#1709 Your #1 Job As a Leader

“Make Greatness Attainable by All”

In our last couple +1s (here and here), we’ve been exploring wisdom from Coach John Wooden’s GREAT (!) book Wooden on Leadership.

Let’s continue.

Today we’re going to chat about the #1 job of a leader.

Let’s get to work.

Wooden tells us: “I wanted the individuals under my leadership—players, assistant coaches, student managers, the trainer—to know that the kind of greatness I sought was available to each one of them.

How? By performing his specific job to the highest level of his ability. I wanted every individual connected with the team to fully comprehend that when this was being accomplished, he had achieved the kind of greatness I valued most.”

He continues by saying: “I didn’t ask our student manager, Les Friedman, to do Bill Walton’s job, and I didn’t ask Bill Walton to do my job. Each of us needed to be concerned only with doing our specific job to the very best of our ability. Therein lies our personal greatness.”

And: “As the leader, my job was to do everything possible to help those I allowed to join our team to achieve this—to create an environment and attitude that brought out the very best in each of them. Personal greatness for any leader is measured by effectiveness in bringing out the greatness of those you lead. Thus, personal greatness is within the grasp of each member of an organization, regardless of roles and responsibilities—whether a CEO or secretary, starter or nonstarter, head manager or head coach.”

Finally, he says: “I am not naïve. I knew that an All-American such as Bill Walton should have much greater impact than the player sitting at the end of UCLA’s bench. But my expectations (demand is a more accurate word) was that all those under my leadership seek greatness—their own, not that of anyone else.”

That’s from chapter #12: “Make Greatness Attainable by All.”

Your #1 JOB as a leader?

According to Wooden, to do everything possible to help those we allow (important distinction—allow!) to join our team to show up as THEIR BEST.

From this vantage point, we see that “personal greatness is within the grasp of each member of an organization.”



(Note: That would be ALL of us!)

Know this…

YOUR #1 JOB is to help the people on your team—whether that’s your spouse and/or kids or your colleagues and/or clients, show up as their absolute best. We need to create the conditions through which they can flourish. Then we must BE THE CHANGE we want to see as we DEMAND (!) that they each seek their own, idiosyncratically defined personal greatness.

As I read these ideas on attainable, personal greatness for EVERYONE in an organization, I thought of Abraham Maslow.

In Future Visions, Maslow tells us: “Anybody, any person whatsoever, under any circumstance whatsoever, can be a psychological success—at least in the above sense, of doing the best that one can and doing fully what one can—to be himself or herself and to accept the reality of himself or herself.”

btw. Maslow also had something to say about GREATNESS.

Apparently, at the beginning of the college classes he taught, he would ask his class: “‘Which of you believe you will achieve greatness?’ When they stared at him blankly, he asked, ‘If not you, who then?’”

With that in mind, I ask YOU...

“Which of you believe you will achieve greatness?”

If you’re staring at me blankly right now (hah!), I ask...

If not you, who then?!

P.S. My #1 job?

To help YOU (yes, YOU!), step up and show up as THE BEST, MOST HEROIC version of yourself.



YOU are the Hero we’ve been waiting for.

It’s Day 1. We’re ALL IN. Let’s go!!!

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