The Wooden Effect. It’s about your character!
Be more concerned with your character than with your reputation. Your character is what you really are while your reputation is merely what others think you are.
John Wooden, Hall of Fame College Basketball Coaching Legend
John Wooden is considered the best college basketball coach ever. It’s hard to dispute his record of ten NCAA national championships in a 12-year period, including seven in a row. No other coach has done this.
Wooden stated that he developed a character (brand) for the UCLA Bruins that players had to respect, follow and defend.
Imagine if a small business had this type of success. The best brands in the world develop a character (brand) for their business that people respect, follow and defend.
In order to imitate this success small business owners must start with three basic steps.
- Understand who you are. The UCLA Bruins clearly understood who they were in college basketball. Coach John Wooden ensured that they played basketball displaying the characteristics of the Bruin brand. Small businesses should not compromise their character. But first they need to know what that character is.
- Who are you serving? The Bruins knew that they were there to help the college to be successful, not only in sports, but overall. Wooden demanded that his players represented the UCLA brand with pride, dignity and respect. Many of his players went on to be great professionals in the NBA. The college is still benefitting from the great tradition developed by Wooden’s teams. If small business owners can understand their purpose, then they will undoubtedly achieve long term success.
- Know your market. Los Angeles is a high profile city with great expectations. Wooden knew that he needed to prepare his players and his coaches for these extreme circumstances. Small business owners ignore the market conditions because they fail to do research. If you understand the environment for your business, you will know how to prepare your company on how to deal with them.
Small business owners need to develop a solid character for their company. Success is all how you build great character, not a reputation.