Learnings from John Wooden

When was the last time you looked at your peers as competition?  What was the implication or result of doing so?   What was the impact of this on your team?

If you are the leader of an organization, do you support policies that result in your teams working against each other (Ex: may be a policy such as a forced bell curve or forced ranking at end of year)?    

Allow yourself permission to sit still for three minutes and imagine your ideal job and work environment.  Then think about these questions:

  1. What are the values of the organization? 
  2. What is the interaction model?
  3. Are successes celebrated? 
  4. Do people work together on problems?

John Wooden may be the best basketball coach to have ever lived, and in addition to his achievements, he was known for his wisdom.  The following are a few of the principles he lived by: 

  • “It is amazing how much can be accomplished if no one cares who gets the credit.” 
  • “The main ingredient of stardom is the rest of the team.” 
  • “I worry that business leaders are more interested in material gain than they are in having the patience to build up a strong organization, and a strong organization starts with caring for their people.” 

What would we achieve if we nurtured environments that seek and welcome true collaboration vs. seeking one’s own corporate survival?  What could you and your team accomplish this quarter if you were able to truly shift the environment to one where team achievement is greater than a single individual?  What would our organizations looked like if we consistently engaged in constructive behaviors and structured our policies to show that goals can be accomplished, and people are cared for?