Thursday, March 29, 2012

What can March Madness® Show Association Management Professionals?

Well, this weekend is the Final Four® ... the culmination of the NCAA basketball season. After thousands of games, only four teams survive. 

As I watched one of the one of the games last week, a commentator mentioned Hall of Fame Coach John Wooden (the Wizard of Westwood) and quoted Coach as saying:

“Coach what you know and know what you coach.”

That sounds like pretty good advice for associations and association management professionals. It is so easy for us to get distracted with the latest idea or “new toy.” I know. I do it a lot. 

So, Wooden’s quote can guide us in keeping a laser-like focus on mission, vision and overall strategies. This doesn’t mean we can’t change but it does mean we should focus on who we are and what we do.

Hearing John Wooden quoted reminded me of Andrew Hill’s awesome book on Wooden “Be Quick but Don’t Hurry” in which Hill provides 11 lessons he learned when playing basketball for Coach Wooden. It is a great book and well worth the read. Here are the lessons:

Finding Success in the Teachings of a Lifetime
The Secrets of John Wooden
  1. The team with the best players almost always wins
  2. Be quick – but, don’t hurry
  3. Focus on effort, not winning
  4. Keep it simple
  5. Make your yes mean yes
  6. Balance is EVERYTHING
  7. A good leader is first, and foremost, a good teacher
  8. Game time is when the coach’s job is almost over
  9. A great leader cannot worry about being well liked
  10. Great leaders give credit to others but accept blame for themselves
  11. Seek consistency – avoid peaks and valleys
  12. Fairness is giving all people the treatment they earn and deserve
  13. The team that makes the most mistakes ... WINS!
  14. Surround yourself with strong, opinionated people
  15. Teamwork is not a preference, it’s a necessity
  16. Rule are made to be followed, not broken
  17. Concentrate on YOUR team, not the opposition
  18. Adjust to your players – don’t expect them all to adjust to you
  19. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail
  20. Practice doesn’t make perfect; only perfect practice makes perfect
  21. Be honest, direct and willing to risk it all for your beliefs

Hill also shares Wooden’s Pyramid of Success ... well worth the read/look for association management professions.

Finally, one closing comment: 

Go Buckeyes! Beat Kansas!!

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