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Podcast #434: Legendary Coach John Wooden’s Secrets of Leadership | The Art of Manliness

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John Wooden has been called the greatest coach of all time. During his tenure as coach of the UCLA men’s basketball team from 1948 to 1975, he led his team to four undefeated seasons and ten national championships, seven of which happened in consecutive years.

But the funny thing is, winning wasn’t John Wooden’s goal as a coach. That was simply a happy byproduct of the ultimate aim he set for his team both on and off the court — to perform their very best in whatever they did.

My guest today had the pleasure of working with Coach Wooden while he was still alive on several of Wooden’s books about teaching and leadership. His name is Steve Jamison and today on the show, Steve shares some of Wooden’s best nuggets of wisdom on the pursuit of excellence. We begin our conversation discussing Coach Wooden’s definition of success and why winning wasn’t a part of it. Steve then shares how Wooden was able to impart his vision to his team so effectively through his quiet, but intense court presence. Steve then digs into Wooden’s famous Pyramid of Success and why his folksy, almost quaint advice resonates so much with people. We end our conversation discussing how Wooden kept a check on big egos on his teams, and kept success from going to his own head as well.

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