Daily Archives: April 3, 2009

John Wooden: Coaching for people, not points


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I have been focusing on coaching lately and found this 18 minute Ted video of John Wooden to be inspiring (RSS readers will need to open post to view).  I think he is in line with Lean on both the respect for people principle and his primary focus on learning.

I like how he explained a teacher’s response to why they teach: “Where else can I find such splendid company”.  As consultants and/or coaches, it is important to heartfully recognize and respect the ideas & thoughts of those making improvements. 

Coach Wooden said the “score of the game is a by-product, not the end itself”.  This makes me think about how Toyota expects both the problem solving process to be followed and the desired result to be obtained.  Stephen Spear says many people tour factories and see Lean tools in use but do not recognize they came as a by-produt from Lean thinking and discipline.

His pyramid of success is available on his site for free.  I think executives , managers, and the front line can learn a lot from his comment about a tendency to hope things will turn out but we don’t do the things that are necessary to make those things become a reality.  As a coach we need to help people understand what those things are that should be done.

I think his message to always coach people to give their best is something of value.  It is easy to come up with a communication and training plan to roll out an improved process but it is harder to think of reminding the people doing the new work to give their best during the time of change.  Recognize this need for empathy if you wish to be a good leader.  The ROAD AHEAD poem he reads is located here

My 2009 Hansei: Scarcity inspires creativity and innovation.  How can I help harness that inspiration?

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Filed under Business, Improve With Lean, Improvements, Learn Leadership, Respect For People