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Issue 240 - The Leader can be Led

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 5 Issue 240
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login



Johnson and Smith huddled around the company water cooler griping about their new boss Mr. Williams. “Williams is the worse boss we’ve ever had,” complained Smith, “he won’t listen to anybody.”
Mr. Williams might have been the boss but he was not a leader. He did not fit the leadership model as described by Wilford Peterson in his essay the Art of Leadership:
The leader sees through the eyes of his followers.
The leader can be led. He is not interested in having his own way, but in finding the best way. He has an open mind.
Coach Wooden described a leader this way:
Simply and plainly defined, a leader is a person who has followers. The leader deserves to have followers. Authority alone is not enough to gain respect.
Cooperation differentiates a leader from just a “person with authority”. A good leader does not have need to be right all the time or always have all the answers. A good leader loves the phrase what do you think? The good leader can be led.
A good leader creates an environment of lifelong learning not only for himself but also for everybody within the organization. Coach Wooden did this not only by the example he set but also by always being open-minded and encouraging suggestions.
Coach Wooden's assistants were excited about learning new ideas because they knew that when they presented them, Coach would listen and consider implementing those suggestions.
In Coach Wooden’s book, Wooden on Leadership, with Steve Jamison, Hall of Fame Coach and former Coach Wooden assistant Denny Crum describes working with Coach:
Coach Wooden never thought he knew everything. In spite of the fact that he’d been winning championships every year—four or five of them when I got there as an assistant coach—he wanted to keep learning and improving as a coach and leader.
As Coach liked to say, A leader destined for success asks, "What can we do to improve?" A leader destined for failure says, "That's the way it's always been done."
As technology continues to make business processes faster and more complex, it is critical that leadership has a well defined, consistent process to get detailed feedback from team members regarding what’s working, what’s not working and what can be improved.
With regard to learning and leadership, Coach put it this way: A leader who is through learning is through. And so is the team such a leader leads. Great leadership requires a strong will, humility and an open mind; a diverse but powerful combination.
What key ideas from your team members have you implemented to improve performance?

Yours in Coaching,
Craig Impelman
Twitter: @woodenswisdom




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Application Exercise

Favorite Poetry


Some Favorite Thoughts from Coach Wooden’s Library

 When I am up against a tough situation, if I can do anything about it, I do it. If I can't, I just forget it. I never worry about the future, because I know no man living can possibly figure out what is going to happen in the future. There are so many forces that will affect that future! Nobody can tell what prompts those forces-or understand them. So why worry about them?

K.T. Keller

It is better to try to bear the ills we have, than to anticipate those which may never come.

Francois de La Rochefoucauld

Happy the man, and happy he alone,
he who can call today his own:
he who, secure within, can say,
Tomorrow do thy worst, for I have lived today.

Horace (65 to 8 BC)

Always hold fast to the present hour. Every state of duration, every second is of infinite value…I have staked on the present as one stakes a large sum on one card, and I have sought without exaggerating to make it is as high as possible.

Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe







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