Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success

Version: Unabridged
Author: Phil Jackson , Hugh Delehanty
Narrator: Matt Walton
Genres: Business & Economics, Sports & Recreation, Biography & Memoir
Publisher: Penguin Audiobooks
Published In: May 2013
# of Units: 9 CDs
Length: 10 hours, 30 minutes
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During his storied career as head coach of the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, Phil Jackson won more championships than any coach in the history of professional sports. Even more important, he succeeded in never wavering from coaching his way, from a place of deep values. Jackson was tagged as the “Zen master” half in jest by sportswriters, but the nickname speaks to an important truth: this is a coach who inspired, not goaded; who led by awakening and challenging the better angels of his players’ nature, not their egos, fear, or greed.

This is the story of a preacher’s kid from North Dakota who grew up to be one of the most innovative leaders of our time. In his quest to reinvent himself, Jackson explored everything from humanistic psychology and Native American philosophy to Zen meditation. In the process, he developed a new approach to leadership based on freedom, authenticity, and selfless teamwork that turned the hypercompetitive world of professional sports on its head.

In Eleven Rings, Jackson candidly describes how he:

   • Learned the secrets of mindfulness and team chemistry while playing for the champion New York Knicks in the 1970s
   • Managed Michael Jordan, the greatest player in the world, and got him to embrace selflessness, even if it meant losing a scoring title
   • Forged successful teams out of players of varying abilities by getting them to trust one another and perform in sync
   • Inspired Dennis Rodman and other “uncoachable” personalities to devote themselves to something larger than themselves
   • Transformed Kobe Bryant from a rebellious teenager into a mature leader of a championship team.

Eleven times, Jackson led his teams to the ultimate goal: the NBA championship—six times with the Chicago Bulls and five times with the Los Angeles Lakers. We all know the legendary stars on those teams, or think we do. What Eleven Rings shows us, however, is that when it comes to the most important lessons, we don’t know very much at all. This book is full of revelations: about fascinating personalities and their drive to win; about the wellsprings of motivation and competition at the highest levels; and about what it takes to bring out the best in ourselves and others.

Reviews (6)


Written by Matthew L. on July 7th, 2020

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Great book

Written by Joseph H. on January 28th, 2020

  • Book Rating: 4/5

Great story with leadership lessons all along the way

Written by Shawn W. on January 12th, 2020

  • Book Rating: 3/5

I thought the narrator did a great job. As for the book, if I was a huge basketball fan then the book would have gotten five stars. The stories that Phil Jackson shared about the games and relationships with the players was outstanding. However, I was looking more for his leadership and mindfulness. Maybe I missed most of it between all the stories.

Written by Nigel T on April 13th, 2018

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Excellent book bringing light to the inner workings of a legendary man


Written by Bruce M on February 26th, 2018

  • Book Rating: 4/5

Good book if you are a basketball fan. A great deal of insight into Jackson's handling of various star athletes personalities. Fair amount of insight into basketball strategy and coaching philosophy . Again , a great listen if you love basketball or enjoy sports.

Written by Ronny Juarez on April 17th, 2016

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Absolutely fantastic lessons in leadership and coaching fundamentals

Author Details

Author Details

Jackson, Phil

Phil Jackson is a freelance anthropologist and writer. He has contributed to various magazines including "Sleaze Nation," "Pure," "For Women," and "Penthouse,"