This week we learn from Coach John Wooden about the characteristics he believes make a good leader followed by my own thoughts.

Coach Wooden shares this in an interview with Steve Churm for a 2005 edition of the OC Metro, where he was asked: What makes a good leader?  Coach Wooden said:

They must (1) be a good listener, because the only thing they’ll ever learn is what they learn from others. We should all be learning all the time. I like the statement: “When you are through learning, you are through.”

I think a leader must listen to others and be understanding of others and recognize the fact that (2) everyone under their supervision is different. No two are identical and a leader must recognize the fact that those under his or her supervision are different. You can’t treat them all alike. You’ve got to give them the treatment they earn and deserve.

It’s important to also understand that (3) all leaders are imperfect. They’re going to make mistakes. A good leader must come to terms with his imperfection.

Lastly a good leader must (4) have followers who are eager, not just willing. If you have people who are eager, they bring an enthusiasm to their work and they will be successful. Simply being willing to do something is not good enough. You must have followers who are eager to accomplish great goals.

Ultimately a good leader must be ready to make difficult decisions.

We are all leaders here – and we can use Coach Wooden’s answers for some self-analysis:

  • Are we good listeners?
  • Are we recognizing and accepting the differences in our team members?
  • Are we able to recognize our own imperfections…and are we ready to gracefully accept the imperfections of others?
  • Do we build eagerness and enthusiasm in our team?
  • Are we ready to make difficult decisions…and accept that failure happens?

Which one will you work on this week?