Given that he is the only college-level coach to have won 10 NCAA National titles, the leadership style of John Wooden has been subject to a great deal of study and praise. Books have been written on his leadership style, and a wide range of individuals have counted Wooden as one of their personal heroes.
There is no question that the leadership style of John Wooden is one that has the potential to produce definitive, positive results.
The Leadership Style Of John Wooden
Although entire books have been written to deconstruct the leadership style of John Wooden, it is possible to understand his approach to leadership by keeping a number of key points in mind:
1. Wooden utilized his leadership style in the creation of his Pyramid of Success. This is a fifteen-step system that breaks down the fundamentals of his core leadership principles. This system has been studied and applied by coaches in both collegiate and professional sports.
2. Wooden’s leadership style understood that in order for the team under his management to succeed, it was crucial to foster the belief in each athlete that they were capable of succeeding.
3. Wooden believed that everyone on his team had the capacity to compete, realize their full potential, and contribute to the greater good of the team. He brought this approach as directly to his star players as he did to the ones sitting on the bench.
4. Wooden’s leadership style understood that in order to get others to follow, it was important to have a strong degree of self-confidence. Believing in oneself was critical to getting others to believe in direction.
5. Wooden didn’t want to be surrounded by people who would agree with him absolutely on every single point. He sought out the best people possible to be part of his team, even if that meant working with individuals who might have differing opinions.
6. Throughout his career, John Wooden displayed a considerably impressive ability to visualize success, to the point of being able to use it as a source of personal inspiration. This visualization tool was then used to inspire and direct others to the overall vision of the team.
With a track record such as his, it’s hard to find fault with the leadership style of John Wooden. His career highlights speak for themselves. They point to a brand of leadership that was clearly capable of making promises and delivering on those promises. His career continues to serve as an inspiration to many.