Extreme Dreams Depend on Teams by Pat Williams

About the Author:

Pat Williams is the senior vice president of the NBA’s Orlando Magic. He is a popular motivational speaker averaging over 150 appearances a year. Williams has spent 45 years in professional baseball and basketball as a player and executive. He served as general manager of the 1983 world champion Philadelphia 76ers and managed the Chicago Bulls and Atlanta Hawks.

Williams is the author of 55 books. He and his wife, Ruth, are the parents of 19 children, including 14 adopted from four nations. He and his family have been featured in such diverse publications as Sports Illustrated, Reader’s Digest, Good Housekeeping, The Wall Street Journal, and Focus on the Family as well as all the major TV networks. Pat and Ruth recently received an award from the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute for their efforts in adoption.

To learn more about Pat Williams, visit http://www.patwilliamsmotivate.com/

About the Book:

Human beings are designed for teamwork, and teamwork is the only way to make seemingly impossible dreams and bold visions come true. Lance Armstrong won the Tour de France seven consecutive times, not by himself, but with the backing of his coaches, mechanic, and teammates. Charles Lindbergh may have been called “the Lone Eagle” because of his 1927 solo flight across the Atlantic, but he assembled a first-rate team to make his dream possible.

In his new book, Extreme Dreams Depend on Teams (Center Street, July 22, 2009), Orlando Magic co-founder and Senior Vice President Pat Williams says that teamwork is the key to making extreme dreams a reality. Named one of the 50 most influential people in the NBA (National Basketball Association) after following his dream and helping to build the Orlando Magic from the ground up, Williams gives inspiring accounts of the power of teamwork—many of them personal—in a book that leadership guru Patrick Lencioni calls “the most comprehensive and interesting collection of wisdom on teamwork I have ever read.”

In Extreme Dreams Depend on Teams, Williams points out that extreme dreams are only fulfilled when teams are led with characteristics like respect, empowerment, commitment, trust and passion. “Once you put teamwork into practice in your organization, these principles will begin transforming everything. They will transform how you view the world, including our society and its problems, and the political and environmental issues we face…you’ll begin seeing the world through a lens of extreme dreams, extreme possibilities, and the power of teamwork,” says Williams.

I was fortunate enough to get Pat to agree to an interview. This is what he had to say:

Could you please tell us a little about your book?

This book dares readers to uncork their imaginations and aim for the stars. What's the most far-out, impossible dream you can imagine? For Walt Disney, it was a magical theme park called Disneyland. For Danny Thomas, it was the St. Jude Children's Hospital. For me, it was an NBA franchise in central Florida called the Orlando Magic. All of these were once extreme dreams. Today each one is a reality. These extreme dreams were all made possible by the power of teamwork.

Dream the most extreme dream you can imagine, dare to set a seemingly impossible goal—then make your dreams come true through the power of teamwork!

What cause are you most passionate about and why?

Literacy. Author Rick Warren tells us that over half the world is illiterate. That’s frightening. Over three billion people unable to read. Really, there is no difference between the person who can’t read and the person who won’t.

What are you currently working on?

I’m writing a book about former NBA coach and Basketball Hall-of-Famer, Chuck Daly. Chuck had wonderful wisdom principles, and I am writing a leadership-based book based on Chuck’s various philosophies. It will be a terrific read.

Do you have any advice for writers or readers?

Start writing. Everyone has a book in them, but it’s never going to come out until you start writing. First-time authors have got to produce the entire work to have any chance of being published. I do recommend a young publisher in Charleston who will work with you to get your book published now – he can make things happen. Get a hold of Adam Witty of Advantage Books. A great young guy who you will enjoy working with.

Is there an author that inspired you to write?

Jerry B. Jenkins, co-author of the Left Behind series, walked into my office almost 40 years ago when I was the manager of the Chicago Bulls and said, “I want to write a book with you.” it happened a few years later; Jerry and I wrote eight different books together. He’s my publishing hero.

What do you feel sets this book apart from others in the same genre?

This book focuses on using teamwork for solving human problems. Football coach Bill Curry talks about something he calls "the miracle of the huddle." When a team goes into the huddle, the players transcend all superficial differences, such as race and class and background. None of those things matter. They are bonded together. They are focused on one goal. They are a team.

This book teaches how to transcend our petty differences and work together for the benefit of all. That's why teamwork is the ideal means of solving all the problems that plague the human race.

Teams enable people to work together and achieve goals that would be out of reach for individuals—and even for superstars. Kobe Bryant and LeBron James can't win championships by themselves. Even a superstar needs a team. Teamwork multiplies abilities and strengths. Teamwork enables individuals to complement one another and compensate for one other's weaknesses.

The heart of teamwork is synergy. When we work together as a team, we magnify each other's abilities, multiply each other's strengths, and compensate for each other's weaknesses.

Are you a different person now than you were 5 years ago? In what way/s?

Five years ago I was the same person I am today except for three things: the people I have met, the books that I have read and the places I have been. I’ve met a lot of people, read a lot of books and been a lot of places.

What is the most important lesson you have learned from life so far?

Don’t waste your sufferings. Don’t wait for the storm to pass; dance in the middle of the rain.

What is your favorite past-time?

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