Today’s Wednesday Wisdom is another lesson from Coach John Wooden and is related to managing a team and the team’s standards….

We hear it constantly. Create a uniform standard within a team that applies to everyone, regardless of title, experience or expertise. A measure to gauge performance. ‘The Bar.’

But at UCLA during the 1970s, Coach John Wooden was holding certain players to a certain set of expectations while lettings others slide — a subject that didn’t go unnoticed by reporters, and one they pressed him on in an interview:

Coach Wooden looked at the reporters with an English teacher look and, after a deliberate pause said, “I don’t have a double standard. I have 12 different standards, one for each member of the team. And those standards are earned.” 

Coach Wooden was fully aware that his players had different personalities and abilities — and was masterful in catering his expectations to each.  

Ultimately, their roles were different, their statuses somewhat as well, but the cause was the same.

Coach created a culture, an identity and a style that included a collective sense of effort and purpose, and a determination that we’re going to get this done.  If you’re not interested, that’s fine. There’s somebody else who will be.

“When you’re managing a team…if you think you can treat everybody the same way, you’re a fool” said Andy Hill, Bruins Reserve Guard.

Do you have one standard the entire team is expected to live up to? Or, so you have different standards specific to each person on the team?

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