After the recent passing of John Wooden I was reflecting upon the legacy this incredible man left in his wake. The legacy goes way beyond winning championships. John Wooden’s life is a powerful example of servant leadership and the power of investing your life in the lives of others so that they may become successful.

Watching all the stories about his life and the impact he had on so many lives through the years is an inspiration to us all. He was first of all a Christ follower who preached his sermons with the integrity of his life lived before all who knew him. His humble servant attitude despite all his accomplishments is a great example for all of us to follow.

Recently I posted a summary of his 21 Secrets to Great Leadership as revealed by one of his former players,  Andrew Hill.  As I reflected back on reading this book today I thought of how great a testimony of John Wooden this book actually is. Andrew Hill is not a household name to most sports fan like Bill Walton or Kareem among others that Wooden coached over the years, but he is one of John Wooden’s former players. A player who never played a great deal during the dynasty years, but who learned far more sitting on the bench than he ever fully realized until years later. Andrew has become successful in life and career and he attributes the foundation of his success to the leadership lessons learned while playing for Wooden.’s book review sums up the story very nicely here:

“John Wooden was named ESPN’s Coach of the Century for the way he led his UCLA basketball team to the top of the sporting world in the 1960s and ’70s. Andrew Hill was a rebellious and sparingly used reserve on the squad before becoming a successful television executive. While it’s doubtful that either would have predicted it at the time, the lessons imparted on the court by Wooden eventually helped Hill reach the top of his profession. And in Be Quick–but Don’t Hurry, named for one of the legendary coach’s ubiquitous aphorisms, the now-grateful protégé translates that sage advice into 21 “secrets” that may help others realize similar accomplishments. Like the title, the counsel can usually be boiled down into short expressions that are deceptively simple. Examples include “Focus on effort, not winning,” “Balance is EVERYTHING,” “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail,” and “The team with the best players almost always wins.” To show their relevance and power, Hill fleshes them out with solid examples from the hardwood as well as the business world. And with the track record Wooden has compiled, who are we not to take them seriously?”Howard Rothman

I am re-posting these 21 Secrets to Great Leadership from an earlier blog. Check them out and then pick up the book for a great example of how investing in the lives of others can create a legacy far greater than winning championships.

John Wooden’s 21 Secrets to Great Leadership

Be Quick-But Don’t Hurry

Andrew Hill & John Wooden

Secret #1: The Team With The Best Players Almost Always Wins

Secret #2: Be Quick-But Don’t Hurry

Secret #3: Focus On Effort, Not Winning

Secret #4: Keep It Simple

Secret #5: Make Your “Yes” Mean Yes

Secret #6: Balance Is Everything

Secret #7: A Good Leader is First & Foremost, A Teacher

Secret #8: Game Time Is When The Coach’s Job Is almost Over

Secret #9: A Great Leader Cannot Worry About Being Well Liked

Secret #10: Great Leaders Give Credit To Others, But Accept The Blame Themselves

Secret #11: Seek Consistency—Avoid Peaks & Valleys

Secret #12: Fairness Is Giving All People The Treatment They Earn & Deserve

Secret #13: The Team That Makes The Most Mistakes…Wins!

Secret #14: Surround Yourself With Strong, Opinionated People

Secret #15: Teamwork Is Not A Preference, It’s A Necessity

Secret #16: Rules Are Made To Be Followed, Not Broken

Secret #17: Concentrate On Your Team, Not The Opposition

Secret #18: Adjust To Your Players—Don’t Expect Them All To Adjust To You

Secret #19: Failing To Prepare is Preparing To Fail

Secret #20: Practice Doesn’t Make Perfect, Perfect Practice Makes Perfect

Secret #21: Be Honest, Direct, & Willing To Risk It All For Your Beliefs


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