Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Leadership Lessons From John Wooden
It’s been 35 years since John Wooden was on the sidelines, but his commitment to character is as relevant as it ever was.
Steve Jamison, author of best-selling books on John Wooden and Bill Walsh, has spent the past fifteen years working with Wooden on various books on leadership. Jamison writes about Wooden's leadership style, and how critical character is-
Do you need proof that leadership is not about style? The legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden suggests that leadership is influence derived from one’s character. For Wooden, the ideal leader is someone whose life and character motivate people to follow. The best kind of leadership derives its capacity from the force of example, not from the power of position or personality.
Much of what passes as leadership today is nothing more than manipulation of people by sticks and carrots—threats and rewards. That’s not effective leadership for the long-term. Authentic leadership seeks to motivate people from the inside, by an appeal to the head and the heart, not by use of command and coercion. Compliance seldom, if ever, leads to authentic commitment.
Wooden influenced players through the character he displayed in everything he did, from the way he recruited student-athletes to the way he taught them to put their socks on.
For Wooden character is the essential element necessary for great leadership. Steve Jamison, author of best-selling books on John Wooden and Bill Walsh, has spent the past fifteen years working with Wooden on various books on leadership.
“The reason he resonates with people, relate to him is as a teacher, leader, coach, he was extra ordinary and as a person he was even more extraordinary. That’s a tough combination,” Jamison said.
Coach Wooden, as Jamison said, “Didn’t seek players who were characters. He wanted players that had character. Character was something that he felt essential to being a good performer, a good leader. Much of the problems we see today we can lay at the foot of leaders that have little character.”
Posted by Mike Jacobs at 8:36 AM