All-In Person of the Week: Pat Summit

"My parents taught me a long time ago that you win in life with people. And that's important, because if you hang with winners, you stand a great chance of being a winner."  No one in college sports knows more about winning than Coach Pat Summit. She is the all-time winningest coach in NCAA basketball--male or female.

She won eight national championships as the women's head coach at the University of Tennessee, 16 regular-season Southeastern Conference championships and 16 SEC tournament titles.

During her tenure as Head Coach, Tennessee never failed to reach the NCAA tournament, never received a seed lower than No. 5. Her teams reached the Final Four 18 times, which ties the UCLA and North Carolina men for the most all-time by a college basketball program.

Coach Summit never had a season with a losing record. Her teams won1,098 games and lost 208 for an impressive .840 average. Coach Summit knows about winning. She has surrounded herself with winners on her teams, and her teams have won big.

After 38 years as the Head Coach, this week Coach Summit became the team's Head Coach Emeritus. Later this year, she will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Coach Summit revealed last summer that she had been diagnosed with early-onset dementia, Alzheimer's type. She has shown the same determination, attitude, and grace regarding her health as she has shown regarding the impact she's had on women's athletics.

Congratulations to Coach Pat Summit for being All-In on and off the basketball court.

(Sources: ESPN and

All-In All Star of the Week: Elena Delle Donne

In a time when many young, pretty co-eds opt for fame over family and everything else...when being famous is a more common goal than being talented...when shady character is the foundation for a fan base, it is refreshing to meet Elena Delle Donne.

Elena Delle Donne is worth knowing. As Robin Roberts of ABC's Good Morning America said, "She chose family over fame and achieved both."

In 2008, Elena was the top woman's high school basketball player in the country. She signed to play at the University of  Connecticut, the #1 program in the country. After moving to the university from her home in Delaware, Delle Donne stayed just two days. She left school, left the team, and left town.

Many girls her age dream of being a celebrity on television all the time, but Elena gave up the chance to be a star at UConn. She was skewered in the media for leaving the program without publicly explaining herself.

She moved to the University of Delaware, just twenty miles from her family's home. It turns out, the reason she left Connecticut was to be closer to her family, especially to her big sister. Her older sister, Lizzie, was born deaf, blind, autistic, and with cerebral palsy. Elena says Lizzie is the strongest person she knows. Although she gave up several national championships, Elena says, "National championships are huge and every team wants one, including Delaware, but there's a lot more to life than basketball. Lizzie is my role model, my angel, my everything."

At a time when frivolous people are celebrated, Elena Delle Donne is gaining fame by being true to herself, by seeing the bigger picture of life, by being All-In.

Enjoy this video, from ABC News. You will be glad to know about Elena Delle Donne, the All-In All Star of the Week.

Since basketball is part of the story, you might enjoy knowing that Delle Donne and her team earned the first post-season victory ever by a Delaware basketball team when they beat Arkansas-Little Rock 73-42 last Sunday.

Third-seeded Delaware (31-1), ranked # 8 in the Coaches Poll, won its 21st in a row. The only game they lost the whole season was December 29, 2011.

They made it through the first round on the NCAA tournament but lost to Kansas Tuesday, ending the season 31-2. Delle Donne had 34 points in that game and remains the nation's leading scorer. She's only a junior, so maybe she'll be the All-In All Star of the week a year from now.

Way to go, Elena Delle Donne! Congratulations to you, your family, and all the Blue Hens and their fans!

Do you pay employees to watch March Madness?

Whether you like it or not, chances are your employees, coworkers, and peers are being paid to watch college basketball this month. If you work at ESPN or Sports Illustrated, that might not surprise you, but if you work in non-sports related fields, the amount of lost productivity might be jarring.

Outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. estimates that March Madness could attract more than 2.5 million online visitors per day, each spending an average of 90 minutes watching games. Challenger estimates in their somewhat tongue-in-cheek annual March Madness report that employers will end up paying distracted workers about $175 million over the first two full days of the tournament. (SOURCE:  Challenger, Gray & Christmas march 1, 2012 Press Release)

In addition to Challenger Gray's estimation, an MSN survey revealed 86 percent of respondents said they plan to devote at least some time during their work day to follow games, scores and updates.

Obviously, March Madness is not going to be the downfall of the American economy.

Just as obvious is the fact that workers are distracted from their jobs for the next few weeks. It might be time to embrace the Madness and plan for it.

  • Are project timelines going to be jeopardized? Perhaps they could be adjusted? Or, extra quality control measures might need to be activated this month.
  • How could you benefit from the tournament? Use it as a bonding experience within the office. Schedule game watches over lunch or after work, stream score updates, create your own tournament using company trivia instead of basketball. Or, hold your own basketball tournament.
Anticipate the productivity loss, monitor it so it does not get out of control, and embrace it if you can. As an All-In leader, if your employees love college basketball and get wrapped up in it, don't fight their enthusiasm. Capture it!