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The Essential Wooden: A Lifetime of Lessons on Leaders and Leadership Hardcover – January 5, 2007
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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."
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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If you are in a leadership position (people mgr, coach, head of household, etc), then I would say this is one of the best books on leadership ever written. I read >20 business books a year so that is not a statement I say lightly, including many other ones that has greatly shaped me as Ken Blanchard's Leadership at a Higher level, etc. However, Wooden's book here stands out like a tall mountain, in that he goes straight to the point, bares his heart & values in full transparency, and is genuinely unselfish in sharing his wisdom. Other books tend to glorize the author and his/her book concepts too much, but in this book Wooden shares it without any attempt to bask himself in the spotlight. Jamison does a great job in the writing style of this book and I wished more business/leadership books were like this. His points are easy to understand, stimulates thoughts in your own situations, and made me hungry to read more. In the end of this short book, I found his words helped me improve my leadership styles/skills greatly, identified gaps where I need to improve, and overall more inspired to be the best leader I can be - which is precisely what coach Wooden set out to do. This is an invaluable book that clearly communicates what this great man believed in - that all of us owes ourselves to give 100%, and be the best we can be. As leaders we need to teach that to our team, and if we do that effectively, winning will come as a byproduct automatically.
highly recommended. I can't say more.
"If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?"
"It's what you learn after you know it all that counts"
"Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out."
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. If you appreciate, as I do, that the coaching profession has produced some of the greatest leaders of the last century and you want insight from one of the best of the best, you'll appreciate this book.