Sports Illustrated once noted about John Wooden: "There has never been a finer coach in American sports. Nor a finer man." Wooden, the beloved UCLA men's basketball coach, died at the age of 99 in June.
John Wooden's communication style was markedly different than say Pat Summit, another personal favorite. Wooden tried to make each day his masterpiece and coached by the Golden Rule. Coaching was the path of service to mankind for Wooden and effective teamwork was a hallmark of his coaching. He also had a fondness for maxims. A few of my favorites include:
- Do not mistake activity for achievement.
- Things work out best for those who make the best of the way things work out.
- A player who makes the team great is better than a great player.
- The best way to improve the team is to improve you.
John Wooden knew leadership required self reflection, personal growth, and practice. If you want to learn more about Wooden's legacy, check out the new title, The Wisdom of Wooden, and his children's picture book, Inch and Miles, which also has a message for adults.