INsights: From The Wizard of Westwood
by Bill Simmel

March 2nd, 2014   •   Comments Off on INsights: From The Wizard of Westwood
by Bill Simmel
INsights: From The Wizard of Westwood<BR> by Bill Simmel

“It’s not so important who starts the game but who finishes it.”

Coach John Wooden, a.k.a. the “Wizard of Westwood,” is best known for his 27-year legacy at UCLA, where he led the Bruins to 10 NCAA national championships, and for coaching basketball legends such as Bill Walton and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Many consider Wooden the best basketball coach in the history of the sport. But his words and practices about what it takes to win don’t just apply to the basketball court; they apply to all areas of life – especially entrepreneurship. Even though Coach Wooden was known for his simple and old school approach to practice and playing, the results speak for themselves. While, the man leaves us with a basketball legacy his philosophies can be taken from the court to the boardroom.

This man knew how to win.

With over 620 wins during his career as a UCLA coach, John Wooden knows what success looks like.

But how does he define it?

“Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do the best of which you are capable.”

The definition satisfied Wooden for a short while, but he quickly realized it was insufficient. He needed something more concrete – more visual. So he spent the next 14 years identifying 25 behaviors he believed were necessary to achieve his idea of success. This search culminated in a simple but profound diagram Wooden called “The Pyramid of Success”, which he completed in 1948. Almost 7 decades later these foundational behaviors have weathered the test of time – unchanged, full of wisdom, as rock-solid as the first day Coach established the cornerstones of Industriousness and Enthusiasm.

John Wooten Pyramid to Success

 Click  Image to Enlarge

One of my favorite John Wooten Quotes Is,

“Whatever you do in life, surround yourself with smart people who’ll argue with you.”

When you think about this Wooden quote and apply it to the business world, consider this – This is not about getting caught up in criticism and flattery. Sure, it’s great to have everyone in agreement with your ideas and plans, but it’s better to have them challenged before money and time are invested and wasted.This is where a few trusted advisors can come in handy, along with a thick skin on your part. Remember, it takes confidence to listen to someone’s honest opinion, but it’s well worth it.

Lastly, I will leave you with this Wooden Quote:

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

-Bill Simmel

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