Leadership Lessons from the Rise of Gonzaga Basketball

Thursday, March 24, 2022
Matt Santangelo

Matt Santangelo

Territory Business Manager
Baxter International


Former Gonzaga Basketball standout, Matt Santangelo, joined CEOtoCEO to share stories and key leadership lessons he's learned throughout his basketball career and how they relate to business leaders today.

Matt focused on how those lessons, and his relationship with the sport of basketball, have enabled him to be successful in basketball and in his career.

Matt benefitted from working with several great coaches at Gonzaga, including Dan Fitzgerald, Dan Monson and Mark Few. One of Matt's early lessons came from Coach Fitzgerald- "No One is Bigger than the Program, No One."

Matt learned that while no one is bigger than the organization, team, program, or family, you can have a positive impact on the program with your individual contributions. This lesson is applicable to individuals, businesses, and teams, every day.

Basketball taught him that you have to take risks and he shared the importance of practicing to take risks. However, you need to feel good about what happens, while being prepared to lose too. Matt learned that you win or you learn, there is no losing.

Coach Few was able to instill in Matt, the importance of empowering the people around you. He set a winning expectation, and empowered his players to figure out ways to do it.

Coach Few empowers players to have a voice, to step up, and holds people accountable. An important lesson that business leaders can utilize to enhance team and individual performance.

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