Who is the most respected collegiate athletic director in the country? If you polled every athletic administrator hundreds of names would be mentioned – but I am sure one would surface again and again: Kevin White, AD at Duke.
Why Kevin White? Is it because Duke employs Coach K? Is it because under his watch Duke has won national championships? Is it the facilities, fundraising, or blend of academics and athletics? I believe that each of those elements plays into his reputation – but the overarching reason he is universally respected is his “tree.” He has produced countless administrators and ADs all over the country – including his own son. His willingness and ability to help others further their career has led to his sterling reputation.
As John Calipari said during his Basketball Hall of Fame acceptance speech, “If you make sure others eat first, you will end up eating more than you can ever eat. By creating relationships with others, investing in their dreams and aspirations, chasing those dreams and aspirations with them, you become a dream fulfiller.”
What if everyone took Kevin White’s approach of growing their tree? What if everyone became a dream fulfiller like Coach Calipari? What if everyone put their employees in a position to be better every day with the goal of moving on and moving up? Everyone wants to work towards something bigger. If a shift in thinking took place, going away from the immediate task and the daily plan and investing in the growth of employees and the cultivation of careers, the workplace would become happier, efficiency would increase, and everyone would operate with a dream.