This past Friday the world of coaching lost its greatest titan. Legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden quietly passed in Los Angeles, he was 99. Wooden became an icon leading the Bruins to an unprecedented 10 National Championships in the 1960s and ’70s (yep 10, in 12 years mind you). This past weekend saw a remarkable outpouring of memories, and the respectful remembrance of the inspiring Wooden inside and out of sports.
Wooden was an astoundingly prodigious leader and educator, building his dynasty on a foundation of simplistic precepts. His book Pyramid of Success has been advocated for decades by leaders of every variety. Wooden was a steward of meticulous preparation, and preached the perfection of details.
The first practice of each season, the coach famously would remind his players about pulling on socks smoothly and carefully lacing sneakers — he would allow no excuse for debilitating blisters (now that’s a detail!). Many urged him to copyright the pyramid for years, but Wooden refused feeling such things were not to be kept from people, rather they should be shared indiscriminately. A lesson we can all learn from.
Wooden was a true example of a life of service. A luminary leader who knew that leadership is not always rousing speeches from pulpits, but quiet whispers of guidance and support.
“It isn’t what you do, but how you do it.” John Wooden-
All my best,