Coach Wooden on Leadership
The following are some notes from a clinic presentation given by John Wooden almost 20 years ago.
The basketball coach must never forget that he is a leader and not merely a person with authority. The youngsters under his supervision must be able to receive proper guidance from him in all respects and not merely in regard to the proper playing of the game of basketball.
Next to their parents, youngsters spend more time with and are more likely to be influenced by their teachers than anyone else, and the coach is the teacher who will provide by far the most influence.
These ideas regarding leadership are from an essay by Mr. Wilfred A. Peterson entitled “The Art of Leadership.”
- The leader is a servant.
- The leader sees through the eyes of his followers.
- The leader says “let’s go!” and leads the way rather than “Get going!”
- The leader assumes his followers are working with him, not for him.
- The leader has faith in people. He believes in them, and thus draws out the best in them.
- The leader uses his heart as well as his head. After he has considered the facts with his head, he lets his heart take a look too. He is a friend.
- The leader plans and set things in motion.
- He is a man of action as well as a man of thought.
- The leader has a sense of humor. He has a humble spirit and can laugh at himself.
- The leader can be led. He’s not interested in having his own way, but in finding the best way.
- He has open mind.
- The leader keeps his eyes on high goals. He strives to make efforts of his followers and himself contribute to the enrichment of personality, the achievement of more abundant living for all, and the improvement of all.