John Wooden’s three simple rules
1) No tardiness.
2) No profanity.
3) No criticizing your teammates.
These three simple rules have one thing in common… respect. Not just respect for authority, but respect for one’s peers. I’m sure that the secret to UCLA’s seven straight national championships had something to do with this environment Coach Wooden established during practice.
Wouldn’t it have a positive effect on your workplace meetings or even personal get-togethers if everyone followed these same rules?
You can call me old-fashioned. Really… go ahead… call me old-fashioned. It would be a badge of honor for this Midwestern boy. I grew up not far from Wooden’s hometown in Indiana, and went to Purdue University, where Wooden made his mark as a college player.
Maybe I was woven from the same small town fabric, because I remember being taught many simple rules like this while growing up. I am also far from perfect, and have broken many of them from time to time. But I know truth when I see it. And I want to take a moment to give my respect to John Wooden, not just for being a winner in basketball, but for teaching his players, and all of us, how to be winners in life.
Yes, John Wooden, I call you coach. You will be missed.
Click here to watch my favorite Wooden talk, a poetic treatise on the difference between winning and success (recorded at TED, Feb, 2001.) It’s worth 17 minutes of your time.