When it comes to leadership, one of my favorite people to read about is legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden. Aside from his prowess at building championship caliber basketball teams, he seemed to be even more skilled at building championship caliber people.
If you want a great read on Coach Wooden’s teaching, check out his book, “The Essential Wooden”. My favorite parts in this book are the recollections from his players about what they learned from Coach or how he impacted their lives. The common thread that runs through most recollections I hear of Coach Wooden is how he left people better than he found them.
Coach Wooden inspires me, because I think that most people would like to have a similar impact in the lives of others. I know I would. And although most of us may never coach a Division I basketball program to multiple championships, we all have the capacity to be a positive influence to those around us.
Begin the habit of looking for opportunities to leave the people around you better than you found them. This could be as simple as offering a smile or kind word to someone, or more involved like mentoring, advising, or providing a listening ear.
Whatever you have to offer, the opportunities to do so are abundant. We only have to be willing to engage.