Author Biography from Publisher. Pat Williams is senior vice president of the Orlando Magic, an NBA team he cofounded in 1987. Pat has been involved in professional sports for forty-five years and has been affiliated with NBA teams in Chicago, Atlanta, and Philadelphia, including the 1983 World Champion Philadelphia 76ers. He is one of America's top motivational and inspirational speakers and the author of thirty-five books. Pat and his wife, Ruth, live in Winter Park, Florida. They have nineteen children, including fourteen adopted from four foreign countries, ranging in age from twenty-one through thirty-five.
Review. Michelangelo did not paint the Sistine Chapel! Not alone anyway. When he was commissioned by Pope Julius II to execute an Extreme Dream -- painting the Sistine Chapel – he became a master delegator. And so goes one of the many illustrative anecdotes in Extreme Dreams Depends on Teams by Pat Williams. To accomplish the mission Michelangelo led a team of thirteen artists and two hundred crewmen! According to Williams, “Michelangelo sought out the best artists and craftsmen . . . paid them well . . . praised excellent work . . . demanded that everything be done his way – yet encouraged his assistants to add their own artistic flourishes to his creation. Some sections are clearly the work of Michelangelo’s hand. Others . . . are believed to be almost entirely the work of assistants . . . .” In short, what Michelangelo possessed, in addition to artistic genius, were excellent leadership skills and a dream team.
Like the former coach that he is, Williams coaches us (the readers) on the key to achieving big dreams: skillful leadership of a synergistic team. After years of study, Williams has determined the “seven sides of leadership:” Vision; Communication Skills; People Skills; Character; Competence; Boldness; and Servanthood.
A great leader, however, is only as good as the team he leads. And what makes a great team? According to Williams a great team is a committed team: to each other and to a singular goal. A committed team respects and trusts each other and works together to lift up individual members so that collectively they achieve what no one individual can. How does one acquire this dream team? By recruiting talented people and empowering them (to succeed and to make mistakes!). Empowerment, Williams explains, is achieved by: 1) expressing belief in people; 2) listening to them; 3) building others up; 4) not demeaning them; 5) being truthful; 6) saying thank you; 7) giving meaningful praise; and 8) providing occasional encouragement.
Extreme Dreams is an entertaining and enlightening book for both leaders and their teams!