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The Essential Wooden: A Lifetime of Lessons on Leaders and Leadership Hardcover – January 5, 2007


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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

“A sure winner! The Essential Wooden presents the basics of leadership as taught by one of America's great leaders, John Wooden. His observations and conclusions about success and competitive greatness are as brilliant as gems--and just as valuable.”
--KEN BLANCHARD, coauthor of The One Minute Manager® and Leading at a Higher Level

The Essential Wooden is vintage Coach Wooden and a great book for all managers who want to become more effective. Coach Wooden's values and methods will lead to lasting, positive results.”
--JEFF HENLEY, Chairman of the Board, Oracle Corporation

“It has been my privilege to have several conversations with John Wooden. Every time I learn and grow from that experience. It is now your turn to receive nuggets of wisdom from this wonderful teacher. Each page of The Essential Wooden will benefit you and your organization.”
--JOHN C. MAXWELL, author, speaker, and founder INJOY Stewardship Services and EQUIP

“A wonderful exposition of commonsense leadership from an uncommon leader--John Wooden. His legendary achievements stem from his 'old-fashioned' values. In The Essential Wooden he reveals how his character and skills were honed and how they apply in the 21st century. Required reading for anyone who aspires to being a great leader.”
--STEPHEN R. COVEY, author, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness

"There is nothing fancy in what I teach about team building--nothing that requires a special gift, privilege, or access to power. Rather, it requires dedication to certain principles and concepts, which I include in this book."
--John Wooden

The Essential Wooden is the ultimate collection of Wooden's opinions and observations on achieving exceptional leadership in any organization, with 200 invaluable lessons for inspiring championship performance.

Coach Wooden offers his hard-won wisdom on building an organization that performs at its full potential under pressure, from preparing and training the team to instilling personal drive and dedication. He takes his famous Pyramid of Success to the next level, filling the entire book with his straight-shooting personality and keen insight on human nature.

Wooden shares rarely seen preseason letters to his players, revealing how he instilled productive attitudes and winning ways. He also includes previously unpublished analyses from former players and managers, including Bill Walton and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

From Wooden's earliest days as a leader through his legendary UCLA dynasty, The Essential Wooden distills a lifetime of learning into the leadership playbook for the twenty-first century.

About the Author

John Wooden (1910-2010), guided the UCLA Bruins to ten NCAA basketball championships over a 12-year period, including four perfect seasons and an 88-game winning streak. He was named ESPN’s “Greatest Coach of the 20th Century” and voted “#1 Coach of All Time” by The Sporting News. Sports Illustrated said it best when they said: “There’s never been a finer man in American sports than John Wooden, or a finer coach.” In 2003 John Wooden was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Steve Jamison is America's foremost author and authority on the life and philosophy of John Wooden. Mr. Jamison is a consultant to the UCLA Anderson Scool of Business’ John Wooden Global Leadership Program. He has collaborated with Coach Wooden on an award-winning PBS presentation as well as several books, including the classic book on teaching and mentoring, Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 188 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (January 5, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071484353
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071484350
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.9 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,184 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 37 customer reviews
Super book with many of John Wooden's quotes.
BB1
Very informative ,loved the advice,lessons and wisdom for living a successful life from a life well lived.
Steven Stegman
The book is an easy read, and very well written.
J. Silva

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Monty Rainey VINE VOICE on February 1, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When it comes to leadership and team building, few professions compare with the ranks of organized sports coaches. From the ranks of coaching we have been given a vastness of leadership training with which to shape and improve our lives. Every venue of athletics has made its' coaching contributions. From football, we have the hard nosed precision of Vince Lombardi and the stoic presence of Bear Bryant. Baseball has given us the lighthearted leadership of Casey Stengal and the chess game cunning of Jim Leyland. Boxing has produced such brilliant motivators as Lou Duva and the no-nonsense yet compassionate Eddie Futch. And basketball has been no exception from the explosive emotionalism of Bobby Knight to the intensity of Pat Summitt. But even among such greats as these, when it comes down to success, few can even be mentioned with the name of John Wooden.

His leadership and team building philosophy differs from many, lacking the emotionalism and intensity of what coaches typically display, and I wont go so far as to say Wooden's methods are better, but they certainly proved to be a championship building formula for him. In fact, Wooden even guarded against allowing emotions to reign supreme in his players.

The book focuses primarily on Wooden's 15 component Pyramid of Success. Wooden explains why each component is a part of the pyramid and why it is located where it is within the pyramid. There are also bits and pieces of letters to his teams as well as brief comments from his former players throughout the book.

I don't believe this is the best book with Wooden's name on it, but it is certainly, as expected, filled with sage advice ranging from simple profound statements to more complex principles of leadership, team building and ultimately, success.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Bernie L. Malonson on January 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover
If you are looking for a good introduction to keys of legendary UCLA coach John Wooden's success, look no further. Much has been written about Wooden over the years. The Essential Wooden breaks it down in a simple format.

The book is a quick read and can be finished in an evening.

To quote Wooden, "Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming."

You can summarize it this way, the key to success is working hard on your own skills and abilities, and working toward constant improvement. That is in many ways the same secret to the success of companies like Toyota and Honda, continuous improvement and a focus on the team.

What's great about this book is that Wooden has had time to reflect on his achievements and successes. Wooden strikes me as a humble and honest man. When he says his focus was on each member of the team pushing themselves to the limit, exceeding their own expectations and focusing on being the best they can be, not winning, I believe him.

Wooden briefly discusses his Pyramid of Success,and it's 17 steps. These are mutually supporting building blocks of a successful mindset and they are not complicated. Industriousness, self-control, poise, etc.

Wooden's genius is building it into a system, that proved itself many times over.

Success takes work, a fact that is lost on many today.

My Highest Recommendation, and a book I look forward to reading again.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J. Silva on July 16, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Here is a book that is sure to inspire you. From the first pages it grips you, then keeps your attention until the very end. Wooden's philosophy emphasizes that sucess is not measured in "bottom-line" results -- such as games won, sales figures, or other analogous metrics -- but rather on reaching the maximum potential one can achieve -- either individually or as a team. The measure of this becomes self-evident through honest preparation, intensity of practice, selflessness, and so-on. End results, then, are simply byproducts of hard work that was paid up front. Other discussions center around concepts of teamwork, and how to handle people. These have value for everyone, not just leaders and players.
The book is an easy read, and very well written. You won't be disappointed with this one.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Steve Amoia on August 19, 2008
Format: Hardcover
He was born in a small town within a state that was a hotbed for basketball. Reading this short but informative book, one gathers that Mr. Wooden never lost sight of his roots. Life lessons from his father, Joshua, seemed to present him with a blueprint of hard work, discipline, common sense, courtesy, repetition, organization, and self-confidence. Ultimately, being respected as the premier coach in his chosen field. "UCLA" entered the American sports lexicon for perpetual excellence.

While the theme is basketball and leadership, Coach Wooden weaves personal stories, along with insightful reflections by several of his former players, to make this a very entertaining and educational book. He stresses the importance of the team over the individual in very clear language. He provides many examples of this aspect in a respectful yet enlightening tone. This book was structured like one of his legendary and intense practices: Every page was scripted for efficiency and future reference. At his core, Coach Wooden was the consummate teacher.

One quote, among many others, sums up this book for me: "I rarely scouted other teams. Except for UCLA." He believed that the real competition occurs from within, even though he maintained a healthy respect for his opposition. He also stressed that coaches and bosses should lead by example. Kareem Abdul Jabbar, one of his most famous student athletes, said, "He was 40 years older than us, but he was out there on the floor demonstrating what he wanted."

Thank you for the opportunity to review this intriguing book by one of our greatest teachers of teamwork and leadership.
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