Better late than never….
A little over a year ago, I finally (not being a basketball fan) discovered John Wooden. I happened to see Bill Walton on Charlie Jones Live to Tape* — and the way Bill talked about Coach Wooden — WoW!! This started me on my search.
Here is leadership the way it is supposed to be, hate-free, which sadly, I haven’t seen demonstrated very much in most of the leaders whom I have known personally. Why is Godly leadership so rare in America? I recently wrote this article at ONEcanhappen, thinking hate is a huge reason why. Hate destroys leaders’ ability and right to lead: The Boot-Camp Factor: The Hate & Anger Factory Where Men are Programmed to Kill and Then Become Our Dads?!! Our Pastors?!!! Let’s Get Free to Bring in the True Kingdom!!!!!!!
Finally, I found the gold standard — a man who not only did it, but skillfully explains how to do it (he started out as an English teacher).
I watched everything I could find (on TV, DVD and online), and then I sat down and carefully read his book, Wooden on Leadership, cover to cover, small pieces at a time, actually underlining and marking about 1/3 of it. I highly recommend this book!
I’m amazed at this man: his heart; his genuine love for others, wishing them all (black or white) to succeed in life (not just in the game); being firm when he knows he’s right, but always open to hearing about or seeing a better way to do it; his thorough research, being willing to try new things; etc..
What a man. No wonder why his players still love him so! He was way more power-under than power-over. And he was so careful, thinking out every aspect which he painstakingly implemented.
But John Wooden wasn’t born “no hate.” He gives a few examples in chapter 7 in Wooden on Leadership. Early in his career, he said he made a decision about a player that still bothers him to this day, because he reacted out of emotion instead of doing the right thing. And on one occasion, he actually punched out the opposing coach in response to the false accusations and string of expletives that coach was spewing at him. But coach Wooden learned from his mistakes. He not only learned to control himself externally, but also internally — not even thinking hateful thoughts.
Coach John Wooden is an example to us all! He deserves this award. What a heart of gold!
“Success is peace of mind, a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming, and not just in a physical way: seek ye first the kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be yours as well.”
– John Wooden (source)
John Wooden is clearly a Christian.
Jeff Fenske : )
* sadly I just learned that Charlie Jones has passed away. I also very much enjoyed Charlie’s interviews with ‘the gold standard,’ himself and also Ken Blanchard.
From: AP, UCLA’s Wooden honored as sports’ greatest coach
John Wooden’s friends, family and former players all say they didn’t need an award from a national magazine to confirm the identity of the greatest coach in American sports history.
Yet the Sporting News made it official Wednesday, recognizing the 98-year-old Wooden as the pinnacle of a profession that was redefined by the UCLA coach over his unmatched career in Westwood.
During a luncheon in the John Wooden Room at one of his favorite restaurants in Sherman Oaks, the coach saw the real reward for a life spent teaching, mentoring and improving lives: A room packed to overflowing with the recipients of those lessons, from his daughter, Nan, to current UCLA coach Ben Howland, to former Bruins center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. …
“He was the greatest teacher ever. His integrity, the way he lives his life, is a model for all of us.” …
“The most important thing in the world is family and love,” Wooden said. “Love is the most important thing in the world. Hate, we should remove from the dictionary. … They say you never use love in your Pyramid (of Success). I just say I never thought of it.”
Get The Pyramid of Success at
Coach Wooden’s Site
It may not contain the word, ‘love,’
but certainly contains the concept!