John Wooden Quotes on Leadership

Challenges | Character | Courage | Leadership | Success | Talent | Teamwork | Winning | Faith

Competitive Greatness
Poise | Confidence
Condition | Skill | Team Spirit
Self Control | Alertness | Initiative | Intentness
Industriousness | Friendship | Loyalty | Cooperation | Enthusiasm

John Wooden's Pyramid of Success

Coach John Wooden won 10 NCAA basketball championships in 29 years of coaching college basketball. He compiled an 80.4% winning percentage over 826 college games. He's considered the top coach in the history of college basketball.


  1. Constantly be aware and observing. Always seek to improve yourself and the team.


  1. Adversity is the state in which man mostly easily becomes acquainted with himself, being especially free of admirers then.
  2. Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.
  3. Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.


  1. Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.
  2. What you are as a person is far more important that what you are as a basketball player.
  3. Winning takes talent, to repeat takes character.
  4. You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one.
  5. Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.  
  6. Consider the rights of others before your own feelings, and the feelings of others before your own rights.
  7. You can't live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.

Competitive Greatness

  1. Perform at your best when your best is required. Your best is required each day.


  1. Ability may get you to the top, but character keeps you there - mental, moral and physical.


  1. The strongest steel is well-founded self-belief. It is earned, not given.


  1. Have utmost concern for what's right rather than who's right.


  1. Success is never final, failure is never fatal. It's courage that counts.


  1. Your energy and enjoyment, drive and dedication will stimulate and greatly inspire others.


  1. Strive to build a team filled with camaraderie and respect: comrades in arms.


  1. Success travels in the company of very hard work. There is no trick, no easy way.


  1. Stay the course. When thwarted try again, harder, smarter. Persevere relentlessly.


  1. Make a decision! Failure to act is often the biggest failure of all.


  1. A coach is someone who can give correction without causing resentment.
  2. It isn't what you do, but how you do it.
  3. The worst thing about new books is that they keep us from reading the old ones.
  4. It's what you learn after you know it all that counts.


  1. Be true to yourself. Be true to those you lead.


  1. Be yourself. Don't be thrown off by events whether good or bad.

Self Control

  1. Control of your organization begins with control of yourself. Be disciplined.


  1. What a leader learns after you've learned it all counts most of all.


  1. Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.
  2. Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming.


  1. Don't measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability.
  2. Never mistake activity for achievement.
  3. Ability is a poor man's wealth.
  4. I'd rather have a lot of talent and a little experience than a lot of experience and a little talent.

Team Spirit

  1. The main ingredient of stardom is the rest of the team. We supercedes me.


  1. The main ingredient of stardom is the rest of the team. We supercedes me.


  1. Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.
  2. If you're not making mistakes, then you're not doing anything. I'm positive that a doer makes mistakes.
  3. It's the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.
  4. If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?
  5. It's not so important who starts the game but who finishes it.
  6. Be prepared and be honest.


  • There are many things that are essential to arriving at true peace of mind, and one of the most important is faith, which cannot be acquired without prayer.  
  • Material possessions, winning scores, and great reputations are meaningless in the eyes of the Lord, because He knows what we really are and that is all that matters.

Coach John Wooden on Wikipedia
Coach John Wooden's Web Site

Competitive Greatness Poise Confidence Condition Skill Team Spirit Self-Control Alertness Initiative Intentness Industriousness Friendship Loyalty Cooperation Enthusiasm