Ken Carter, the title character of the 2005 hit movie, Coach Carter, offers advice on how to be successful in life in Yes Ma’am, No Sir: The 12 Essential Steps for Success in Life. In 1999 Carter drew harsh criticism from some and praise from others when he locked out the Richmond High School Boys basketball team he coached, for failing to perform to the academic standards he mandated. At the time the team was undefeated. Forcing the team to focus on their education instead of solely on basketball garnered national attention.
Twelve chapters indentify the elements Carter deems necessary for success. Each chapter focuses on a different step. Filled with accounts from his life, Ken Carter uses each story as an opportunity to teach a lesson. Carter, who prefers to think of himself as a teacher rather than a coach, provides encouragement throughout the text, along with a road map to victory. Just when you think Coach Carter has given all of the gems he has to give he closes the book with an additional chapter that offers 12 more tips for success.
His methods are straightforward and his tone is that of a father earnestly trying to impart wisdom. There is a refreshing honesty in the way he speaks to the reader. He actually seems to care about the success of others. Carter doesn’t just spout phrases and tell you to believe them because he is “Coach Carter”. He explains why each step is important and how it has impacted his success and the success of his players.
“These steps, worked together, promote a life of achievement and honor and business practices that will maximize you and your company’s success and growth. My life is living proof of it.”
Yes Ma’am, No Sir: The 12 Essential Steps for Success in Life
By Ken Carter