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Primal Teams by Jackie Barretta

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CHAPTER 4

Emotional Contagion

Spreading Coherence in a Team

In 1969, two names dominated headlines in the Los Angeles Times: UCLA basketball coach John Wooden and cult leader Charles Manson. That year, Wooden took the UCLA Bruins to one of seven consecutive NCAA basketball championships, a feat no other team may ever match. That same year, Manson ordered his followers to murder actress Sharon Tate and seven other innocent people “as gruesomely as possible.”

Why would I put the names of two such totally different leaders in the same sentence, one a model of coaching excellence, the other an insane killer? Both men inspired a group of people to do something extraordinary. Both understood how both positive and negative emotions spread instantly ...

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