The Carolina Way: Leadership Lessons from a Life in Coaching

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: Dean Smith

Narrated By: Dean Smith

Publisher: Penguin Audio

Date: February 2004

Duration: 10 hours 43 minutes


The most successful coach in college basketball history, and among the most beloved, offers his comprehensive program for building and maintaining winning teams in sports, business, and life.

For almost forty years, Dean Smith coached the University of North Carolina basketball team with unsurpassed success, both in victories won and in shaping the lives of the players he led. Well known are the Michael Jordans, Kenny Smiths, and George Karls, but overall more than 96 percent of Dean Smith's players earned their undergraduate degrees, and more than 33 percent earned graduate or professional degrees. Now, in The Carolina Way, Coach Smith fully explains his entire coaching philosophy and shows readers how to apply it to the leadership and team-building challenges in their own lives.

In his wry, sensible, wise way, Coach Smith takes us through every aspect of his program, illustrating his insights with vivid stories. Accompanying each major point is a "Player Perspective" from a former North Carolina basketball star and an in-depth "Business Perspective" developing some of the wider applications of Smith's precepts from Gerald D. Bell, a world-renowned leadership consultant and a professor at UNC's Kenan-Flagler Business School.

Each year Coach Smith gave his team the same three goals:

- PLAY HARD: Insist on consistent effort. The final result is often outside your control. Create a system that demands effort, rewards it, and punishes its absence.

- PLAY SMART: Execute properly. Understand and consistently execute the fundamentals. Reward their execution and punish their absence.

- PLAY TOGETHER: Play unselfishly. Don't focus on individual statistics. Recruit unselfish players, reward unselfish play, and punish selfish play and showboating.

Coach Smith taught all his teams that if they kept their focus on these three goals, winning would take care of itself. And more times than any other coach in history, he was right.


  • Shane Nixon

    I am from NC, and NOT a Tarheel fan. But Smith did it too good, for too long, not to earn anyone's respect. He is class. But he should never have read this book. His nasal Midwestern dialect drove me insane. And the book is only "good" not great or really good, because each chapter ends with a Business perspective that is AWFUL. Typing the words I can hear the guy who read those pronouncing the words and I cringe. All things considered, just average, in what should have been GREAT!