John Wooden's Pyramid of Success greg bustin executive leadership blog

John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success

  1. March 31st, 2015  | 

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Published in Leadership

The Final Four is approaching and even though UCLA was defeated in the Sweet 16 round, it’s appropriate to recall former UCLA coach John Wooden’s thoughts on leadership. The school’s iconic basketball coach helped UCLA win 10 NCAA national championships in a 12-year period, including an unprecedented seven championships in a row.

Wooden believed his primary job with his student-athletes was as a teacher.

His views on life, sportsmanship and success were shaped by his father who said, “Don’t worry about being better than somebody else, but never cease trying to be the best you can be.”

As a young coach, Wooden began writing down his views about success and, more importantly, how to achieve it. Over the next 15 years, Wooden shaped his ideas into his famous “Pyramid of Success.”

Here are seven of my favorite John Wooden gems on leadership, self-improvement and success:

➢ “The best way to improve the team is to improve yourself.”

➢ “It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.”

➢ “Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.”

➢ “Goals achieved with little effort are seldom worthwhile or lasting.”

➢ “If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?”

➢ “Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”

➢ “Success is never final, failure is never fatal. It’s courage that counts.”

If you’re a leader in your organization, it means you’re also a coach. How’s your team doing under your leadership?

About the Author: Greg Bustin advises some of the world’s most admired companies and leaders, and he’s dedicated a career to working with CEOs and the leadership teams of hundreds of companies in a range of industries. He’s facilitated more than 250 strategic planning sessions, he’s delivered more than 600 keynotes and workshops on every continent except Antarctica, and he coaches leaders who are inspired to take their career to the next level. His fourth leadership book— Accountability: The Key to Driving a High-Performance Culture (McGraw-Hill) —is a Soundview Executive Best Business Book.

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