Wooden on Leadership: How to Create a Winning Organization

Wooden on Leadership pdf

Download Wooden on Leadership – Wooden on Leadership is a compelling look inside the mind and powerful leadership methods of America’s coaching legend, John Wooden

“Team spirit, loyalty, enthusiasm, determination. . . . Acquire and keep these traits and success should follow.”
–Coach John Wooden

John Wooden’s goal in 41 years of coaching never changed; namely, to get maximum effort and peak performance from each of his players in the manner that best served the team. Wooden on Leadership explains step-by-step how he pursued and accomplished this goal. Focusing on Wooden’s 12 Lessons in Leadership and his acclaimed Pyramid of Success, it outlines the mental, emotional, and physical qualities essential to building a winning organization, and shows you how to develop the skill, confidence, and competitive fire to “be at your best when your best is needed”–and teach your organization to do the same.

Praise for Wooden on Leadership

“What an all-encompassing Pyramid of Success for leadership! Coach Wooden’s moral authority and brilliant definition of success encompass all of life. How I admire his life’s work and concept of what it really means to win!”
–Stephen R. Covey, author, The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People and The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness

Wooden On Leadership offers valuable lessons no matter what your endeavor. ‘Competitive Greatness’ is our goal and that of any successful organization. Coach Wooden’s Pyramid of Success is where it all starts.”
–Jim Sinegal, president & CEO, Costco

Reviews – Wooden on Leadership

Review

Wooden on Leadership is one of the best leadership books I have ever read. The two themes I like most are below and then my top 20 highlights from the book are provided.

Theme 1 – One of the primary things I like about Wooden’s leadership style is that he believes in maintaining emotional control at all times. He wants intensity not emotionalism and there is a difference.
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Comments – Too many times I encounter leaders that actually prohibit effectiveness because they have not managed to control their emotions. Unfortunately the media, especially the sports media mistakenly regularly convey that emotional displays or outbursts are leadership in action.
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Theme 2 – Wooden believes the best leaders are lifelong learners.
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Comments – This is absolutely true, but the challenge we have is making time for the learning. Leadership training and reading books on leadership is not primarily about getting new techniques. If you are experienced often you know the majority of what’s out there. Leadership training and reading books on leadership is about regulating behavior. We read the leadership books and take the training to assure we are performing according to what we know. I cannot even tell you how many times someone has come up to me after a leadership class and said some form of “you reminded me of many things I know and used to do but I had gotten away from them.” Leadership is a skill that involves fundamentals and subtleties and without continual review performance suffers. Professional sports teams don’t just practice the skills and plays they already know to occupy time, if they don’t practice what they already know performance suffers. They have to make time for practice. Learning is not just the acquisition of new knowledge it is also the reinforcement of what we already know. We have to make time for it. What was the last leadership book your boss read? What was the last leadership book you read?
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My top 20 highlights from Wooden on Leadership
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1. Mutual respect and camaraderie strengthen your team. Affection, in fact, may weaken it by causing you to play favorites.
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2. First and foremost, you are their leader, not their buddy.
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3. As a leader you must be sincerely committed to what’s right rather than who’s right.
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4. For many years I’ve described one of the differences between a good leader and a prison guard is cooperation. When you carry a rifle it is unnecessary to listen…
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5. Self-Control in little things leads to control of bigger things. For example, the reason I prohibited profanity – a small issue – during practices was because it was usually caused by frustration or anger. I felt that a player who couldn’t control his language when he got upset during a scrimmage would be more likely to lose control in more damaging ways during the heat of competition – fouling, fighting, or making other poor decisions that would almost always hurt the team.
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6. Hesitancy, indecisiveness, vacillation, and fear of failure are not characteristics I associate with good leadership. I told our team many times: “Be quick, but don’t hurry.” By that I meant to make a decision, take action, decide what you’re going to do and do it. Keep this word of caution in mind: “Failure to act is often the biggest failure of all.”
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7. Mistakes, even failure, can be permissible so long as they do not result from carelessness or poor preparation
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8. “The one who once most wisely said, ‘Be sure you’re right, then go ahead.’ Might have added this to it, ‘Be sure you are wrong before you quit.’”
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9. The best leaders are lifelong learners, they take measures to create organizations that foster and inspire learning throughout. The most effective leaders are those who realize it’s what you know after you know it all that counts most.
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10. Benjamin Franklin understood its value quite well: “Genius is nothing but a greater aptitude for patience.”
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11. “I will not like you all the same, but I will love you all the same. And whether I like you are not, my feelings will not interfere with my judgment of your effort and performance. You will be treated fairly. That’s a promise.”
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12. Nobody cares how much you know (until they know how much you care).
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13. That’s when I began announcing that the team members wouldn’t be treated the same or alike; rather, each one would receive the treatment they earned and deserved.
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14. Do not equate professional expertise with your ability to teach it.
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15. I prize intensity and fear emotionalism. Consistency in high performance and production is a trademark of effective and successful organizations and those who lead them. Emotionalism destroys consistency. A leader who is ruled by emotions, whose temperament is mercurial, produce a team whose trademark is roller coaster-ups and downs in performance; unpredictability and un-dependability in effort and concentration; one day good, the next day bad.
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16. …emotional control is a primary component of consistency, which is in turn a component of success.
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17. A volatile leader is like a bottle of nitroglycerine. The slightest knock and it blows up. Those around nitroglycerine or a temperamental boss spend all their time carefully tiptoeing back and forth rather than doing their jobs. It is not an environment, in my opinion conducive to winning organizations.
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18. Managing egos-the over- and underinflated, the forceful and the fragile- is one of the greatest challenges facing any leader.
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19. Explain to each team member precisely how his or her contributions connect to the welfare and success of the entire organization.
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20. PRIVATE AND PUBLIC PRAISE – Acknowledging top producers does not always have to be done publicly It is often effective for a leader to praise their outstanding performance when others are not around. It gives the “superstar” deserved recognition without creating resentment. Conversely, praise for those in lesser roles is often maximized by doing it in a more public manner.

Dr. James T. Brown, Author,
The Handbook of Program Management

Review

ohn Wooden had an unparalleled record of success as a basketball coach. Sporting News called him the greatest coach ever, and ESPN named him the Coach of the Century. That’s not why I read his book.

Two people I respect, Michael Wade and Ken Downer, said Wooden on Leadership was a great leadership book. Michael even put it on a par with Peter Drucker’s Effective Executive.

I confess I was leery about a leadership book written by a basketball coach. I worried it would be filled with sports analogies. I should have trusted my friends’ judgement. Wooden on Leadership is a great leadership book. There are two reasons I think you should read this leadership book, even if you have a bunch of other leadership books under your belt.

Reading this book is like talking to a thoughtful expert practitioner. There’s no leadership voodoo, no talking about leadership as if it was a mystical calling. Instead, it’s principles and practice. There are several places in the book where Wooden shares things he did that didn’t work or that he was ashamed of. I don’t know any leader who doesn’t have things like that, and it gave the book a good feel.

You can put Wooden on Leadership to work today. I don’t care where you work. It doesn’t matter that it’s been a decade since John Wooden died, and a half century since he was the coach at UCLA. The world is very different. Your business is probably very different from college basketball, but you can use this stuff.

In A Nutshell

Wooden on Leadership is a thoughtful, expert practitioner’s observations about how to do a good job as a leader. If you haven’t read it yet, buy it and read it. If you have read it, go back to it from time to time.

Review

This is an extraordinary book on leadership. The typical ones might advocate not sweating on the small stuff, Wooden would emphasize the importance of paying meticulous attention to pertinent details and handle them with balance; while others mentions the power of sincere praises, Wooden expands it further by adding the importance of flexibility and so on. The chapters on the importance of managing time, and dealing with fate are some uncommon but useful topics not covered very well by other books on leadership that I have read.

From the Back Cover

A compelling look inside the mind and powerful leadership methods of America’s coaching legend, John Wooden

Praise for Wooden on Leadership:

“What an all-encompassing Pyramid of Success for leadership! Coach Wooden’s moral authority and brilliant definition of success encompass all of life. How I admire his life’s work and concept of what it really means to win!”
–Stephen R. Covey, author, The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People and The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness

Wooden On Leadership offers valuable lessons no matter what your endeavor. ‘Competitive Greatness’ is our goal and that of any successful organization. Coach Wooden’s Pyramid of Success is where it all starts.”
–Jim Sinegal, president & CEO, Costco

John Wooden’s goal in 41 years of coaching never changed; namely, to get maximum effort and peak performance from each of his players in the manner that best served the team.Wooden on Leadership explains step-by-step how he pursued and accomplished this goal. Focusing on Wooden’s 12 Lessons in Leadership and his acclaimed Pyramid of Success, it outlines the mental, emotional, and physical qualities essential to building a winning organization, and shows you how to develop the skill, confidence, and competitive fire to “be at your best when your best is needed”–and teach your organization to do the same.

Though he was better at it than almost anyone in American history, building a sports dynasty was never a goal for UCLA head coach John Wooden. Rather, it was Wooden’s passionate desire to teach his players how to become the best team they could be. To Wooden, “Competitive Greatness” was a tangible and teachable force.

One of the lesser-known aspects of Wooden’s career is the private notebooks in which he regularly recorded his observations, goals, and leadership concepts as they applied to basketball, success, and life.Wooden on Leadership draws from those personal notes to share practical and powerful leadership skills that anyone can use to improve performance and overcome self-imposed limitations.

Wooden on Leadership contains the best of Wooden’s observations, covering everything from teamwork (“It takes 10 hands to score a basket”) and self-control (“Emotion is the enemy”) to concentration (“Don’t look at the scoreboard”) and dealing with defeat (“Things turn out best for those who make the best of the way things turn out”). Featuring pivotal moments in Wooden’s own leadership journey, it explores the 15 fundamental leadership qualities–building blocks–of his famous Pyramid of Success, illustrating their relevance in building a winning organization. Each chapter concludes with Wooden’s “Rules to Lead By,” point-by-point action steps covering the chapter’s key concepts. along with pivotal moments in his own leadership journey.

“On Wooden” summary sections throughout the book feature penetrating insights on Coach Wooden’s leadership methods from players and coaches who worked with him during his career, including All-Americans Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Gail Goodrich, and David Meyers and assistant coaches Denny Crum, Gary Cunningham, and Eddie Powell. As participants and contributors to Wooden’s legacy, their words provide a revealing and personal perspective.

Wooden on Leadership reveals the leadership wisdom of John Wooden. It presents the core concepts, methods, and beliefs that Wooden used to teach his teams how to attain Competitive Greatness, and true personal success.

Table of Contents


Preface……………………………………………………..xi
Prologue: The Joys of My Journey ………………xiii
PART 1 THE FOUNDATION FOR MY LEADERSHIP
INTRODUCTION……………………………………3
1 THE PYRAMID OF SUCCESS ………………..16
2 THE PYRAMID’S SECOND TIER …………..31
3 THE HEART OF THE PYRAMID…………….41
PART 2 LESSONS IN LEADERSHIP…………………………59
4 GOOD VALUES ATTRACT
GOOD PEOPLE……………………………………..61
5 USE THE MOST POWERFUL
FOUR-LETTER WORD …………………………80
6 CALL YOURSELF A TEACHER ………………92
For more information about this title, click here
7 EMOTION IS YOUR ENEMY ………………107
8 IT TAKES 10 HANDS TO SCORE
A BASKET…………………………………………….117
9 LITTLE THINGS MAKE BIG
THINGS HAPPEN………………………………..135
10 MAKE EACH DAY YOUR
MASTERPIECE ……………………………………153
11 THE CARROT IS MIGHTIER
THAN A STICK ……………………………………165
12 MAKE GREATNESS ATTAINABLE
BY ALL ………………………………………………..178
13 SEEK SIGNIFICANT CHANGE …………….192
14 DON’T LOOK AT THE
SCOREBOARD ……………………………………209
15 ADVERSITY IS YOUR ASSET………………..219
PART 3 LESSONS FROM MY NOTEBOOK ………………233
EPILOGUE Some Things Don’t Change ……………………..289
Index ……………………………………………………293

PREFACE : Wooden on Leadership

Dr. Albert Einstein and Coach John Wooden share a similar brilliance; specifically, both mastered the complicated art of keeping it simple. For Dr. Einstein, the complexities of nuclear fusion were summed up in the elegance of a simple equation: E = MC2 . For Coach Wooden, 10 national championships are summed up in the simplicity of an elegant formula: 10 = C + F + U (Conditioning + Fundamentals + Unity). Simple as that. Only not so simple. Having seen the equations of each man—one a master of science, the other of leadership—you are no closer to being able to create atomic energy than to winning 10 national championships. To truly comprehend the substance of what their formulas represent is perhaps a lifetime’s work. Thus, this book will save you time when it comes to identifying and implementing John Wooden’s leadership genius in ways that best suit your own organization. Having worked with Coach Wooden for many years on several books and projects, I hear this question: “What’s his secret? How did he do it—10 national championships (a record), including seven in a row (a record); 88 consecutive victories (a record); 38 straight tournament playoff wins (a record); four perfect seasons (a record) with only one losing year—his first—in 41 years of coaching? How did he do it? How did he set all those records?”

Here is the answer: Coach Wooden taught good habits. That’s it—that’s the answer. John Wooden taught good habits to those under his leadership at Dayton [Kentucky] High School, South Bend Central High School, Indiana State Teachers College, and, of course, UCLA. All along the way he kept teaching good habits until eventually he became one of the best builders of winning teams the world has ever seen. The exact nature of those “good habits” and how you can incorporate them with your organization is the subject of Wooden on Leadership: How to Create a Winning Organization. As John Wooden takes us through the evolution of his education as a leader and the philosophy he developed for creating successful teams and organizations, you will see that, like the formula 10 = C + F + U, it is straightforward—deceptively so. Move past the equation, delve deeper, and the text of his good habits curriculum becomes the inculcation of values, knowledge, team spirit, discipline, consistency, standards, ideals, balance, character, details, hard work, love, self-control, loyalty, diligence, and more, including how to put on your socks in the most effective manner. And that’s what makes John Wooden’s “secret” so compelling: The qualities and characteristics he possesses and has taught to his teams—those good habits and how you teach them—are available to everyone. There is no patent pending, copyright law, or No Trespassing sign that prohibits use of his leadership “secrets.” In the vernacular of the Internet, it’s “open source code” or, as he writes so directly, “All you need is the will to look hard enough within.” What he taught and how he taught it is now available to all; and all of it is available in the pages of this book, Wooden on Leadership. Steve Jamison

Prologue: Wooden on Leadership

THE JOYS OF MY JOURNEY

Leadership offers its greatest reward beyond that of simply achieving supremacy over the competition. At least, this was true for me. The joy and great satisfaction I derived from leadership—working with and teaching others, helping them reach their potential in contributing to the team’s common goals—ultimately surpassed outscoring an opponent, the standings, even championships. It certainly surpassed the public attention that comes with achievement. In fact, it was the hoopla and attention accompanying UCLA’s success in basketball that perhaps drove me away from coaching. On Saturday night, March 29, 1975, UCLA played Louisville in the semifinals of March Madness at the San Diego Sports Arena. Going into the game, I had every intention of remaining as head coach at UCLA for two, possibly three more years. Some say they knew otherwise—that I’d indicated I would leave the Bruins at the end of the season. Well, maybe they knew, but I didn’t. What happened happened quickly and with no warning. After the final buzzer, when Louisville Coach Denny Crum and I had congratulated each other on a nearly perfect game, I turned toward the pressroom for the usual postgame interview.

But something came over me that I had never felt before in 41 years as a coach. I had the strongest feeling—almost revulsion— that I couldn’t go through it anymore: the questions and answers, the never-ending speculation and examination; the crowds and all the folderol that had become such a disproportionate part of my daily life. Not just from reporters doing their job, but from the outside world. While it’s true I appreciate recognition for a job well done, just like anybody else, UCLA’s success in basketball had created something I never aspired to, and didn’t want, but eventually couldn’t get away from, specifically, such overwhelming attention, inspection, and curiosity that it became more than an irritation. It was deeply disturbing. I felt more and more that crowds were closing in and enveloping me. I seemed to be constantly surrounded. This great frenzy of activity and attention was more than unwelcome; it was unnatural. At one coaches’ conference I was asked to stand outside the meeting hall before I spoke, so as not to take attention away from the other coaches who were also guest speakers. I had become a distraction, a disruption, someone who needed special handling—a coach separate from other coaches. I was a celebrity who genuinely had never wanted to be one. I only wanted to be a coach among other coaches, a teacher among teachers. Now, I was being asked to stand outside the door while the coaches, teachers, and leaders gathered within, without me. If this had happened in a dream, I would have said upon waking that I’d just had a terrible nightmare. What was happening, however, wasn’t a dream. What am I? Just a teacher—a member of one of the great professions in the world. My teaching had accomplished good things, but in the process it had created a level of attention that eventually drove me away. Wooden on Leadership

I had to get out, but perhaps I didn’t even know it until seconds after I shook Coach Crum’s hand following that semifinal game. Minutes later I told our team that our upcoming game would be my last. Many times I have suggested to interested observers that if I ever met a magical genie who could grant me two wishes, I knew what they would be. First, for those many coaches whom I respect and have warm feelings toward I would wish each one a national championship. For those few coaches for whom I have less-than-warm feelings, my wish would be that they win many national championships. However, in truth, I’m not sure I would wish that on anybody. Balance is crucial in everything we do. Along with love it’s among the most important things in life. I strove for balance in my leadership and coaching and taught that balance was necessary for Competitive Greatness: The body has to be in balance; the mind has to be in balance; emotions must be in balance. Balance is important everywhere and in everything we do. Unfortunately, over the last years of my coaching at UCLA things had gotten out of balance. Perhaps my subconscious mind figured out that the only way to regain the balance I required personally and professionally was to leave the game I love. In fact, if the genie had given me a third wish, I might have requested that the folderol disappear but the practices remain. Those practices were where my teaching, coaching, and leadership existed in a wonderful and pure form, free from folderol. What occurred in the practices is what gave me joy and satisfaction—teaching others how to bring forth the best of which they are capable. Ultimately, I believe that’s what leadership is all about: helping others to achieve their own greatness by helping the organization to succeed. How you accomplish that—at least, how I approached leadership—is the subject of this book. It was a privilege to have been in a leadership position for 40 years. I miss the excitement of being on that practice court working hard with our team in pursuit of Competitive Greatness— “being at your best when your best is needed.” To me, that is the most exciting part of being a leader: the journey to become the best of which you and your team are capable. I miss the joys of that journey very much but take comfort in the fact that this book may provide some ideas useful in your own leadership journey. If it does, I’ll be very pleased. I offer you best wishes all along the way. Coach John Wooden

About the Author

Author Profiles
John Wooden (1910-2010), guided the UCLA Bruins to ten NCAA basketball championships over a 12-year period, including four perfect seasons and an 88-game winning streak. He was named ESPN’s “Greatest Coach of the 20th Century” and voted “#1 Coach of All Time” by The Sporting NewsSports Illustrated said it best when they said: “There’s never been a finer man in American sports than John Wooden, or a finer coach.” In 2003 John Wooden was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Steve Jamison is America’s foremost author and authority on the life and philosophy of John Wooden. Mr. Jamison is a consultant to the UCLA Anderson Scool of Business’ John Wooden Global Leadership Program. He has collaborated with Coach Wooden on an award-winning PBS presentation as well as several books, including the classic book on teaching and mentoring, Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections.

Download: Wooden on Leadership

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