Sam Hinkie Letter

As Rising Coaches Elite is coming up this weekend, I am reminded of a recommendation that all of us attendees received from @AdamGierlach to go and read Sam Hinkie’s resignation letter from the Sixers. I really enjoyed reading this letter and it is one that possesses UNBELIEVABLE insight. I promise I didn’t quote the whole letter. Enjoy.

“Lifelong learning is where it’s at. To walk down that path requires a deep-seated humility about a) what’s knowable, and b) what each of us know. We hire for this aggressively. We celebrate this internally. And we’ve been known to punish when we find it woefully lacking. We talk a great deal about being curious, not critical. About asking the question until you understand something truly. About not being afraid to ask the obvious question that everyone else seems to know the answer to. And about the willingness to say three simple words, “I don’t know.”

“The long view picks at the lock of mediocrity.”

“If you want to have real success you have to very often be willing to do something different from the herd.”

“To develop truly contrarian views will require a never-ending thirst for better, more diverse inputs. What player do you think is most undervalued? Get him for your team. What basketball axiom is most likely to be untrue? Take it on and do the opposite. What is the biggest, least valuable time sink for the organization? Stop doing it. Otherwise, it’s a big game of pitty pat, and you’re stuck just hoping for good things to happen, rather than developing a strategy for how to make them happen.”

“So if we want to think like a scientist more often in life, those are the three key objectives—to be humbler about what we know, more confident about what’s possible, and less afraid of things that don’t matter.”

Hinkie’s Letter

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