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3 min read

Could You Benefit from Some Lessons in Leadership?

‘Little things make big things happen.’

Official Site of Coach Wooden


Before future blogs delve into the five levels of Coach John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success (see last week’s blog) and its 15 philosophical building blocks in more detail, let’s take a moment to appreciate the self-help master’s 12 Lessons in Leadership as well – don’t forget, even leaders can be further educated to aim higher!


From ‘Good Values Attract Good People’ to ‘It Takes 10 Hands to Make a Basket,’ the feel-good factor which radiates from Wooden’s words makes even the most pessimistic amongst us open to positive vibes. These two lessons reflect the idea that individuals with ‘good’ values which align with a company’s vision, are always welcome assets. 


In addition, a happy team lends itself to productivity; and teamwork allows for individual talents to combine and achieve collective greatness. Don’t just throw teams together – consider tools which will strategically unite and get the best out of people. 


‘Is your team on your side?’



As managers and directors, it’s paramount to maintain good working relations with staff. In fact, recent posts have explored the importance of promoting positivity and fostering supportive organisations, in order to maintain the healthy wellbeing, mindset and attainable expectations of all involved. 


Responsible delegation of tasks and respect for workers’ needs, must be managed with care, whilst nurturing opportunities for promotion where possible, along with driving the climb to success. Failure to uphold a satisfied workforce or failing to acknowledge areas of improvement, could make or break a company. Being on top of staff, results appraisals and analysis are all key factors in order to boost present achievements into a prosperous and lucrative future. Therefore, alienating or undervaluing staff could be dangerous both to morale and business. 


‘Don’t be a hero - accept help when needed!’



When Wooden suggested that it takes 10 hands to make a basket, he was right on the money in terms of the power of teamwork. However, several decades on, we can be sure that this lesson in leadership could be interpreted with a modern twist! In a world dominated by technology and even artificial intelligence, manpower isn’t restricted to ‘man,’ but is moreover a reflection of all components ‘involved’ in a process. 


These days, successful businesses keep their affairs in order and really know what’s going on at all times. Those at the top of their Pyramid of Success, have invested time, energy and capital to uncover the secret of success, which in many cases, involves putting data collection, tracking (such as sales results) and target setting into the capable hands of an integrated, automatic system. Recognising the need for automation is undoubtedly the helping hand that you need to be at the top of your game.


Do we have to spend a fortune on complicated tools to digitalise data in real-time?

You may be thinking that computer-generated spreadsheets etc. deem you up to date – but rest assured, you are lightyears behind in terms of continuously updated tracking systems and the Aladdin’s lamp of opportunity that they offer. Spreadsheets, databases, emails and other tedious resources hold you back on a number of fronts – your team deserves better!


Apps and bespoke software development create another valued source for the team, taking pressure away from individuals at different levels of the company hierarchy, who previously painstakingly wasted time manually inputting or reporting data. 


Trusting a specialised performance management company with their own designated integration team, removes the need of costly, in-house technical development and allows leaders to better spend their time elsewhere. Equally, middle managers, store or sales operatives for example, all yield better results in response to this additional aid. 


Summary – Time for a Change

The extra pair of hands that you need to weave that basket (aka: smash targets and send revenue skyrocketing), may not mean employing a greater number of staff – those hands are figurative and could actually symbolise bringing another source of help to the table – a digital one! 


John Wooden also taught leaders to ‘Seek Significant Change’ – what was significant to your company outlook yesterday may be outdated today and most certainly won’t be wholly relevant in the future. Leaders must continuously evolve to stay at the top, just as Olympic athletes need to maintain rigorous training regimes in order to remain in their category. One gold medal doesn’t guarantee them success in the future, just as your company’s current predictions won’t achieve themselves, or appointment to a managerial role doesn’t render you an eternal chief. 


Perhaps Wooden’s Pyramid of Success wasn’t intended as a linear tool – he’d no doubt want us to consolidate building blocks and retrain where necessary. Therefore, to keep on evolving and manage performance in a rapidly changing technical era, don’t be afraid to retrace your steps and do the groundwork before climbing to new heights – automated real-time devices will keep you in the leading position!


What did Coach Wooden mean by ‘The Carrot is Mightier Than a Stick?’ – see you next week’s blog to find out!

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