Thursday, July 29, 2010

Lessons from Westwood

Although I had heard the name many times through the years, I didn't really "discover" legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden until he died earlier this summer.  It was only then that I began reading about him and realized what a great man he was and what wonderful lessons could be learned from his life, especially in the area of leadership.  Wooden was meticulous in every way, with a constant drive toward excellence both on and off the court.  Leaving nothing to chance, he kept very detailed records of every practice, and reviewed them years later to assess what worked and what didn't.  He also kept a reflective journal, reviewing whether any given day had been transformed into a masterpiece. I guess you could say his methods worked - at least if you use national championships and deep personal relationships as a measuring stick.

For the next few weeks, I would like to focus on the leadership traits of John Wooden.  In the meantime, I invite you to consider purchasing the book Wooden on Leadership, authored by Coach Wooden along with Steve Jamison.  It is one of the most practical leadership books I have ever read, and should occupy a prominent place in every leader's library.