"The Star of the Team is the Team" John Wooden
"Its amazing how much can be accomplished if no one is concerned with who gets the credit" - John Wooden
Is building a better team, a stronger team, a team known for its character, integrity, and consistent extraordinary performance; a high priority for your organization?
Are you in need of a unique, powerful fresh idea to get your team focused, prepared and inspired to be the best team they are capable of becoming?
Could your team benefit from the knowledge, wisdom, and example of America's greatest coach and teacher: UCLA legend and Icon, coach John R. Wooden?
Could your leadership team be more effective if they had a more powerful, teachable point of view on core fundamentals like "team", "team work" and "team spirit"?
Would you like to enjoy the consistent success that only comes when the whole organization is exhibiting true success behavior behavior that is defined on John Wooden's Pyramid of Success, behavior that produced America's greatest sports dynasty, and a lifetime of Achievement for Coach Wooden and his players and followers?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then consider the unique experience that is the John R. Wooden Team Camp:
Team Camp Brochure
For detailed Team Camp information click here for our team camp brochure.
Team Camp - In The News
The Collection Auto Group - John R. Wooden Team Camp was recently featured in Gannett Newspapers.
Shelby native preaches coaching legend's principles to corporate world
By Jon Spencer
CLEVELAND -- It was the cacophony of sounds -- the bouncing basketballs, the squeaky sneakers, the coach barking out drills -- you'd expect to hear from the Cleveland Cavaliers' practice court inside Quicken Loans Arena.
Accustomed to putting members of the Cavs behind the wheel of an Infiniti, Mercedes or Porsche, these 20 "teammates" found themselves riding shotgun as Shelby native Lynn Guerin and associate Craig Impelman put them through the paces of the John R. Wooden Team Camp.
Wooden, considered in some corners as the greatest coach who ever lived, and Guerin co-founded "The John R. Wooden Course," whose principles continue to resonate two years after Wooden's death at age 99.
Wooden, who took UCLA to seven consecutive NCAA men's basketball championships and 10 in 12 years, is famous for his "Pyramid of Success" -- the 25 philosophical building blocks he felt were essential to success.
At the base of Wooden's pyramid are these behaviors: industriousness, friendship, loyalty, cooperation and enthusiasm. At the peak is competitive greatness, defined as "being your best when your best is needed."
The camps, which Guerin and Impelman have conducted for groups as large as 1,400 and as small as a staff of elementary school teachers, take the Wooden principles learned in the classroom and apply them to situations on the basketball floor.
Guerin, a 1965 Shelby High School graduate and marketing executive in southern California, would love to bring a team camp back home to north central Ohio.
Camps have been held for corporate executives from Mercedes-Benz, Chick-Fil-A and In-N-Out Burger (a popular West Coast drive-thru), but they can be tailored to any group of any age.
"The (basketball) analogies are definitely relatable to the car business," said Jackie Studor, director of marketing for the Collection Auto Group.
"You're looking at things from a different approach, from the outside at people who have been successful in other areas of life.
Guerin was working as a consultant for Toyota when he was introduced to Wooden in 1999. They collaborated for 11 years on projects, mostly speaking engagements where Wooden would deliver some inspirational words and insights.
Keeping it going
Guerin is living his dream of keeping Wooden's teachings alive. Last year he flew in from the West Coast on the eve of the News Journal All-Star Basketball Classic to address the players and their parents. His theme was "All-Stars for Life." Two days later he was in Houston to speak to a room full of coaches at the NCAA Final Four.
In recent months, this former Whippet has been working on a team development program with 35 management people from Microsoft, taking them through leadership challenges based on the Pyramid of Success and emphasizing key Wooden maxims for each of the blocks on the pyramid.
"We're challenging our best and brightest and smartest companies in the country to think about their every day behavior and how that might drive the next generation of technology," Guerin said. "We're lighting them up with this." Guerin can spout Wooden maxims like "Be quick, but don't hurry," as if they're the ABCs.
"The goal is to strive for perfection every day," Guerin said. "Get a little better every day. That progress occurs one person at a time, one day at a time. So many people focus on the end game instead of focusing on the daily progress.
"It took coach Wooden 16 years to win his first (national title), but he saw that they were making tremendous progress from a very bad program to winning more. As Coach would say, 'Once I got it, I got it pretty good.' It turned out 'pretty good' was described as the UCLA dynasty." The drills
Every drill performed at a Wooden camp is a genuine Wooden drill, from having everyone clean up their work station in the classroom to learning how to properly put on their gym socks and shoes.
It might have looked ridiculous, watching these management people tie their shoes a certain way, but no detail was too small to Wooden. He spent two hours each day preparing for a two-hour practice.
"Every year, the first day of practice, Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Bill Walton (two of Wooden's All-Americans) were taught how to put on their shoes and socks, because if there's a wrinkle in your socks, there will be blisters on your feet," Guerin said. "He would get on his knees and measure the size of his players' feet, worried that their parents may have been buying shoes a half size too big." To Wooden, the most important word in our language is "love," especially in the context of team spirit and consideration of others. The second most important is "balance," whether it applied to a player's form on the basketball court or one's priorities in life. "Off-balance is when you over-commit and under-deliver," Guerin said.
"You've got to follow through. If you're not reliable, you won't be respected. The smallest good deed is better than the best intention. If you get the talking part done, that's not a result."
Using basketball skills to drive home Wooden's principles clicked with CAG president Bernie Moreno.
"It lets some business analogies come to life," Moreno said. "When you're passing the ball to a teammate or sending a priority to a staff member, is that teammate or person ready to receive that from you? Are you assuming that when you throw the ball that they are ready and won't let it hit them in the head? You have to take responsibility first as a leader, and blame doesn't enter into the equation."
This is the second Wooden camp in three years Moreno has had Guerin and Impelman do for his management team. Guerin arrived at the Q armed with two years of data assessment, which was reviewed during each of the three classroom sessions.
Moreno has seen his business grow by 10 franchises and five dealerships since the first Wooden Camp. He started out with a dealership that sold 200 cars a year with 20 employees and built it into an enterprise that will sell 7,000 cars this year with 375 employees.
"As we grow, we're going to make more and more mistakes," he said. "It's how we grow from them, and minimize them, and make sure we don't have any repetition of them. So it puts a big challenge on everybody who's a leader in the company." Impelman, a former UCLA assistant, is a coach, drill sergeant, motivational speaker and comedian rolled into one when it comes to these camps. He told the group in Cleveland that Wooden was a great leader because he was also a good listener. Case in point, UCLA's 1970 national title win over Jacksonville.
"They had (7-foot-2) Artis Gilmore and UCLA had 6-9 Sidney Wicks," said Impelman, who is married to one of Wooden's grandchildren. "During a timeout, Wicks said, 'Coach, let me play behind Gilmore (on defense).' That was totally unconventional. Coach says OK and Wicks blocks his shot. What's the bad news? He was called for goal-tending three straight times. But Wooden didn't pull the play; he liked what he saw. Gilmore went 9 for 29 from the field, Jacksonville loses by (11) and UCLA wins the national championship. Why? Because he listened to his players.
"You've got to listen to your player (or employees), otherwise you're not going to get their best effort and they're not going to buy in." Every day Wooden kept his schedule clear at 2:30 in case any of his players wanted to talk, about basketball, about anything, before practice. CBS was sitting in his office one day, filming a special, when Wooden excused himself at 2:30. "CBS wanted to know why, since practice didn't start 'til 3 o'clock," Impelman said. "Wooden said 'Because the players are counting on me. If anybody's there, they're counting on me to be there.' "
Impelman would weave anecdotes in with the drills, one of which resembled a Globetrotters routine. A circle-within-a-circle passing drill might seem complex, but it drove home this point: You're going to face complexities in the work force, so deal with it. In another fun drill, the campers were split into four teams for a "Plan, no plan" contest. Each team had 90 seconds to score as many points as it could -- one point for a layup, two points outside the key, three points for a free throw. After the points were tallied, each team then had two minutes to come up with a plan that would help them improve productivity.
In other words, put your best shooters from that first round in their best spot to succeed.
Guerin's high school coach, Chuck Williams, would have been proud.
With Guerin participating and swishing one free throw after another, his team went from 18 points in the first round to 53 -- 10 more points than the second-best team.
"After all these years," joked Guerin, 65, "the kid can still shoot!" Personal help It hasn't been all fun and games and camps and speaking engagements for Guerin. He's battled oral cancer for several months and found the Pyramid of Success to be a great source of comfort.
"I spoke to 300 doctors a couple of months ago and told them John Wooden's lessons -- being your best when the best is needed -- really become real when you're facing mortality," Guerin said. "The question you have to ask yourself is, can the rest of my days be the best of my days?
"Sometimes when you're the lowest, coach Wooden's principals are real and strong. It's the template to carry on the fight."
"The team camp is encouraging, inspiring, and energy filled; just as powerful the second time around.I am looking forward to tracking our performance next year." Bernie Moreno President - Collection Auto Group
Recent Team Camp Agenda (examples)
Senior Management Camp
Sales Leadership Camp
Organizations that have benefited from the John R. Wooden Team Camp Experience:
5 Company Presidents Experience the Wooden Camp
In January 2011, we went to LA together to experience the John Wooden Leadership Program. All day, we moved from an hour in a court side class room to an hour on the court as we learned and experienced John Wooden' s legacy. John had just passed away 7 months before and the love that the coaches, Lynn and Craig, had for John was present with us. This is a life experience that continues to inspire and one that I'm very grateful for.
Feedback from Team Camp Participants
A great reminder that Values and Profit can go hand in hand. In these tough times, it was important to look back at a simpler approach to building a team through simple concepts, such as the 7 Point Creed and Two Sets of Threes. Those principles along with the Pyramid of Success provide guidance in developing successful teams. The camp brought all this to life, and through reliving Coach's experiences in the classroom and on the court, we were able to process the principles. It gave me the opportunity to rethink my approach to leadership and my role in the Company. In a broader sense, it forced me to rethink my approach to life. This was a gift I have shared with co-workers, friends and my family and we are all richer for it. Rue Patel - Plant Manager & Community Representative - General Mills at Cedar Rapids
The Wooden Course brought us back to the basics of what is needed to build a strong and successful team. We learned that we all need to work together to ensure the success of not only ourselves, but of our company. At Collection Auto Group, we constantly challenge ourselves to improve our performance; not only with our clients, but with our team. The Wooden Course reminded us of how we are all competitive and how a little friendly competition can make our team stronger. I would recommend The Wooden Course to any company looking to strengthen their team in a fun and interactive way. Bernie Moreno - President Collection Auto Group
Best experience I've had in any type of business development seminar in last 20 years. It focuses on the things that are truly important to build a better team, a stronger team, a team with integrity and character. M. Slagter - V.P. of Sales Mercedes Benz
I think about the balance we all need in our lives with our passion for our job and what we do and how we do it, and how we can apply these principles we learned today and put them into use in our personal life as well as our work life. That is just great. Now knowing more about John Wooden, you can live a life all the way to the very, very end and stay true to the right principles the whole time, I think that is amazing. It is something to strive for as a father and as an employee of a company. Skip Macharg - Director of West Coast Operatiopns Chick-Fil-A
My best learning come from great men and women. It was a pleasure to invest my time with such good people and passionate teachers. Keep up the great work and spread the wisdom coach has left for us, We will all be better off. Pat Cooley - President RelianceNet
The course is teaching 'coaching', It has changed my life. This is my second time experiencing the camp,it just gets better and better. Peter Mapp - General Manager
The team camp is encouraging, inspiring, and energy filled; just as powerful the second time around.I am looking forward to tracking our performance next year. Bernie Moreno - President Collection Auto Group
Awesome experience - once in a lifetime. It made me a better person and better leader. Great mix of teambuilding and leadership skills. Mark Taylor - CEO IN-N-OUT
Now knowing more about John Wooden, you can live a life all the way to the very, very end and stay true to the right principles the whole time, I think that is amazing. It is something to strive for as a father and as an employee of a company. Skip MacHarg - Director West Coast Operations Chick-fil-A
Great Day! The combination of classroom and physical activity on the court was fantastic. The day went so fast. The speakers/coaches were awesome, guys who worked with coach over the years-not just guys telling us-they knew coach, had strong feelings , knowledge and passion about coach and his philosophy. They were 'walking the walk'. Rob Teitlebaum, Southern Area Manager
To prepare your team for championship performance by experiencing The John R. Wooden Team Camp contact Lynn Guerin or Craig Impleman at 1-888-467-1260 or email firstname.lastname@example.org