Most focus in business training and development is on external skills….customer service, sales, management and performance development are some examples of the most common. You’ll see some ‘leadership’ training on ‘how to have conversations’ etc, the occasional motivational speaker that comes to pump people up and get them enthused but that enthusiasm lasts a few weeks, perhaps a month, then the seminar is forgotten and it’s back to business as usual. Those at the top scratching their heads wondering why the numbers have not improved, people do not sell or give great service or even want to be working there. Next, many of those people get written off as the ‘wrong people on the bus’, a phrase that Jim collins has made so popular with his book, Good to Great and they are replaced with another set of employees. Within a year those new employees are right where the previous set was, the numbers are just as bad, if not worse, and the next level up is now looking at the management team wondering if they are the wrong people on the bus. Some form of victimism ensues, people are pointing fingers both up and down the hierarchy, apathy sets in and further perpetuates both poorer performance and less coaching & development. It’s a cycle that I am sure that most business people reading this are familiar with.

So how do you build and sustain a team that has a self-perpetuating culture of pride, focus and execution? One that is not only enthusiastic and cooperative, but consistently gets results? A team that takes the training and development and runs with it, on their own? As in…sells, gives great service, develops successors and drives the business…

Well, very few people will deny the sustained performance track record of coach John Wooden. Listen below to what he has to say about it. Notice that many of the basic skills he reinforces, on a daily basis, are inner skills….personal development first, then outward development. More importantly, think about the person he had to become as a leader to drive such a culture. John Wooden really walks his talk, you know that he not only believes what is is saying, he lives it! He not only continued the inner development of his players, but of himself. Players really wanted to be on his team and you can see the synergy of the leader and the team performance.

John Wooden, as a coach, a leader and a professional is a great example of development of what I call, the circle of self-mastery. His mastery of inner performance, led to great teams and great external performance.

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