well, you know, one of the nicest compliments anybody gave me, to be honest, we were in a business meeting and somebody said, how is it that you're an athlete from the S and your relevant in two thousand nineteen and I never really had thought about that and it really is an honor and a privilege because you know, you have to be Nimble, you have to be flexible in your life and as in your career, and there are things, by the grace of God, that have happened to me that you couldn't have ever expected. You know, the concentric circle of WHO I am is I'm a basketball player and you know I'm wired to win and wire to compete. And then when you get to the end of your career, which is always difficult, you can either lead the game or stay in you know, I went and started doing TV. That was at ESPN for twenty eight years and talks currently started in the s with them. And then in one hundred ninety seven, she's husand and Ninety Eight my first coaching job in the WNBA. And you know I was always doing camps and clinics and teaching the game, but I had never coached it and I just love hoping both men and women achieve their goals in another level, whether it's the NBA, the NBAG League. You know where I was to head coach the Mavericks g League Team and then teaching how to how to win and winning start. It's not easy and it's a learned response. Well, I mean you just mentioned that you were the first female to coach a men's professional basketball team here in the US, and I mean that that alone is pretty groundbreaking and pretty amazing. But you've still been able to continue to coach and teach the game. But you obviously love the sport of basketball, you are playing the game and you've clearly love teaching the game. But what fears or anxiety or what were your feelings when you first were approached with the opportunity to coach, you know, a pretty important team in a developmental team for the The Dallas Mavericks? Well, first, if I can be honest, I'm not afraid. Two things can happen. I can win or lose. Right, I don't get caught up in all the you know, the mine monsters that you know people unfortunately get caught up with. You know, he likes he doesn't like being my hair's nice. It's not nice. It's been two days. How come I don't get into all that sidebar stuff and the minimalist at the heart of who I am and I try to keep things as simple as possible and if I prepare myself, then I'm ready and confident. I get excited. I mean do I get excited for a game? Heck Yeah. I mean I'm going to get anybody else. I'm wired to compete and to do the best that I can, and I mean love going to war with players that you know, coaches coach and we do our thing in practice, but players play and they determine probability and outcome and it's my job to get them ready. And you know, I can look back on how it was for me as a player, whether it was playing for Pat Riley in the Lakers and their summer league, were playing for Pat Summit or Mary and Stanley or some of the other coaches, great coaches. It was...

...the players. We determined whether we want a lot, you know. I mean I never saw, you know, Steve per and the sidelines as a coach take a shot. It has to be curry or it has to be play or Katie or DRAYMA players. You have to sit players up Firston sess and for me, you know, that's kind of been the secret sauce. It's a little parent thing you can't pick every fight. There's nothing perfect about it. In players are going to make mistake and you can't. You can't beat the hell out of them every time they make a mistake. It's our job to, you know, pick our poison, make them better, you know, influence them to be better than they thought they ever could be, and then give them the strategy and everything we need for those moments. I love that because I think that those nuggets are perfect for someone who's, you know, manager or an executive in the business world. Is I mean, you just said it. You can set people up to succeed. It's up to them to succeed. So what ways do you try to help your players? Well, how do you prepare them to be the most successful? Well, you know, you just said something that's very poignant. You know, sports and business and entertainment, we're on doing the same thing. Okay, we all have got to make the people that we work with better, and I do that corporately. I do that with athletes, I do it with my son. Communication is the most important thing. It's so important in life, in love, in business, in sports. The better communicator you are, the more successful you're going to be. You when you're a leader, you're an influencer. I have got to give you a reason to follow me. I'm asking you to do x, Y and Z. Actually, I'm asking you run, do a wall. You have better stay out to have some long term sustainability, profitability, growth. That's so important in how you prepare yourself. So you know, I always start with we must do this. This is why these will be the results. So I don't try to confuse them. I I see leaders in business or some five hundred companies, other companies, professors, today's athlete, today's Kid, my son Tj, who's twenty four. This generation talks in two hundred and eighty characters. They talk in thirty seconds or so on snapchat or on Instagram, with pictures and emojis. And if there's some older people listening, you're going to have to change because they're not changing for us. We need to respect this generation and how they communicate. It will make us better. So if you get look, I have the attention span of a fly. I'm only kidding, but it's finally true. If you start telling me something and met tell me what you want me to know, get to the point. It always helps the listener if you have a point, don't tell me a whole full blown five minute story to get to a point. You're going to lose me. And you say or you mean what you say and say what you mean and communicate with them on that level so you can get the best results. My job is to make you come to work tomorrow better than you've ever been. It will be your best day yet because I'm going to give you a reason to show up, not just to get a paycheck, anybody who get a paycheck, but I'm going to, you know, teach you how to separate yourself from other people. And so there's there's fellowship and competitiveness within every team, within every corporation, with every group that you're dealing with. I'm in the...

...business of sports. It's a it's an over a two or three trailing dollar industry. You know, we have to keep people wanting for five more minutes a game. Want TV, we want people to come back to the arena, you know, to see these athletes that are tremendous role models, but both baseball basketball. So it's exciting. And then to break the myth of well, you know, you know guys or they're just not gonna listen to women. And I have to tell you first, every major job that I've ever had in my life I've been champion by men at every level. I've been championed by men who get it, who are not afraid, who are self confident, who wants to make us better. And the other thing is, quite frankly, we've been telling you what to do your whole life. You're the mother, your sister, your Auntie, your grandma, your XY, everybody's been telling you. Guys worked. So you obviously not how to take information from women because you're always buying us like coach purses, flowers and you know very time you forget something at the store. You know. So it's a little tongue in cheek with me because I'm a little sarcastic. I love it, but it's but you know, with me there's there's a little humor, there's a little sarcasm, but there's a lot of truth and how I communicate, and that's what I do with my guys, we determine what we want to do. What is it that we are all looking to do together? You know, and and you know, like my guys again that play in the NBA, I know they're wives, I know the girlfriend I know their children. I'll spend time with round up or to Marcus or roody gay or Seth Curry and I'll talk to them what's going on and has a family, hardly kids, and then you actually build a relationship. I'm firm but I'm fair. I want to I want to do life with you. I want to show up for you, but there's going to be a point in time that I'm going to have to say that's not good enough, that effort wasn't good enough, where I expect more of you. And if I've poured in love and kindness and understanding, you're going to be more apt. You know, not to put your hand up and give me the talk to the hands, have a deal or, you know, like kids singers over there, their ears, you know, Lalalala, because they're tuning you out. So you have to learn how to communicate, and I you better be good at your job and you have to get better, but you have to learn how to communicate, where you'll be mediocre at everything you do well. And I think what I took most from what you just said, all of that, which was fantastic. Thank you, is the communication is so much, especially nowadays, it's about brevity and about simplicity. And I mean I know from my time playing sports, and I'm sure you experience this, every time you call a time out and have a you have the guys huddle around you. You don't have time to explain every single detail or everything. You give a whole back story. You have to quickly communicate what you need them to do. Take me into one of your huddles. I mean, what's your approach? How do you you know, obviously you call a time out for the most part. Could you see a problem? How do you address that and how do you make those quick changes to fix it? Well, in my world of basketball, you know, our game is a Gamer run. And how do you stop a team from having a run? You score right, right. I mean that's the simple answer. If you can't stop them from scoring that I have to call a time out. But I have noticed this. You know, we kind of have like a a three basket rule from coaches have before basket rule on one when they call a time out, when they think, you know, they just have to be able, you know, to stop another team's momentum. So it's really important that I'm...

...already thinking of matchup and what's are we too big? Are we too small? Are we just not executings? That mental mistakes? Are they scared? So you have to be a little psychologist, a strategist, and I challenge. Oh, I would love this, and I've been saying this for years, I would love to go into a corporate board room, which I do obviously all the time and being on boards, and say, okay, you have twenty seconds to draw up your proposal on how you're going to meet your second quarter goals financially. You have twenty seconds and, by the way, there's a band playing, there's a pen behind your chair telling you you suck and you stink and you know, like Drake, he's in your faith, he pfecting you. I mean you have to have such incredible concentration and under understanding. Now, a lot of fans, and I'm getting to your answer, a lot of fans think like when they're yelling and screaming and there, you know, they have those bricks or those little things that they wave back and forth when we shoot saw shots. They think that it bothers us, and I just hate to break the news to you. We don't even know you're there. Okay, when I was coaching the mad G League team, we're watching practice as a staff one day in the office and I asked David Wesley, I who David meant, turn the music down. is driving me crazy and he goes, coach, it's in the film. I go, what are you talking about? He goes, are you kidding me? You don't know that they play all that music during the game? And I went they play music in the arena while we're being he went, he goes, you're you really don't hear it? I said no, I had no clue that there was music going on in that weird it is. Relate, fully relate. So you know that those are the things that in whatever your vocation, whether you're a manager, whether you're CEO, you have to be able to be relatable to your players and they're looking for answers the people on the street who were busting there but trying to do their job, trying to make a living, the athletes. Not Everybody in the NBA or the the Big Three or g league or are the stars. You know, there's just a lot of rank and filed people in the world that are very important to this success of the team. Are you ignoring them? Are you giving them information? Are you building them up? I mean, what are you doing? You know? I mean, certainly you want to love on your superstars, but you can't forget the other people that make up the bulk of your team, because I would, you know, team trump's talent and I would totally take somebody on my team with a little less talent if I thought they had a big influence in my locker room, because you got to have somebody in there with a voice to say, you know, this is what we got to do. If not, it's going to be like parenting. They're going to hear your voice all the time, which I try not to do. I let my coach, is coach, my assistance, because I want their voice to be heard, so when I say something, it's going to be impactful and not, you know, muted out, and you know so so often in time. You know. I mean, I'm not back to fill or anything, but in relationships you get muted from each other, you can't even hear with what's right or what's wrong, and I don't want that to happen with my team. Yeah, I think that's an interesting point because obviously you know, in a corporate setting you have a direct supervisor, obviously, if but you have people above you who have a lot of influence in your daily life. How can we, as a manager or, you know,...

...a CEO, even take that set back and I'll let other people to kind of coach other employees along. I sometimes I feel like we all feel like we have to give every single piece of information exactly the way we wanted to be heard. But that point of letting other people inform them build that culture. How do we allow that practice to start appearing at our organizations? Well, I mean certainly it's important that if you're the head of this, you have to be able to get your message out, but you also have to trust the people that work for you. I tend to think that if you don't let people do their job, you're a little insecure, and I've seen coaches who don't let their coaches assistance coach in practice because they want people to think they're the one doing it. And quite frankly, I don't care who's doing I want. Had An intern in Detroit when I was coaching in the de w NBA and Tommy Cross at the end of the game, you know, he says, coach, let's run, you know, you know, up screen five and I looked at him and I went, okay, we're going to run up screen pot and we were in it. We scored, we won the game at the Buzzer and I go on the press conference and they go, coach, that was amazing. I manager, First Time coaching and you do have this game winning play, and I said Yeah, Tom Cross, he's an interns for me. He's friends with my husband and we let him come work for us because he just wanted to get into coaching. So Tom came up with the play and he suggected it and they're like, excuse me, I think the Tom Cross with two says he's over there if you want to talk to him. Do you know the you do know how that made my team feel when they saw their coach not grab all the attention and all the glory and deflected and just say hey, that's why we have a team. Yeah, that's why I paid the dude a day am to come up with stuff like that. You know, the Bell of checks the POPs is recrliles. The great coaches. They have self confidence. You know the great people in Business and I remember. You know, I've been friends with Warren Buffett's for a long time and I remember him telling me one time. I said, why'd you give Bill Gates all that money? You know, I think it was I don't know how many billions of dollars for the charity? And I said, wow, why would you give him all that money? And he said, well, I thought he could do better with it than I could. And I was like what, you know, I mean even like you know, thirteen billion dollars or whatever the number was, and he says I just thought he could do better with it than me. I've always wanted to do stuff, you know, for charity. I thought, I mean, what a great impression on somebody like me, you know, when that's what Warren Buffett says, HMM, I mean, it's not like he doesn't know how to give, I mean, but he said somebody else could just do better at it. It's that's pretty close stuff in my book. Well, and I love that example because I think we all believe are we all think of someone who is really great and master at whatever crafter industry they have, but we're not all experts that everything and sometimes you have to let people do the job that they're best suited to do, and I love that. I certainly subscribe to that, you know, foray, but it again, it's just take people just because we have a title or we make a lot of money or we do some of that stuff. Honestly, sometimes we're a little fraudulent, you know. You know, I've been down that road before and sometimes it's tried to let go and I think one of the really good, good things that I've learned in life, and you know, I've had great friends and role models from from war into Muhammad Ali,...

...who was my lifelong friend, and just you know, in life there's two people, one to give her and one to take her. And who were which one are you? And you know, givers, you know, here conditionally they give their time, they give an energy, they give knowledge, they give it going prophically, because when it's all over, it's all over, then men at how much money you have. And I've just learned some some great lessons, some great people, and I know exactly who I want to be. I'm I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be. The good Lord, you know, put me here. I'm supposed to be, you know, giving money to charity and helping change children's lives. I'm supposed to be sending kids to college or building in courts. To me, it's women charities. I'm supposed to be coaching men and and helping them be better men, that are husbands, that are fathers, and to achieve things that maybe some of them have not done. I mean all my guys and the Big Three. They're all multiminers. Yeah, and the one thing that some of them don't have is it, or didn't have, was a championship bring and we had a purpose for what we were going to do together, not just individually. And I'm not devoid of star power. You know, I mean I I you know, I acutely understand what me and a star is, but it's so important to work together. I mean, look at the warriors. Yeah, I can reach it all. Want to be on a super team and all you know, want to move the ball a little bit and make people better. Well, I've kind of want to transition into a different type of topic. We at leader cast have monthly themes that are monthly. Theme for June is balance, and I know you help facilitate workshops about balance. So I really would like to ask you a couple of questions about how we can find balance in our life, because I know as a professional athlete it's pretty tough, especially when people see you, as you know, this guy who competes on the basketball court, of this lady who you know is winning Grand Slam tennis titles or whatever you're you know that sport maybe, and however you compete, but that you know a lot all these athletes have a life outside of the court. Similarly, we have, you know, our professional lives, in our social lives. What you mentioned earlier about the you were not afraid to ever talk about life with your players. What about that allows them to kind of find at that work life balance during the day? Well, you know, obviously when you're an athlete on any level, especially a world class athlete, honestly there's a lot of selfishness because you have to physically, mentally, emotionally be in a certain place to keep heat. You're competing for a lot of money and for a lot of these young athletes around the world football, baseball, basketball, you know, hockey. You're you're giving people a chance to have generational wealth and change a cycle in some cases of poverty within someone's family. And so there's a sacrifice because you're helping others that either couldn't help themselves. So, you know, family is is very, very important, but family also has to understand that you have to get some sleep or you little bit rest or, you know, giving example like when t be on standers went back to the play, to the Ravens with Ray Lewis, when Dion was thirty seven. I remember who calling me when night and I came to the House and he was I'm going to go back and play and I was like, oh my gosh, that's awesome, you know, Cuz because I the thirty nine and fifty. Yeah, so do. I have a lot of these upleagues that will ask me what was that like. So the first thing I did at the time was tell his wife.

Then for our I said, Laura, he's not going to be car pulling the kids every day O play. So you met him when he was retired and he's going to need your support on this because to the outside world he's down standers and when he's in training camp, you know he's going to be taking kids from the practice squad out and meeting their grandmas and their aunties and he's going to be helping them and mentoring them and he can't feel pressure from you. Oh my gosh, you were in home for dinner. So there's going to be different times in the year on the athletic side, but you also have to learn when to turn the phone off and just spend tearing with your family and you know, like we try to do that at dinner with my friend Tj. You know, he's been playing professional basketball in trying to be the last two years and when he's try we kind of load each other and it's like we're going to have dinner together, let's turn our phones off, as hard as it is, let's to spend some quality time together. It's really important because when it's all sadden on and the the cheering stops, what you do have? Fans will find somebody else to fall in love with. Yeah, you want your family to be in love with you, you know. So it's that FAI family. You know, work. It's really important to honor that if it's important to you, and I think in business also. I mean you could be tied up in business as much as you want. And okay, this is going to sound crazy, but I was doing an appearance one b three four years ago in Hawaii for a company and I was just sitting at a dead table at lunch with this guy I didn't know and I go, so, what do you do? And he says, well, you know, I work here for this company and he goes in. When I'm not doing this, I attend funeral. I go, what do you mean? He I can't put you attend the funeral? He says, well, I get paid to be a witness at few girls when they I guess cemeteries can't bury somebody unless there's a witness. It's paid. I don't know what it is like, five hundred bucks or something, he says, I bet you. I go. I don't know. You know, six, seven, eight, times a year I just go to a funeral because the person who died, the rich person who died, who was, you know, pretty spectacular, had nobody at his funeral or her funeral. Well, he goes. It's sad and I don't I don't want that to be me. I don't want to be to weaverman where everybody, Oh my God, Miss Averyman, Oh my God, you're my hero. Your it is your mother. No, I don't want that and I'm not going to let that happen. I want to have memories with my kids, I want to have memories with my family and I'm in control of that. And the most powerful word we can use is no. No, I'm not going to be able to go off with you tomorrow. No, I'm not going to be able to go during at some point you have to be able to do things with your family so they get to know who you are, whether you're in business or in athletics or whatever. Again, your vocation. That's on you, Mr Mrs Leader CEO. What are you doing to cultivate that in your house? Well, and I love that tip about turning your phone off at dinner, and it sounds really simple, but you're on the right track at some point from a only I mean, for one, on a connecting with your family level, be present with your family at dinner, but also from a mental health level. You can't always be Mr basketball or Mr CEO. It's that kind of leads me to my next question. Yes, you know this is somewhat of a newish trend in the NBA, but you know you play an eighty two games season across what six seven months, and then the playoffs or even longer grueling grind. You see now a lot of...

...coaches and players. You know, coaches will get players a night off or there's a night where they're you know, their rotation is less. I have are minutes that they're playing and all of these to help them me fresh. I mean it's right. Well, you know, it's eighty games in about a hundred and fifty nine right. Yeah, I mean that's why, you know, we all have the private jet. So we play the city and we have the term getaway games. I don't know if you've ever heard of that, but I get away game is we're not staying in Dallas overnight, we're getting to the next city or we're getting home. So you know, you're all packed and ready, everything's on the bus, you know, and your you got x number of minutes to get in and out of the locker room, do meet it, do your media. But they're called Getaway Games. We have them in basketball. I mean football is only once a week. Baseball you're you know, you're in a city for three or four days. So they don't really have to deal with that as much we're at all, to be quite honest. So that's really important. And Yeah, I mean players are taking a little bit more time, as you see. I know it's hard on the fans that has purchased a ticket. And then you know, Lebron is in playing. They're only human, right, and it's they have basketball, but they also have life and you know they're doing these athletes are doing the best they can. I Mean Your Days I coaching in the NBA with me, we're obviously exhausted, and but you can't say you're exhausted, you know, you just can't let that creep into your your thought process and you just gotta, you know, kind of plug along because you know, like I had, you naturally morphed into you know, three or four players are yours right. And if they need film, I mean I can't tell you how many times rise and Rondo, you know, calling me in the middle of the night, and it was like coaching you up. I'm like, I am now, what can I do? Were you praying? RECIT? Hey, can you know I'm watching film, which I did, about Rondo, by the way, I just love the guy and he says, did you see on this particular play? Blah, blah, blah, and me give me a minute, let me open up my consphier or, you know, can you meet me at the gym at you know, we're the fight at seven? Can you meet me at the gym at thirty? And your yeah, of course I can. It's just that's the way it is. And you get a D of playing and the Games over and the players are eating and they set their you know, they shut it down and the coaches, we open up our laptops and we're on to the next day and you know, sometimes you're tired, but you have a job to do and you do it. So that brings me to kind of a two ended question, because I think this is very important to learn from sports, at least in my time as an athlete. It was something that I've been able to take to now my professional life. And Look, we can't go a hundred miles an hour every single day, and both work and in life and our social life. But how do we balance the time between okay, I need a break versus okay, I need to push through, because those are two very different types of things. And sometimes you do you need to just mentally take a break, physically take a break, but other times you have to prepare yourself and set yourself up for that long grind. How can we kind of figure out how to do both, or how do we pick and shoes when we do both? Well, I mean, if you're at the end of the corner and you're trying to make some sales goals, probably wouldn't take some time off and kill if there's just setting a bad message to the people you're you know, you're sitting there telling of men and they're going to they're going to you know, they're going to let people go in our division if we don't make these numbers. So I mean, you can't do that. You got to know. You know. I know there's an important...

...date and the schedule. You know they're important date, you know, depending when, you know you're where your year starts, your fiscal years. So you know some of these things. So work, you know when you're planning or planning vacation or so here's how every day starts for me when I get the ability to you know that we have a joke in our family when my shades go up, you know when my lids open, and that's everyone. Today was little. I was like, don't wait, momy, until you see her shades up, and he would literally like take my eyelids with his fingers and lift them up and go away like dude, get off my arm from so when I lift my Lids, and the first thing I think about, you know, I think the good Lord and I think how can I inspire somebody today? What can I do to make somebody's day better? And I literally think about that and then I work out. I take the first literally take the first hour and a half of my day and I work out and I do it for me. I run, I lift, I do me first and then I'm ready to do whatever I'm supposed to do for everybody else. It's most amazing time for me. It's just I don't worry about anything. You know, I'm not saying I don't think about Oh, you know, I got this going on, but I get in the gym, I'm not there to socialize. On there to get in my workout. I know people are going to ask me, Hey, just you the cowboy game with Larry Fitz growed up to. You know, people are going to who know me are going to come Chit Chat about other athletes, about sports or business, and I'm not, you know, rude or anything, but it's like that's my time and when I'm done. I'm your urs. If I'm in a supermarket you want to talk to me, come talk to me. If your kid wants to talk to me, I'm I'm the other athlete. I want to say hi. I want you to come up and give me a hug or give me a high five. I'm not traveling with an entourage that keeps people away from me. I want to say hi, I want to shake your hand and I appreciate people who come up to me and say Nice things. It's really cool. Well, if I ever see you at the supermarket, I'll make sure to cops say hi and tell you that you're awesome. So, yeah, thank you. Well, really, thank you so much for all of this. I mean this has been amazing wisdom that you've been parted on us from your, you know, years of basketball playing and coaching. I have one more question about your professional career, though, and it's something that I always want to know from coaches. What was that switch that you had to turn on or off when you went from being a player to a coach? Because as a player, I mean there's that hungry ambition, competitive nature. Do Everything we have to do to win this game right now, that as a coach there's a lot of times that steady hand and that analysis, because with it. So how were you able to transition from the fiery competitor, Nancy Leaver, the Leeberman, the basketball player, to the analytical basketball coach? It's a good question. You know you still have the fire, but you have to process it differently, and with me it was more preparation because I knew that I didn't have to do certain things, but I had to get people ready. So that was really important. And you're in the Fox hole. You're still in the foxhole. You're still with your men or women trying to win and do something very special. But I think the greatest thing you could ever do is play. It's an amazing feeling to play, to have teammates, to do something that you love and...

...enjoy with people you like. The second greatest thing you can do is you can stay connected to the game that you love and you, like I said, you're still in the Fox hole and you're still working with people. And then the last thing you can do, if you don't coach or play anymore, is you could do TV, because now you get a chance to promote the game that you love and you care about and has brought you joy or notoriety or, you know, money, you know, a change your lifestyle. But there's misconceptions. You know, well, great players, they can't be great coaches. Why not? So I don't really subscribe to what people say. Often. Usually, if you're telling me that I can't win if you can't win, not really. If you're telling me, well, you're or a woman, you shouldn't be doing that. Is it that you don't want me to do it because or you've never done it? So why? Just because you had mediocracy in your life? Why should I have mediocracy in my life? And I went from the court in ninety seven to be the the head coach and GM in the Wnba for the Detroit Shock. But like they think kid did, like he came from the court. You have. You might not have all the years of experience, but you have a lot of information that other people don't. And if I can get my players to play for me and play hard for me, then that that's that's really important. I have a slew of Nancy. Nancy can't. Moments Nancy, you can. And the Olympic team in high school. Nobody's ever done it before. Nancy, you're too poor, you'll never get a scholarship to college. You, you, you don't have the money to go to college. Nancy, you can't play in immen's Ly, I mean. And then in one thousand nine hundred and eighty I played for Pat Riley, for the Lakers in their summerly, his first coaching job, and it on and on and want. Nancy, you can't play in the W bea. You're thirty nine. Nancy, you can't coach. You've never coached before. So it's this endless you can't coach men. So, but you know. So Donny Nelson, one of my heroes, hires me and we make the playoffs my first year. We were the first expansion team in the history of the WNBA to make the playoffs. If you you can't be a head coaching a men's professional league with the Big Three. Well, if you do that, will you can't win? Well, we did win. And you know there's no women going to be in the NBA. And I'm thankful to Donny Nelson and to ice cube and to Vlad ad bots and the back remade's with the teams, because all these people that were so negative about what I couldn't do they I say it again, and I'm not trying to be a jerk, they live in a world of mediocracy where they'll get their paycheck and in twenty thirty years somebody will give them a watch when they retire and say hey, man, thanks for making me a billionaire. You did a great job. I'm not afraid. You know, Ali taught me a long time ago. He said when I was nineteen, eighteen years old, he held my hand and he said, I want you to respect everybody, but I want you to fear nobody. God made you special and you're going to have a lot of things in front of you that nobody has ever done before. And I kind of like I was like a little puppy with my head turned like what are you talking about? And he knew things that I didn't know. When you have people like Ali and pat sum it or warm buffets, I mean in a perfect world I shouldn't have these guys or gals in my life, but you know,...

I overcame my circumstances of being poor and no food and no father and no eat and no electricity. I could have been a victim of my environment growing up in New York. I mean I'm a girl from the s. There was no do w NBA, there was no gender equity. They were there was no title nine. who were my role models but African American men, and they didn't let me down. They encouraged me, they championed me to be on, you know, your show. It just says that if you have a positive outlook, you know the only difference between a good day and a bad day is your attitude and your belief. And that's what we want to help and still in people. We have to accept people that don't look like us and meet people where they are and let them know we care. And that's been my success in business and and my success in coaching is that I actually, I actually give a damn about people. Thank you so much for imparting all this wisdom. As you mentioned, you've had so many people in your life to give you a positive word of encouragement or sage advice. So we're just incredibly blessed that you are able to come on this episode of the leader cast podcast and give us all this great wisdom. So, with that said, I mean you obviously have a lot of irons of the fires that a speak but where else might we be able to find, you know, any content from you or find any more information about how we can get in contact with you if we want? Is Anybody has any questions? I'm on, you know, instagram and twitter and Danswer. We weremen. I always answer my questions if people have something for me. You know, I'm just putting a lot of time into you know, obviously coaching is it's just a tremendous amount of time and energy. But also, you know, on my charity, Manswerman charities, and we sent fifty five high school seniors to college over the last eight years, we've built we have what's called dream courts, their park outdoor part. You know, it was my dream of play and to be on a court. Of people would in profile me when I was between the lines. And Right now we have seventy eight dream courts open and we have over three point five million children around the country plan on our courts and we use the dream courts to bring police in, children and communities together. It's kind of a cool thing to be able to to help bridge gap. You know when I mean communication. So that's those things are important to me as well. Well. We love that and thank you again. So much for being on this episode of the leader cast podcast. We are thankful for your wisdom, your knowledge, you're your insight into a you know that you have from such a long and started career in the basketball court, but now that you are able to help other people make impact in whatever their court may be. So thank you so much again for joining us here, but it's my pleasure. Thank you for having me, of course. Thank you. Thank you again for listening to this episode of the leader cast podcast. You can find all episodes on itunes, Google play, stitcher and, of course, leader Castcom. Don't forget to subscribe to the PODCAST, rate us if you like and leave us a comment about what you felt was good about this episode. Also, don't forget to interact with us on twitter, facebook, instagram, linkedin with Hashtag leader cast podcast. And if you want to continue to receive this wonderful leadership information, subscribe to our email, and you can find that at leader castcom. Now go be a leader worth following. Thanks for tuning in to the leader cast podcast. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player.

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