The Wooden's Wisdom Logo

Enjoy and share the Wooden's Wisdom 12-Part Program for Success

Issue 606 - "Encourage Initiative and Expect Excellence" (Liz Wiseman)

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 12 Issue 606
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login



Liz Wiseman is a bestselling author, researcher, and elite leadership coach. In her New York Times bestseller, Multipliers: she researched over 150 leaders worldwide. In her book she describes the leadership style of Steven Spielberg, the most commercially successful movie producer of all time. Both Steven Spielberg and John Wooden: "Encouraged Initiative and Expected Excellence". Wiseman described Spielberg this way:
"People who have worked on Spielberg’s films say, "You do your best work around him." He knows everyone’s job intimately, but he doesn’t do it for them. He tells them that he has hired them because he admires their work. He uses his knowledge of the job and of their personal capabilities to set a standard for demanding their best work.
He comes with strong ideas of his own, but he makes it clear that bad ideas are an okay starting point. He says, "All good ideas start as bad ideas. That’s why it takes so long."
He establishes an open, creative environment, but he still demands extraordinary work from his team. One of his crew members said, "He expects people to be doing their best. And you know it when you aren’t giving your best."
John Wooden encouraged initiative. During games, when the clock was running, he did not tell his players specific plays to run from the bench. He almost never called the first timeout of a game, preferring the players make their own adjustments.
John Wooden expected excellence. I asked UCLA Hall of Fame player Larry Farmer what his thoughts were in the locker room before playing for a National Championship. Farmer replied: "I knew Coach Wooden expected my best effort and I knew he was serious about it. I knew I could do that." Farmer played on three National Championship teams.
Steven Spielberg and John Wooden both: "Encouraged initiative and expected excellence."
What do you encourage? What do you expect?

Yours in Coaching,
Craig Impelman




Watch Video

Application Exercise



It Isn’t Costly

Does the grouch get richer quicker than the friendly sort of man?
Can the grumbler labor better than the cheerful fellow can?
Is the mean and churlish neighbor any cleverer than the one
Who shouts a glad 'good morning,' and then smiling passes on?

Just stop and think about it. Have you ever known or seen
A mean man who succeeded, just because he was so mean?
When you find a grouch with honors and with money in his pouch,
You can bet he didn't win them just because he was a grouch.

Oh, you'll not be any poorer if you smile along your way,
And your lot will not be harder for the kindly things you say.
Don't imagine you are wasting time for others that you spend:
You can rise to wealth and glory and still pause to be a friend.

Edgar Albert Guest (1881-1959)






For more information visit

Enter a list of email addresses, separated by spaces, to send this issue to.

Email a Friend

Return to Issue List

Our Services
Why Wooden's Wisdom
Presentation Team
Wooden's Wisdom Leaders
Leadership Resource Center
Member Login

© Copyright 2024 | # of Times Wooden's Wisdom Issues Opened: 6,713,894

Hosting & Design