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The Essential Wooden: A Lifetime of Lessons on Leaders and Leadership

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  463 ratings  ·  45 reviews
The Essential Wooden--more leadership lessons from the Wooden playbook

The Essential Wooden is the ultimate collection of Wooden's opinions and observations on achieving exceptional leadership in any organization, with 200 invaluable lessons for inspiring championship performance.

Coach Wooden offers his hard-won wisdom on building an organization that performs at its full p
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published January 5th 2007 by McGraw-Hill Education (first published December 15th 2006)
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4.39  · 
Rating details
 ·  463 ratings  ·  45 reviews

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Sep 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Success comes to you as an individual and leader only when you acquire peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming
Mar 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Coach Wooden is extremely admirable; a man of integrity, respect... a legend. His pyramid of success is a great tool to live by and his teachings and beliefs are timeless.
Mar 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Harold - Excellent. Seemed like I highlighted the whole thing.
Kartik Dadwal
May 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
A lot of times we read books by authors who we know little about. Unsure of how much of what they are writing have they personally experienced. This is very common among leadership books. This book should leave no doubt in the mind of the reader about the credentials of the writer - the legendary coach John Wooden. The book disseminates leadership jewels in small chunks of half a page to a few pages. This is a style you would see in a lot of other books as well. However, what really stands out a ...more
Brian Cluster
Jan 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
John Wooden with Steve Jamison provides an in-depth and interesting review of Coach's leadership lessons. A thorough review of the Pyramid of Success including the background of the placement of each word on the pyramid is great instruction of his leadership teaching.

While, I have read Be Quick But Not Hurry in the past, I really enjoyed this book because of the voice of the players. Every 10-20 pages featured a letter from a player that gave new fresh perspective on Coach Wooden's teaching and
Jul 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
I loved this little book. John was way ahead of his time, focusing on principles like growth mindset over fixed mindset and success shouldn't be measured by the outcome but instead from being fully prepared and pouring one’s all into the effort. The lessons from this book apply to leaders in any setting, and it’s cool see them still applicable 40 years after his resignation.

Great summary of some of the lessons can be found here.
Jul 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
I read this book because I heard Kareem Abdul Jabber has a new book out about Coach Wooden and leadership.
Wooden's book is very readable with small segments arranged in topical chapters. Some might call it old school, but the book contains tried and true principles. I gave my copy to my son, who could relate to it better than my daughter. Though Coach Wooden repeated "people under my supervisipn" so often that I think my daughter would relate to it too.
Oh, and because unsed to watch UCLA play b
Omar Halabieh
Aug 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
As the title indicates this book condenses coach Wooden’s philosophies on leadership. What is truly surprising is the applicability of these principles to the corporate world just as much as that on the court.

The fundamental basis of Wooden’s coaching philosophy is best described in the preface: “…success. as measured by each one of us individually, is the peace of mind derived from making the absolute and complete effort to do the best of which you are capable. The quality of our effort to real
Oct 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
People who pick up this book might be interested in John Wooden, the person itself, or about improving yourself. This book is about the lessons of John Wooden and his messages he found out from the experience of leading a success basketball team. This includes authentic lessons and ways he coached the players.
His lessons and messages are so real and authentic. So practical that no one would want to do it without any influence. But by reading this book, you would feel like you can do it, and tha
shantelle oliver
Good read

If you are looking for ways to build on your leadership development, this is a good read. This book is about real life experiences that allows the reader to gain insight on how the legendary coach built championship teams by remaining true to himself.
Doug Gann
Jun 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
John Wooden was given the opportunity to win 10 NCAA Championships so we would listen to his
teachings, create better souls and make the world a better place. This book should be read by ever individual.
Fintan Ndinya
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book. Simplified philosophy on leadership and mentorship. A must read.
Aslan Umarov
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
отличная книга о замечательном человеке. рекомендую к прочтению!
Christian Raab, OSB
Feb 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
I picked this book up off a give away shelf. It turned out to be magnificent! Wooden was a very important figure in the history of American sports and had a lot to teach on the subject of leadership.
Apr 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
real good quick read. great leadership ideas. would recommend
Cesar Sweets
Feb 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of the best coaches of all time!! Very inspirational and lots of good quotes and advice to apply to life! 🙏🏼
Tim Matheney
Apr 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I think it's time for a John Wooden renaissance. There's so much our current era can learn from a simple -- but incredibly insightful -- basketball coach from Indiana.
Craig Herrick
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
High Character

Great guide to leadership. Sets the tone of how the little things impact your team and can create destruction or cohesiveness.
Nick Marchman
Dec 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
My book I will be reviewing is called “The Essential Wooden”, by John Wooden and Steve Jamison. This book was published in 2006, only four years before coach’s death at age 99. This book falls in the category of Memoirs, Sports, and a Biography.
John Wooden, (1910-2010), was the head coach for the UCLA Bruins basketball team from 1948 until 1975. John Wooden was born on October 14, 1910 in Hall, Indiana. As a college basketball player,Wooden became a scoring champion for Purdue University, and a
Nov 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business, management
This is a fantastic book...definitely on my list of book I need/should/will re-read.

It's not hard to want to 'worship' at the alter of John Wooden. Like Peter Drucker, what he said and the way that he says it is not only awe-inspiring but life changing as well.

John Wooden presents a clear and transparent view of his philosophy, character, discipline and courage that not only transformed college basketball but also the lives of many young men he coached. And he does so in a way that makes one wan
May 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Great read as I learned more about John Wooden. His former players called him - honest, a gentlemen, gracious, loyal, fierce, demanding.

This books shows the philosophy and methods of a master teacher, consummate couch, & legendary leader who was able 2 teach his teams to win, not by drilling in them to go out and win but by teaching them to believe in a standard even higher than victory....doing their very best, consistently, giving 100 percent & not measuring themselves by anyone, only
Trent Madden
Dec 08, 2014 rated it liked it
The master lays down his wisdom on leadership, team-building, and character. Wooden’s a truly inspiring person and my vote for the greatest coach of all time. I found his personal definition of success very enlightening: “Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.” My only complaint was the way the book was structured into super short sections, which caused it to be ch ...more
Tim McDermott
Jan 04, 2017 rated it liked it
As a coach, this book had many insightful ideas, ways of thinking and coaching stories. Essential Wooden lets the reader get into the mind of Wooden, a role model coach. The book talks in detail about his famous Pyramid of Success.

I really liked the book, it got a bit repetitive towards the end.
Terry Dicken
Dec 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
I pulled some good nuggets from this book. Spoiler alert! The biggest nugget was that if you practice to get better the wins just automatically come. And, when you do fail, you can still feel good that you did your best and can come back and make it right. Although failure for me is when you quit trying.
Joel Schaefer
Jul 28, 2011 rated it it was ok
A very pragmatice and basic values approach to demonstrating leadership and what is required of a good leader. Age ol principles which very much have a place in today's world. It is along the lines of Dale Carnegie.
Nick Sirikulbut
Mar 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A must read for Bruins and NonBruins alike to learn from a one of a kind leader of ultimate character and integrity!
Jun 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A must read for all those Coaches out there. Lessons on Leaders and Leadership
Always love Coach Wooden.
Feb 14, 2016 added it
More leadership development and insight into constructing personal courage and winning principles. Not just for the hardwood, but possibly the boardroom as well.
Tim Rush
Jan 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
If you are a leader or want to be leader, you need to read this book. The best of Coach John Wooden's thoughts on leading and leadership.
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John Robert Wooden is a retired American basketball coach. He is a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame as both a player (class of 1961) and as a coach (class of 1973). He was the first person ever enshrined in both categories; only Lenny Wilkens and Bill Sharman have since been so honored. His 10 NCAA National Championships in a 12 year period while at UCLA are unmatched by any other college bas ...more
“Peace of mind attained only through self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do the best of which you’re capable.” 0 likes
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