"Coach" at Purdue Coach John Wooden Coach on the sidelines at UCLA game
Wooden Way Leadership

A Business Management Seminar Based on the Leadership Principles of the "Coach of the Century"


Seminar Description

Who Should Attend

A Sampler of Principles

A great leader cannot worry about being liked

An argument can be made that leadership is all about allocating limited resources.   And not all decisions related to those allocations will be popular, or embraced.

As Andy describes in "BQBDH," he felt betrayed and angered over his disappointing career at UCLA, and from his perspective, for good cause. 

Andy was an all-city player in Los Angeles, averaging over 27 points per game in his senior year.  He had many schools knocking at his door, but he ultimately chose UCLA because of its leader.  And after being Co-MVP of the freshman team in 1968-69 (along with Henry Bibby), he had every reason to believe that he would be a one of the program's building blocks for the future. 

Yet, his hopes and expectations never materialized because he did not make the "rotation" at the varsity level.  Thus, he spent the majority of his varsity experience as a practice player and game spectator. 

For Andy, it was a crushing blow, only somewhat softened by the fact that UCLA won the national championship in each of those three years.

Andy was not alone in his experience.  There were other players who had limited minutes, for reasons beyond competition.  In fact, Coach Wooden referred to the bench as an "ally" in that he often (or as needed) sent players there to reflect upon failed execution or selfish play. 

When one is in a position of authority, it is incumbent to make decisions with the Coach's values of initiative, poise, and confidence as part of the process.  There is no room for egos and politics. To this end, one must stay above the fray by exemplifying trust and integrity. While the leader who acts in this regard cannot be insured of being liked by his subordinates, she/he can be assured of being respected. 

...For as the Coach, an admirer of Abe Lincoln and Mother Teresa says," You control your character; others hold your reputation."