Missouri basketball coach Haith speaks to business students about leadership

Thursday, September 6, 2012 | 9:46 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Aamer Trambu, a second-year MBA student at MU, entered Bush Auditorium in Cornell Hall like he does every week to listen to another guest speaker. He was eager to hear what Thursday's speaker, Missouri men’s basketball coach Frank Haith had to say.

Trambu went up to the coach before the event started to shake his hand and thank him for speaking.

The Trulaske College of Business Speakers Series brought in Haith to speak about leadership in a talk titled “Uncaged Leadership: The Story of the 2011-2012 Mizzou Basketball Season.” There were only a few empty seats in the auditorium.

Haith spoke about when he was hired in April 2011 to replace well-liked coach Mike Anderson, who left the program to take over at his alma mater, the University of Arkansas.

“I wasn’t exactly the popular pick. There wasn’t a ‘Haith Train’ rolling through Columbia,” Haith said.

Haith had been a surprise choice and fans weren't thrilled by the pick. But Haith was adamant in his talk that he couldn't control what other people thought and had to start working immediately.

Haith also talked about recruiting, his players and other basketball matters during his presentation. But there was little boasting about the Tigers' 30-5 run last season in his first year as coach.

“He seemed like a real down-to-earth guy, really genuine,” Trambu said. “I hope he stays that way.”

In the question and answer segment at the end of the session, Haith was asked how someone that has had success maintains it.

“Success is not owned, it is rented every day,” Haith said.

Haith went on about how Kim English and Marcus Denmon were the team leaders last year. He said Denmon led by his actions, staying humble and showing the guys how to behave — a trait Haith seems to possess himself.

Haith had one definitive word on leadership: consistency. His team was consistent in their preparations for every game. Haith said he needed to instill a routine to bring his new team together, and being consistent was his way of leading.

His message seemed to hit its mark.

Trambu said in the past he has tried to be a good leader by being flexible. But Trambu, who said he is not a basketball fan, found Haith's consistency model appealing.

"I want to try out being a consistent leader," he said.

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