John Wooden’s 12 Lessons In Leadership [For Kids]

Is “leadership” applicable only in sports or corporate world? How do you become a leader for your kids? How do you lead them to become a better person, a better citizen, a better worker, a better leader?

Same rules apply.

I’ve been looking at John Wooden’s 12 lessons in leadership. It made a lot of sense for me to apply it in my personal life with my kids:

  1. Good Values Attract Good People. What values do you teach your kid? 
  2. Love Is The Most Powerful Four-Letter Word. Do you show your kid your love?
  3. Call Yourself A Teacher. What have you taught your kids lately? 
  4. Emotion Is Your Enemy. Keep cool, do not yell at your kids, they explore the world’s limits including yours. 
  5. It Takes 10 hands To Make A Basket. What family tasks your kids is assigned to do? Is your kid a team player?
  6. Little Things Make Big Things Happen. Do not constantly preach, show how to do things, small things.
  7. Make Each Day Your Masterpiece. Read this least each morning. 
  8. The Carrot Is Mightier Than A Stick. My kids taught me that. Not John. 
  9. Make Greatness Attainable By All. Reward every even smallest achievements, make them hungry for bigger ones. 
  10. Seek Significant Change. Self explanatory I guess…
  11. Don’t Look At The Scoreboard. Enjoy the process.  
  12. Adversity Is Your Asset. You kid is different from you. Do not break your kid to be like you. Learn from your kid to grow yourself.

I continued researching John Wooden web site and then I’ve noticed books section where I’ve spotted this one – Inch and Miles: The Journey to Success. This is next one to appear on my Must Read Books list very soon.

This post is inspired by short conversation I had with Vered over my previous post You Have Built A Team, Now What?

Posted in: Leadership, Parenting

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This blog is dedicated to share simple practices I that get me results.

18 Comments on "John Wooden’s 12 Lessons In Leadership [For Kids]"

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  1. Marelisa says:

    When you look at small kids playing you definitely see which ones are “little leaders”. They give off an air of self-esteem and they treat others with respect. I think that emotional intelligence is something that should be taught early on, ideally at home by the parents (teaching through example) but also at school. Do you know that there are schools that teach children how to resolve conflicts and get along with others since kindergarten?

  2. alik levin says:

    Emotional intelligence taught in schools? I want to go to that school first for myself!

    BTW, got EI basic stuff here

    and then advanced here

    It is not mine of course but from the book of those who’s in the know.

  3. Vered says:

    “Emotion Is Your Enemy. Keep cool, do not yell at your kids”.

    I 100% agree with that, but I am an emotional person, and I do tend to lose my cool once in a while and raise my voice or just become visibly upset and agitated.

    Any advice??

  4. alik levin says:

    It was easy for me to write. In practice it is hard.

    My take is “Park” – basic EI skill.
    Look at the “Developing the core skills” part:

    Another thing is that being emotional is absolutely fine. It is one of 4 sources for personal power. Stretching your emotional muscles make them stronger.

  5. I like #2 best :)

    My dad actually *never* (and has never) used that four letter word with me. He grew up in a time and place that you just don’t do that (particularly father to son). but more importantly – he shows me that he does.

  6. alik levin says:

    blogrdoc, I feel as this comment I have written myself…! Same here, partner. When I was writing this I had this hesitation. “Do you tell your kid you love her?”. And then it hit me. Telling is not the only way to express your love, and may be not even the strongest one. I am happy your dad found the right way to make you feel the love. Mine too. Now it is my turn to find out the right way, the best way.

  7. Vered says:

    Thank you Alik. Switching channels is an interesting idea. I am going to try that.

  8. Alik,

    Great list. I like # 6. Every little thing we do sums up into a big accomplishment. There is no get rich quick formula. I have an article that resembles this theme.


  9. blogrdoc says:

    I’ve gone in 180 direction and always tell my son that I love him… but you know what? – I realized that it is soooo much easier to say it than it is to *do it*

  10. J.D. Meier says:

    Nice mapping of the Wooden way, to your day to day.

    I like how Wooden’s goal throughout life was peace of mind — and he found it by living his values and striving to be better than himself (not others.)

    In one of his interviews, Wooden mentioned that *extreme* emotion is the enemy. He didn’t want his team to get extremely happy or extremely depressed. I actually think a better way to say it is, to master your emotions.

    If #10 weren’t self-explanatory, how would you explain it?

  11. alik levin says:

    I like “master emotions” more than suppress extreme emotions. Do I challenge John Wooden? I guess so.

    I am big fan of “The Power Of Full Engagement” book.

    The authors state the emotion muscles must be stretched to get stronger (mastered?). It resonates w/me a lot. If not stretched (like other three dimensions – spirit, mind, body) life becomes flat liner so you must find a way to change it. And i think it connects the dots with #10 – Seek Significant Change to break the flat liner. My most significant change with my kids was when i considered them my best and the first customers and when i realized that Experience is the most valuable product i can offer.

  12. AJ Kumar says:

    don’t have kids, but regardless, great advice :)

  13. alik levin says:

    These lessons are universal I think. Try applying it to blogging – believe me it works great for it too 😉

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