The Wooden's Wisdom Logo

Motivate Your Team! Cheer Up A Friend! Inspire Yourself!

Issue 616 - "Pursue Perfection Without Tension" (Liz Wiseman and John Wooden)

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 12 Issue 616
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, Wiseman describes how a leader can have the good quality of being a perfectionist but get the bad result of creating tension for the team:
"The leader with perfectionist tendencies is ineffective when he just offers helpful critiques and points out little mistakes and flaws. While he is offering these suggestions for improvement, he is envisioning a masterpiece in the making, an A+ grade on an important assignment.
But, while he sees an A+ in progress, others see nothing but red marks all over their work. They can easily become disengaged and disheartened.
A better approach is to define the standards of excellence up front. Let people know what outstanding looks like and define the criteria for completeness. Ask people to self-assess by the standards.
Sometimes a 90 percent solution executed with 100 percent ownership is better than getting it 100 percent right with a disengaged team."
In his book Wooden, with Steve Jamison, Coach Wooden described his approach to the pursuit of perfection with his players:
"Perfection is what you are striving for, but perfection is an impossibility. However, striving for perfection is not an impossibility. That was my challenge to them: how close can we get to perfection? When individuals are sincerely motivated to take up that challenge, the results are astonishing. The players were charged with trying to improve a little each day, trying to get closer to becoming their best.
I removed stress - the kind that comes from a fear of losing or an overeager appetite to win - by focusing exclusively on improvement and teaching the team that ongoing and maximum progress was the standard, our daily goal."
Is your team collaborating with you to strive for perfection or just following your instructions?

Yours in Coaching,
Craig Impelman




Watch Video

Application Exercise



The Beauty Places

Here she walked and romped about,
And here beneath this apple tree
Where all the grass is trampled out
The swing she loved so used to be.
This path is but a path to you,
Because my child you never knew.

'Twas here she used to stoop to smell
The first bright daffodil of spring;
'Twas here she often tripped and fell
And here she heard the robins sing.
You'd call this but a common place,
But you have never seen her face.

And it was here we used to meet.
How beautiful a spot is this,
To which she gayly raced to greet
Her daddy with his evening kiss!
You see here nothing grand or fine,
But, Oh, what memories are mine!

The people pass from day to day
And never turn their heads to see
The many charms along the way
That mean so very much to me.
For all things here are speaking of
The babe that once was mine to love.

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: 6,893,066

Hosting & Design