One of the great gifts of my life was the incredible WOO (window of opportunity) I had to learn first-hand from the legendary coach – and even better person – John Wooden.
Coach Wooden’s UCLA basketball teams won an astounding 10 National Championships. That’s twice as many titles as has been won by the second most successful men’s basketball coach of all-time, the remarkable Coach K at Duke. But it was the powerful and eternal lessons about life, teamwork, purpose, people, and leadership that John Wooden taught that are at the heart of his true greatness.
Today I’m inspired to share the principles I learned from Coach Wooden about one of the blocks in his Pyramid of Success: Team Spirit.
During this time in our country where I see more separation and divisiveness than ever before in my life, I have never felt more passion to speak about the vital importance of re-igniting Team Spirit in ourselves, our families, and our world. And the principles of true team spirit are VITAL in network marketing success!
To John Wooden, Team Spirit was built on one simple but immensely important principle—genuine consideration for others.
This meant “Complete eagerness to lose oneself in the team, for the good of the team.” When you come from the place of genuine consideration for others you are able to disagree without being disagreeable and move beyond defensiveness. When it comes to working with others this is the secret to replacing destruction with construction.
At the heart of true consideration for others is unselfishness.
With this unselfish foundation for team spirit, your absolute determination to never let your teammates down is a far higher priority than personal glory or gain. He said, “Consider the rights of others before your own feelings, and the feelings of others before your own rights.”
When it came to recruiting players to UCLA, Coach Wooden looked for one attribute more than any other. It was a burning desire to reach one’s potential, but always in relation to the team.
He wanted players who prized team accomplishments far above individual ones. When you think of the many great players he coached, from 5’10” Gail Goodrich, to 6’11” Bill Walton and 7’1” Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Wooden’s stars embodied unselfishness. They always looked to pass if a teammate had a better shot, to play full out on defense, and to give credit for their own achievements to their coaches and teammates.
Coach Wooden built upon this unselfish spirit by using his alertness to recognize and commend those who didn’t get a lot of press and whose contributions didn’t show up on the stat sheet, for the little things that sometimes made the biggest difference like diving for loose balls, setting rock solid screens, and challenging the stars to work harder every day in practice.
Major lasting success in Network Marketing requires both consistent, determined personal initiative so that you never stop leading by example, AND the same unselfishness and passion for helping others reach their potential that Coach Wooden prized so dearly.
It’s amazing what’s accomplished when no one cares who gets the credit!
Most of all John Wooden believed the only way to teach Team Spirit was to be a constant example of genuine consideration for others. When you were with John Wooden, he gave you his undivided attention and focus. He was completely present. He treated everyone with dignity and respect. When he needed to impose discipline, he did so without animosity or personal attack. He was clear, honest, and no-nonsense. And when that discipline was complete, there was no lingering upset or disappointment. There was no probationary period. The lesson had been delivered and it was now time for a fresh start. In this way, his players understood that the discipline was not aimed at punishing, but rather teaching and that it was always aimed at elevating the team.
As he often said, “Individually we may be many, but together we are much.” The same will be true for your team when you exemplify these simple but powerful principles of team spirit as you build an amazing future in your Network Marketing organization!
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