If I Was Running A Company…John Wooden

It is sad that John Wooden passed away before hitting 100.  The basketball and business world will miss him.  I can talk about his contributions in basketball, including being the first to go to the Basketball Hall of Fame as a player and coach. However, his success was well beyond the basketball court.

On top of this post is John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success and the statement that defines the Pyramid of Success.  It was a leadership tool of where you at within and the people you are surround either by family, friends, or co-workers.  What I’m amazed with Wooden is not the result, but how he got the result.

In the sports and business world, organizations are worried about the bottom line.  If you win, you stay, if you lose, your job is on the line.  John Wooden never thought about the wins and losses.  What Wooden wanted his players and coaches to focus on the process of getting better.  Wooden’s philosophy is if you thinking about winning or losing, you’re never going to get better.  Wooden wanted to start on the fundamentals first, then work your way up.  When the fundamentals are set, then focus on the little things that can yield to the big picture.  This is what we’re missing in business: people focusing too much on the result and not enough on the process.

Why do you think John Wooden was successful all throughout life?  He wanted to teach and hope his players/employees execute and teach their people to be leaders.  What John Wooden miss was not the fame, money, or the championships, but the practices to see if the players got better everyday.  Too bad the business world is results-driven.  If organizations enjoy the process of being a business, I do not know how many successful organizations we have in this world.  This is why businesses can’t succeed because of raw talent, they need to learn the process of being an all-around business person.  Skill is very important (as it is the heart of the pyramid), but, you must have the mental and physical abilities before heading up to the middle row.

When you head back to work on Monday, think about where you and your organization is heading.  Do not think about the result, think about the process.  If you’re at a dead-end, then find another route (basically another job or a different staff). If there’s light through a dark area, figure out what needs to be done.  One bad thing should be view as an obstacle, not the nail in the coffin.  There are many routes to choose from, but it’s ultimately you and your organization’s decision to choose what path you head.

What John Wooden wants us to think that the championships, accolades, and fortune are great, it’s the journey, the marathon, the contest, and the process that made him live and work for a long time.  If you enjoy the journey, you will reap life/career’s rewards, however it is shaped.

R.I.P Wizard of Westwood.

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