Wooden: A Lifetime of Observation and Reflections On and Off the Court, by Coach John Wooden
The Value-Add of this Book
If you are a sports fan, ex-athlete, like learning from the best of the best or enjoy the crossover between the lessons learned in sports that can be applied to business, this will be a great read for you. Coach John Wooden won 10 national championships as the head coach of the UCLA men’s basketball team. This book is a deep dive into the values and disciplines that led to UCLA´s unprecedented and sustained greatness. As you will see, those values and disciplines are directly applicable to us as entrepreneurs, business owners and investors.
A Story Worth Hearing
In the book, one of Coach Wooden’s most well-known players, Bill Walton, tells a great story about his first practice with Coach Wooden at UCLA. Bill Walton arrived on campus at UCLA as one of the most highly-recruited high school basketball players in the nation. Nonetheless, his first practice was the same as it was for all other UCLA players: ninety minutes of learning how to put his socks on correctly and tie his shoes to avoid blisters.
According to Walton, the lesson Coach Wooden hoped to instill was that an edge in competition, which we can apply to our businesses, comes from doing the right things consistently over time. Coach Wooden did not want blisters or anything else distracting his players from playing at their very best. The takeaway here, I believe: if you do the little things in your business in a disciplined manner over time the bigger things will be that much easier to achieve. In essence, never forget the fundamentals.
Why You Will Enjoy It
This is a short read that is jam-packed. This is a book that you will want to keep at the top of your reading list for whenever you run into a situation, business, personal or otherwise, that you are just not sure how to handle. It is much more than a basketball book. Rather, it is a guide for setting your values and learning to make decisions in all areas of your life through the prism of those values. It will teach you how values are formed and what values are important.
As entrepreneurs and business owners, we are flooded with data points and things that need to be or should be considered when making decisions for our business. What will this mean to my investors? How will this impact my employees? Is this good in the long-term or simply the short-term? No doubt that this flood of variables can all be overwhelming. This book will serve as a reminder why values are important and that all these decisions we face can often be made much more easily if you let your values guide your outcome. What values are important to you?
How You Will Benefit
If you are like me, you like to learn from the best at whatever they do. Coach Wooden is unrivaled in his field. He credits that success to his commitment to the values of life he set for himself. How much time and effort would you save if you set your own value as a leader and then decided that every decision you made and action you took in your business would have to be aligned with those values and morals? Making tough decisions in our business lives can be easier than we often make them out to be. Read the book. Focus on values-based leadership. Become a person of disciplined decision-making and values in action. This book is going to take your business and success to the next level.