LOVE: the most powerful four-letter word

How do you bring love into your professional life? In honor of Valentine’s day, let’s ask Coach. Coach Wooden taught about love, the most powerful four-letter word, and he used it to coach his UCLA players to 10 National Championships, becoming the man ESPN hails as “the greatest coach of the 20th century.” (And in his personal life, he was married to his childhood sweetheart for 53 years. See video below, but bring a tissue.)

Coach said this about love:

I will not like you all the same, but I will love you all the same. Furthermore, I will try very hard not to let my feelings interfere with my judgment of your performance. You receive the treatment you earn and deserve…

…Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care. The individuals on our UCLA teams became true members of my extended family.

I once bailed a player out of jail for a driving violation even though it went against conference rules. These and other acts of kindness and concern were small gestures, but a direct result of the feeling—the love—I had for those under my supervision. It’s vital to let those you lead know you care. First, of course, you must have that care in your heart for those you lead.

And while I could have great love in my heart for those under my supervision, I would not tolerate behaviors from anyone that was detrimental, or potentially detrimental, to the welfare of our group.

For me, it is possible to have the greatest care and concern for someone and bench, suspend, or even remove him from the team.

–Coach Wooden’s Leadership Game Plan for Success. pp 110-111.

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