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Coach Wooden and My Sweet Sixteen

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Week’s back, getting ready for March Madness, I wrote a short blog post on John Wooden’s view of success.  I included a link to a video he recorded for TED talks.  I was blown away by the large number of folks who stopped to thank me for writing this post.

Coach Wooden obviously touched a lot of lives

One client said he would never forget hearing Wooden speak at a conference, “He was nothing short of amazing, with his wit, intellect and recall as he used zero notes or prompts.  I still get misty eyed when I think back to that opportunity to hear him and meet him in person.”

Another said, “I can remember crying when I heard he died.  Coach Wooden has been a lifelong inspiration.”

Those are just a couple examples of lasting impact.

Of leaving things better than we found them.  As Wooden himself might say…the peace of mind that comes from doing your best in every endeavor.

And though we don’t all have the global reach of a legend like Coach Wooden, we touch people’s lives everyday.  Whether it’s your team, your clients, your family or your community, you leave an impact.  It doesn’t matter if it’s big or little.

It comes down to the way you play the game.

With this in mind, I decided to share some thoughts from Robert Wren, Encore’s Business Development Specialist.  Robert, a huge fan of Coach Wooden, gave me the idea to write the first post.

Here’s what he wrote…

As the second full week of NCAA March Madness comes to life I thought it would be useful to reflect once more on the life of John R. Wooden.  As many fans of basketball know, Mr. Wooden is considered among the greatest college basketball coaches ever.  His record of 10 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championships is considered untouchable with almost zero possibility that any other NCAA head coach can ever eclipse his standard.

In deeper reflection upon Coach Wooden, perhaps it’s his uncanny wisdom that leaves his greatest legacy.  Much of it is preserved forever in the many quotes that came from teaching his players the game and the game of life.  As I pause to reflect on each one, I can apply them directly to what it takes to achieve ultimate success as a financial advisor.  I easily find parallels between the philosophy driving his achievement and how they would apply to our work.

But first, there are facts about Wooden that sometimes get lost in the enormous success he had at UCLA

As a player at Purdue, he was the first ever consensus NCAA All-American.

Before he won his first NCAA championship, he had already been enshrined in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame as a player.

In a short professional career, he once made 134 straight free throws in games.

He considered leaving UCLA with one year left on his ($6,000 annual salary) initial contract in 1950 to take a coaching offer from his alma mater Purdue, but reneged as he felt “he would not have lived up to his word.”

He coached at UCLA for 13 years before making it to his first Final Four in 1962, where UCLA actually lost in both the Semi-Finals and Consolation round.

Upon retirement from UCLA in 1975 after winning his 10th and final NCAA Championship, he turned down a financially lucrative offer to coach the hometown NBA franchise Los Angeles Lakers.

As you can tell, Coach Wooden was a champion in many aspects of life. Integrity, never quitting and striving to be the best were hallmarks of his life. 

Here’s my “sweet 16” of his many words of wisdom that I feel apply to advisors today
 

  1. “It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.”
  2. “Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.”
  3. “Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”
  4. “Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable.”
  5. “You can’t let praise or criticism get to you. It’s a weakness to get caught up in either one.”
  6. “Never mistake activity for achievement.”
  7. “If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?”
  8. “If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything. I’m positive that a doer makes mistakes.”
  9. “Don’t measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but what you should have accomplished with your ability.”
  10. “It’s what you learn after you know it all, that counts.”
  11. “Be true to yourself, help others, make each day your masterpiece, make friendship a fine art, drink deeply from good books – especially the Bible, build a shelter against a rainy day, give thanks for your blessings and pray for guidance every day.”
  12. “Don’t give up on your dreams, or your dreams will give up on you.”
  13. “You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.”
  14. “Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.”
  15. “Never make excuses. Your friends don’t need them and your foes won’t believe them.”
  16. “Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.”

I hope you enjoy these quotes.  I hope at least a couple of them really stick with you in the days and weeks to come.  They each remind me of the work we do with our clients….helping them build world class advisory businesses.

Helping them turn ability into peace of mind and greater achievement.

Please let us know if we can lend you a hand.

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