Cultivated Management

John Wooden on being a teacher

I’m a big fan of Basketball and I try to read as much about basketball coaching as possible – as there are striking lessons to be learned about management too. Coach John Wooden is a legend in the College basketball world with an epic win streak and major success. Sadly he is no longer with us, but he did write a great book about management. So instead of me having to derive my own thoughts about how coaching basketball is the same as management, Coach Wooden has already done it for us 🙂

There are more lessons than I can write about here, but let’s just say my Evernote account is full of snippets from this book – great read.

The thing that really stood out for me though was how Coach Wooden saw his role as not a coach, but more as a teacher. And that’s how he believes managers should see themselves too – I totally agree. I’ve tried in my career to offer teaching to those I manage. This helps me achieve my core goal as a manager to help people, when they leave my team (which they will do at some point), be the best, most talented and effective person in their line of work.

“The coach must never forget that he is, first of all, a teacher. He must come (be present), see (diagnose), and conquer (correct). He must continuously be exploring for ways to improve himself in order that he may improve others and welcome every person and everything that maybe helpful to him. As has been said, he must remember, “Others, too, have brains.”

I love this quote from the book, as it sums up a few beliefs I have about being a Cultivated Manager.

  • Teach others how to do stuff.
  • Go see for yourself. (It’s hard to teach and coach when you don’t see people doing the work).
  • Trust others to do what they do – as they are all capable people.

Go forth and read more about Basketball and Management with John Wooden’s book “Wooden on Leadership

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