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Are You Investing in Others Around You?

Not that I’m biased as a graduate of  UCLA, but we all have something to learn from the best coach, from the best university in the entire United States of America - John Wooden. If you walk into the Wooden Center at UCLA, you will see, 20-feet tall, all in gold, painted on the wall the Wooden Pyramid. 

The individual blocks that make up the entirety of the Wooden Pyramid read: Industriousness, Friendship, Loyalty, Cooperation, Enthusiasm, Self-Control, Alertness, Initiative, Intentness, Condition, Skill, Team Spirit, Poise, Confidence, and Competitive Greatness. 

Not a single block in that pyramid reads ‘winning.’ He believed if players built their lives, their game, and their team on these fundamental building blocks, then that player would win at life.

He used these fundamental, building-block principles to build a winning culture and to change the trajectory of lives far beyond his basketball team.

See, even though Coach Wooden was the winningest coach, he realized most of his players would never advance to the NBA, no matter the obvious greatness of the UCLA Bruins. Coach Wooden, used basketball, a game, to invest in individuals in a far greater way and at a far deeper level.

Are our companies any different? Can’t we use our companies and our influential leadership platforms to create long-term value for people in our sphere of influence?

In my keynote speeches, I have individuals in the audience build their own pyramid of success. I contend not a single building block should read profit, because if you get the fundamentals right, profits are a result.  

Coach Wooden used his role and his ability to influence lives, as an opportunity to invest in those kids for the long run. Do you have a long-term vision of how you can invest in those around you and how your company can impact the long-term trajectory of their lives?

Here are two steps to take, today, to help you act with a long-term vision in mind:

1. Identify one value that needs to be reintegrated into the day-to-day operation of your company.

You likely have a sheet of paper framed somewhere with your company’s core values or guiding principles. Take a hard look at those values. Which one has fallen by the wayside or is there a value that isn’t a priority in your company right now?

2. Give a few members of your team permission to honestly share, without fear of repercussions, if there a things happening in the company they don’t think reflect it company’s core values.

No company or team is perfect at all things, all the time. There is always opportunity to evolve and get better. Ask your team to help you identify the opportunities for growth.

Lead well, 




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