Wooden on Leadership: How to Create a Winning Organizaion Hardcover – Apr 26 2005
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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.
About the Author
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 News. Sports 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.
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What we have in this volume is an on-going narrative provided by Coach Wooden during which he shares everything he learned about achieving and then sustaining excellence. Of special interest to me is the series of "On Wooden" commentaries which include those provided by Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Denny Crum, Gary Cunningham, Gail Goodrich, and Lynn Shackleford. Although the specifics vary from one to the next, all of their authors agree on Coach Wooden's greatness both as a coach and as a man. One of the most interesting anecdotes is provided by Eddie Powell, who played on the South Bend Central High School varsity team which Wooden coached. The bus was about to depart for a game against Mishawacka High School. The co-captains were absent.
Coach Wooden asked the driver what time the bus was scheduled to leave. "6 p.m., Coach, same as usual."
"Well, what time is it?"
`It's exactly 6 p.m., Coach Wooden."
"Well, that's what my watch says, too. I guess it must be 6 p.m...Let's go."
The bus left without the two most important players on the team. One of them was the son of a vice principal at South Bend Central, "the kind of a person who could create job problems for Coach Wooden. From that, we learned that Coach wasn't kidding: Be on time." Indeed meet all commitments to the team and especially in the classroom and to one's family. "We found out later that the co-captains had skipped our game with Mishawaka to go to a dance." Presumably everyone who played on U.C.L.A. basketball teams also soon learned that, when he explained what he expected of them, "Coach wasn't kidding."
With all due respect to his extraordinary success in basketball, I am convinced that John Wooden could have become a great leader in almost any other profession. Fortunately, as Steve Jamison observes, "The qualities and characteristics he possesses and has taught to his teams -- those good habits and how you teach them -- are available to everyone." Hopefully, decision-makers in the business world, public service, and the military will read this book so that they, also, are at all times a "leader" worthy of service to those entrusted to their care.
Wooden on Leadership takes a revealing look at how that philosophy evolved, the mistakes he made along the way, how he corrected those mistakes and the regrets he has today. A high point for me came from seeing his notes during the years that the philosophy evolved.
You still feel like you are dealing with a saint, but a saint who (like Paul when he was Saul) started out with some imperfections that you may recognize in yourself.
I came to appreciate several dimensions of the Wooden philosophy that I hadn't understood before. Here is my new learning:
1. Focus on helping each player become the best they can be in contributing to the team, and help the players understand how they can and are contributing to the team.
2. Attract people with good values who are eager to improve in team contributions.
3. Set a good example.
4. There are no little things. Everything is important.
I hope that anyone who ever coaches children's or school sports will read this book and be encouraged to become a better leader. Even if you coach fencing, you can learn a lot from this book!
As a result, the differences often come down to leadership. There's something that makes one coach consistently a winner. And John Wooden's record of 10 NCAA national championships in twelve years is nothing less than outstanding. That alone qualifies his thoughts on leadership to be worth noting.
He breaks down the route to success into a pyramid of skills, attitudes and abilities. This simplifies the understanding of what constitutes success and allows the route to success to be analyzed from many views. From this foundation Mr. Wooden outlines his principles for finding the champion in individuals and in teams.
This book shows that in addition to knowing how to coach, Mr. Wooden knows how to write and how to move his views to a field broader than sports.
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