Wooden On Leadership, John Wooden’s 12 Lessons In Leadership, Pyramid of Success, continued, Pyramid, row four: Poise, Confidence


Author’s quotes:


Be yourself. Don’t be thrown off by events whether good or bad.


The strongest steel is well-founded self-belief.  It is earned, not given.

Personal comments:

There are some who think everyone else should be like them.  If you have a strong belief in who you are and what gives you happiness and satisfaction, not at the expense of others, then be yourself.  Numerous times in my life I’ve been told to be “somebody else”.  First that takes a lot of nerve, and secondly they don’t have a clue what makes me “tick”.  I’ve related the story about an old boss who told me I should l should pay more attention to the needs of management.  I told him they already get enough attention.  I want to pay more attention to those below management.  His response was to be prepared to be carried out of the building on my shield with my sword stuck in my chest.  My response, “So be it”.

Poise and confidence go hand in hand.  Earning  “self-founded self-belief” can and does take time.  Being yourself, not trying to be someone your not, not intimidating others, nor trying to, will get you there more quickly.  The school of hard knocks has served me well, and gives me more appreciation for those who know who they are, no what they want (again, not at the expense of others), and are not afraid to express it.

Next: Wooden On Leadership

John Wooden’s 12 Lessons In Leadership

Pyramid of Success, continued

Wooden On Leadership, John Wooden’s 12 Lessons In Leadership, Pyramid of Success, continued, Pyramid, Row three: Condition, Skill, Team Spirit


Author’s quotes:


Ability may get you to the top, but character keeps you there – mental, moral, and physical.


What a leader learns after you’ve learned it all counts most of all.


The star of the team is the team.  ‘We’ supersedes ‘me’.”

Personal comments:

The country is in mental, and moral decline, as indicated by, for example, declining SAT scores, and the breakdown of societal norms. The effect on leadership has been disastrous.  Character and integrity have taken a back seat to political and monetary gain.

For example, a group of citizens assembled to develop plans for a new recreation center in northern Michigan.  I accepted the responsibility of leading the group after the individual who thought of the idea moved out of town (another story that fits here).

After many discussions we realized we were missing a key ingredient; a facilitator with experience in organizing, strategizing, and developing a communication plan for local citizens.

I knew the perfect person for the job because he had developed an excellent program, similar to what we needed, for a company I worked for.   He agreed to meet with the group, and discuss details of our plan.

His presentation made sense to everyone in the room, until he got to the point where he said he couldn’t help us.  His reason, not shared with the group, was his monetary concern on his business.  The idea of a recreation center in the city was frowned upon by one powerful individual who had a different agenda.  It wasn’t a question about helping.  It was a question about how much “could” it affect his business profits.

This situation is not unique.  It is a common occurrence, seen in politicians, corporate board rooms, churches.  It is unfortunate that the true leaders of this country have decided to stay out of the fight.  We are leaderless in the true sense of the meaning, not the one dictionaries try to make it out to be.  I’ve talked about what it truly means in 161 posts (over 67,500 words).  If done correctly it will produce incredible results in morale, productivity, and satisfaction.

Wooden explains it well in simple terms in his definition of Skill.  Almost everyone I worked for never would have understood his definition.  A common retort was, “I know that”, which was far from the truth.

Wooden’s Team Spirit definition is another hard one for our society to understand.  Today, “we” is defined by many as, “what is in it for me”.  For a guy who has studied leadership since the 70’s it makes me cringe!

Next: Wooden On Leadership

John Wooden’s 12 Lessons In Leadership

Pyramid of Success, continued

Wooden On Leadership, John Wooden’s 12 Lessons In Leadership, Pyramid of Success, continued


Pyramid, row two:  Self-Control, Alertness, Initiative, Intentness

Author’s quotes:


Control of your organization begins with the control of yourself.  Be disciplined.


Constantly be aware and observing.  Always seek to improve yourself and the team.


Make a decision!  Failure to act is often the biggest failure of all.


Stay the course.  When thwarted try again; harder; smarter.  Persevere relentlessly.”

Personal comments:

Self control was not an issue with organizations I worked with, except for one.  An individual was feared, and as a result limited the company’s ability to meet schedules, and consistently build quality products.  Why do I say that?  Fear detracts from the focus that is needed for success in life and work.  Fearful people focus on the cause of fear, which, as example, reduces opportunities, increases accidents, and often lessens quality.

Lack of Alertness also limits us, and too often the employee would not seek out educational opportunities.  At other times companies would not encourage employees to increase their knowledge.  Management saw it as an “unneeded expense”.

Initiative, I believe, is quite often related to Social Style (post of 5-20-15).  Analyticals and Amiables, are ask assertiveness which  can, and does, limit their ability to make timely decisions.  On the other hand Drivers, and Expressives (tell assertive), can and do make quicker decisions than were appropriate.  Example of why “team” is an extremely valuable part of a successful organization.  An appropriately assembled team creates a balance of the social styles, and better decisions.

Intentness is a quality not always apparent in companies listed on my Bio.  Well meaning, but lacking common sense, wasting employees’ energy and time that could have been used more effectively.

Next: Wooden On Leadership

John Wooden’s 12 Lessons In Leadership

Pyramid of Success, continued

Wooden On Leadership, John Wooden’s 12 Lessons In Leadership, Pyramid Foundation Blocks

Wooden quote:

“Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable.”

Success travels in the company of very hard work. There is no trick, no easy way.

Strive to build a team filled with camaraderie and respect: comrades-in-arms.

Be true to yourself. Be true to those you lead.

Have utmost concern for what’s right rather than who’s right.

Your energy and enjoyment, drive and dedication will stimulate and greatly inspire others.”

Personal comments:

I found the five, he chose to be the foundation of his Pyramid Of Success, interesting. When I think of my experiences with managers, for those who could or would not grasp the meaning of leadership, their foundation blocks would have looked differently. “Hard work” would have replaced “industriousness”, but in doing so they would have missed the difference in value (nuance) of the two words. Management tends to be authoritarian in speech and behavior, not likely to conger up any or many of the words in Wooden’s foundation (friendship, loyalty, cooperation, enthusiasm). Let that sink in for a moment.

Friendship is defined in many ways. I think Wooden meant it defined as, “a state of mutual trust and support”. This takes some time to accomplish. Personal agendas are more powerful (can be disguised as “friendship”), and leaders need to be aware of the consequences.

Loyalty (building allegiance), requires great patience, great listening skills, desire, and ability. One of my pet peeves are those who think they can build loyalty, but only communicate when it suits them. To build loyalty self-centeredness won’t accomplish it. It requires giving of yourself, meaningfully, at times even when “time” is hard to find.

Cooperation, again, is a term that can be defined to “fit” the managers personal agenda. If you recall, in a previous post, the word was used in the following sentence (by a staff member), “Demonstrates cooperation, internal unity, loyalty to the mission and constancy of purpose.” I commented, “This person was still in the “Win-Lose” mentality.” His definition of cooperation was 180 degrees from mine, and I would suggest Wooden’s as well.

Enthusiasm requires the right person in the right job. We have all had experiences with those who were poorly interviewed, and placed in assignments that did not fit the skills and abilities required for the job. I’ve relayed my personal experience about the time it took for me to find my life’s work. It does not happen quickly, and does require patience, and experience, and sometimes, quite painfully.

Next: Wooden On Leadership
John Wooden’s 12 Lessons In Leadership
Pyramid of Success, continued

Wooden On Leadership, John Wooden’s 12 Lessons In Leadership

Wooden On Leadership

John Wooden’s 12 Lessons In Leadership

Introduction and background on John Wooden (from Wikipedia):

John Robert Wooden (October 14, 1910 – June 4, 2010) was an American basketball player and coach. Nicknamed the “Wizard of Westwood,” as head coach at UCLA he won ten NCAA national championships in a 12-year period, including an unprecedented seven in a row.[1][2][3] Within this period, his teams won a men’s basketball-record 88 consecutive games. Wooden’s streak of seven consecutive NCAA Championships is even more remarkable and impressive because to this day no other coach or school has won the tournament more than two consecutive years.

Wooden was named national coach of the year six times.

John Wooden’s Seven Point Creed,[98] given to him by his father Joshua upon his graduation from grammar school:

1Be true to yourself.

2Make each day your masterpiece.

3Help others.

4Drink deeply from good books, especially the Bible.

5Make friendship a fine art.

6Build a shelter against a rainy day.

7Pray for guidance and give thanks for your blessings every day.

Wooden also authored a lecture and a book about the Pyramid of Success.[99] The Pyramid of Success consists of philosophical building blocks for winning at basketball and at life.

Personal comments:

“Wooden on Leadership” includes, “Pyramid Of Success”, and, “12 Lessons In Leadership”, which will be covered and commented on over the next few weeks.  I found his theories, his persona, and his success to be a great study in leadership.

Next week the foundation’s building blocks for Wooden’s Pyramid of Success will be discussed.  They are:


Next: Wooden On Leadership

John Wooden’s 12 Lessons In Leadership

Pyramid Foundation Blocks