Monday, January 21, 2008

The Success Pyramid

I've been reading about collegiate coaches lately. Two coaches in particular stand out to me as true leaders who would have made excellent martial artists: Ohio State Football coach Woody Hayes, and UCLA Basketball coach John Wooden. Both are men who cared a great deal for their players and did used the lessons taught in their sport to teach them about real life.

Currently, I'm reading Wooden's book: Wooden on Leadership, and in it, he outlines his plan for success. I have to take a moment and point out that Wooden understands success, as this formula led him to 10 NCAA Basketball championships, 7 of which were consecutive. No one else even comes close to this achievement.

Over the years, Wooden has attempted to structure his elements of success into a easy to understand system so that all of his players understand how he expects them to contribute to the team environment:

It is the third tier: conditioning, skill, and enthusiasm that he considers the core of his success. In many ways, these 12 sets apply to the dojang. Especially if you're interested in running a school where everyone is vested in the improvement of all students rather than just themselves. Look over the 12 parts again. See how they can all easily apply to the dojang. I am especially struck by enthusiasm. Not only does the player/student put the needs of the whole group first, they do it eagerly. Everyone grows rather than the superstars.

There it is: the keys to success. Putting them on the poster is easy. Expecting and demanding that everyone, yourself included, stick to the pyramid is what separates Wooden from the rest.
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