A few years ago I learnt about John Wooden. Considered by many as the greatest basketball coach of all time. He had an extraordinary leadership style which transcended the game of basketball. I devoured several books on this great man and it has impacted how I do what I do now.
He saw his job as an opportunity to mentor the men in his team. Winning basketball games was merely a result of Wooden working with them to become better people.
“Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.”
― John Wooden
“Never try to be better than someone else. Learn from others, and try to be the best you can be. Success is the by-product of that preparation.”
― John Wooden
There are only 5 people in a basketball team with a few reserves. Wooden consistently mentored these small teams year after and has now positively influenced millions of people. How is this possible? It was not through quantity but by the quality of his character and consistency.
Every day at my cafe I have a small group of people volunteering. Most of them struggling with some sort of disadvantage. Years ago I started taking this opportunity to train them with hospitality skills so they could become great baristas. More than that I now do what I can to help them as people. To teach them, encourage them & help them make the best choices possible. Great coffee is merely a by product of them seeing their potential as people.
This picture on the right is a photo of my team sitting down reading the 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People together. With the common goal of learning together and encouraging one another to reach the potential. Allocating time for “Personal Development” is not uncommon in today’s workplace. I guess what’s unusual for us is in that photo is the most diverse group of people you could possibly put together: an ex-con, a middle aged woman, a paranoid schizophrenic, a personal trainer… to name a few. Your background or your current level of ability does not prohibit you from advancing forwards unless you allow it.
This week most likely you will be around a team in your workplace. You may not be the CEO. Your current position does NOT matter. You have the opportunity to encourage the people around you, educate them as best you can and empower them. Just as Wooden did. What you do is irrelevant. HOW you do it can have an immeasurable impact
If you want to read more about John Wooden I recommend starting with “Coach Wooden’s Pyramid of Success: Building Blocks For A Better Life“.