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Choice Not Chance: Rules for Building a Fierce Competitor.

Friday, February 10, 2012 8:08 am EST
"Enjoy the prospect of getting better daily"

Throughout her pioneering career in college basketball, Coach Joanne P. McCallie has followed a simple philosophy: Choice, not chance, determines destiny. Choose to become a champion in life. From her first head coaching position at age 26 to her current role as head coach for the Duke Blue Devils, McCallie has enjoyed sharing these principles with her winning teams and the youth in the communities where she and her family have lived. In her new book, Choice Not Chance: Rules for Building a Fierce Competitor (Wiley; March 2012; Hardcover and ebook; $24.95; 978-1-118-08711-4) she shares these philosophies and her personal journey as a coach, mother and wife.

Age 26 when she took over at Maine, Coach McCallie, a.k.a. Coach P, was the youngest head coach in Division I history. She took the underdeveloped program and built it into a very competitive team in a span of eight years and, as a result, started to outdraw the men's team, a rarity in college sports. During this time she created the Choice Not Chance (CNC) philosophy, training individuals how to think and focus on making the correct choices in life. She brought this passionate philosophy to her efforts as head coach at Duke and now, in Choice Not Chance, she bring these lessons for building a fierce competitor, such as "Going against the grain," "Never become satisfied," and "Enjoy the prospect of getting better daily" to readers.

In Choice Not Chance, readers will find universal, no-nonsense lessons for anyone who wants to be their best and inspire those around them. Readers will discover how to:

Build stronger teamwork, make better and more effective decisions, and foster competition

Ignore the "scoreboard" and focus on what's important to be a process-driven thinker

Attract the right people to work in your organization by virtue of your principles

Lead under any circumstances

Create a competitive cauldron and love what competition teaches

“I sometimes see nowadays, particularly in young adults, that people are driven by their emotions to the point of non-productivity. Today’s world of emotions, combined with split-second communication and technology, often drive careless decisions that occasionally have disastrous results,” says McCallie. “I tend to consider and approach life’s decisions differently. I call it ‘right-thinking,’ a phrase I use with my team, and it refers to the idea that we are going to be reasonable and allow reason to drive our emotion. We are going to approach the situation, whatever it may be, in a clear, thought-out, and passionate way that extends to how we think and act. It is a way to live and to think – both as individuals and as a team.”

Going beyond McCallie's highlights and victories, the book reveals the daily work her leadership demands, including the sacrifices, setbacks, loneliness, and joys she experienced as she persevered in developing her beliefs. It also includes how she drew strength from other leaders, including Joe Ciampi, Tom Izzo, legendary Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski, and, briefly but poignantly, iconic women's basketball coach for NC State, Kay Yow.

Coach P. has taught her teams to play with passion and fight hard for recognition, and her teams have achieved remarkable success. Her career emphasizes how determination, hard work, and living passionately can energize readers to go beyond their limits and achieve their dreams, while her wisdom inspires readers to pursue their highest goals in business and life, and making success a matter of Choice Not Chance.

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