Summary of Wooden on Leadership

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When sports figures write books on leadership, they often take the easy route - athletic metaphors, game time war stories, tenuous applications of sports experiences to business. This refreshing book breaks through such superficial ideas as decisively as a dunk by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in his prime. Ten-time national champion UCLA basketball coach John Wooden - generally considered the greatest college basketball coach to ever hold a clipboard - delivers a leadership book that stands alone at center court. Remarkably, none of Wooden’s players recall him urging them to win. Instead, he urged them to do their best every moment. Take care of the process, he says, and the result will take care of itself. To Wooden, preparation is pivotal and every detail matters. Despite his almost obsessive focus on getting the little things right, Wooden believes in balance and consistency. He avoids extremes. Wooden’s long-time collaborator and co-author Steve Jamison does a wonderful job of portraying, through the coach, a range of qualities, philosophies and characteristics that apply to every field. strongly recommends this book to managers and executives who want to know how to lead people to victory in every game.

About the Authors

Legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden won 10 NCAA national championships. During his 41-year coaching career, he tallied four perfect seasons, and was named Coach of The Century by ESPN. Steve Jamison is a best-selling author who has been a longtime Wooden confidant and collaborator.



A Fond Farewell

Fabled basketball coach John Wooden knew it was time to consider retirement when he became a celebrity. Once, when he joined a group of coaches to speak to an audience, the emcee asked him to wait outside the room, away from the other coaches on the dais, so he wouldn’t cause a disturbance. His fame was such that the audience would be distracted if he was visible in the auditorium and that would detract from other coaches’ remarks. Wooden, the son of a humble farmer from Centerton, Indiana, never wanted to be a celebrity distraction.

Wooden lived his life based on the principle that balance is essential. Mind, body, spirit and career - all must be kept in balance. As much as he loved daily basketball practices, being a celebrity wasn’t for him. Having guided UCLA (the University of California at Los Angeles) to 10 national basketball championships, he retired. It marked the end of an era.

However, retirement was also a new beginning for Wooden, an opportunity to share the leadership secrets that made him the greatest coaching legend in college basketball.

Humble Beginnings

Wooden got his first coaching job at Dayton High School in...

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