The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective


Triangle – the series…

Engagement is a word that gets lots of attention today.  Employee engagement as spoken by human resource professionals; customer engagement as spoken by marketing professionals; leadership engagement as spoken by management consulting professionals.  Engagement has us surrounded.

I thought I’d devote a ditty or two (or three) to the topic of engagement.  I call it, “Triangle – the series”.  Catchy; yes?

Being a Denver Broncos fan, let’s start the series reflecting on their recent victory in Super Bowl 50.  Prior to that game, the specialists, the seerers, and the sooth sayers suggested the Broncos were not the better team in the competition.  Many felt they weren’t even the best team to represent the AFC.  Well, so much for the sooth sayers:

It seems to me that no soothsayer should be able to look at another soothsayer without laughing. 


The Broncos simply out-played their competition that day; and the previous play-off days leading up to the Super Bowl.  Not lucky I suggest, but prepared – and totally engaged:

Luck is when preparation meets opportunity. 

Joe Newton

So what lessons learned about the Broncos engagement can we apply to our business setting?  I think of it in terms of a triangle:

Leadership engagement begets employee engagement.

And employee engagement begets customer engagement.

I suggest the triangle triples the power of engagement in our competitive marketplace.

Being from Chicago I didn’t select the term “triangle” by accident.  The legendary coach Phil Jackson made that term synonymous with NBA Championships.  Lest you think it was simply a matter of Michael Jordon, may I remind you that Michael Jordan didn’t win a championship until Phil Jackson arrived; nor did Coby Bryant; nor did Shaquille O’Neil.

And nor were the Chicago Bulls an NBA powerhouse that Phil simply inherited:

Former NBA center and coach Johnny Kerr said his biggest test as a coach came when he coached the then-expansion team the Chicago Bulls and his biggest player was 6’8″ Erwin Mueller.

We had lost seven in a row and I decided to give a psychological pep talk before a game with the Celtics, Kerr said.  I told Bob Boozer to go out and pretend he was the best scorer in basketball.  I told Jerry Sloan to pretend he was the best defensive guard.  I told Guy Rodgers to pretend he could run an offense better than any other guard, and I told Erwin Mueller to pretend he was the best rebounding, shot-blocking, scoring center in the game.  We lost the game by 17. 

I was pacing around the locker room afterward trying to figure out what to say when Mueller walked up, put his arm around me, and said, “Don’t worry about it Coach.  Just pretend we won.” 

James S. Hewett

Nope – the Bulls were pretty bad before Phil arrived.  He however, was already an accredited champion.  He held two NBA championship rings playing for the New York Knicks; and another championship ring as a head coach in the Continental Basketball Association.

Phil Jackson is a winner; he studied, practiced and learned how to be a winner; and he also learned how to teach others – how to engage his players (even Michael Jordan) – so they could become winners too.

Nick named the “Zen Master”; he led his players to engage their individual talents for the interests of the team.  He retired with the highest winning percentage of any NBA coach.

How about your company?  Do your leaders lead employee engagement?  It is after all, the first corner of the triangle.


Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my website too:


One Comment

  1. Nancy
    Mar 02, 2016

    So interesting! You are always good about bringing in other situations for a comparison. I also LOVE your humor and all the quotes! Thanks! Hope you’re doing well and you had a great birthday!!

Leave a Reply