1 Quest, 2010, 62, National Association for Kinesiology and Physical Education in Higher Education Should Coaches Believe in Innate Ability? The Importance of Leadership Mindset Melissa A. Chase The purpose of this article is to examine how individuals personal beliefs about the antecedents of leadership ability influence their leadership behavior and ultimate effectiveness. The relevant literature is reviewed to highlight current thinking in relation to the debate over whether leadership is innate or learned. A leadership mindset that differentiates between a fixed or a growth mindset (Dweck, 2006) is presented. A person with a fixed mindset would view leadership as an innate quality, or believe that people are born leaders. A person with a growth mindset would believe that leadership abilities can be learned and acquired through effort and experience. The leadership mindset is a critical component related to effectiveness and success as a leader. Coaching education and leadership training programs should consider focusing on helping coaches and leaders develop a growth mindset about their leadership abilities, and suggestions are offered for ways to incorporate the study of and emphasis on a growth leadership mindset in sport. Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile (Lombardi, 2009). This statement by Vince Lombardi, legendary football coach for the Green Bay Packers, sparks an interesting debate among coaches and scholars. Is it possible for anyone to be a great coach or leader if he or she works hard enough? Are there some qualities that effective coaches and leaders possess that are truly innate and unachievable through hard work? A plethora of conceptual approaches have been developed to provide frameworks for the study of leadership, yet answers to these most basic questions remain elusive and a major point of disagreement between scholars and practitioners. The purpose of this article is not to attempt to answer the question of whether leadership is innate or learned. The relevant literature is reviewed to highlight current thinking regarding the innate versus learned leadership debate, but this review is provided as background to what seems to be a more important question. The key question is: How do individuals personal beliefs about the antecedents of leadership ability (i.e., whether it is innate or learned) influence their leadership behavior and ultimate effectiveness? This may be named a leadership mindset, using the term coined by Carol Dweck (2006) that differentiates between what she calls fixed and growth mindsets. A person with a fixed mindset would view leadership an innate quality, and believe that people are born leaders. A person with a growth mindset Chase is the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Affairs, School of Education, Health, and Society, Miami University, Oxford, OH. 296
2 Leadership Mindset 297 would believe that leadership abilities could be learned and acquired through effort and experience. The basic premise of this article is that the internal mindset of individuals about leadership ability, or their leadership mindset, is a critical component related to their effectiveness and success as a leader. Coaching education and leadership training programs should consider focusing on helping coaches and leaders develop a growth mindset about their leadership abilities, as opposed to attempting to identify the elusive formula for how to be a great leader. In the following sections, the leadership literature is examined, and suggestions are offered for ways to incorporate the study of and emphasis on a growth leadership mindset in sport. How Definitions of Leadership May Influence Leadership Mindset The key word in defining leadership seems to be influence. The first often cited definition was Barrow s (1977) explanation of leadership as the behavioral process of influencing individuals and groups toward set goals. Contemporary reviews of leadership continue to use the key verb influence to describe leadership. In his 1995 book Leading Minds: An Anatomy of Leadership, Howard Gardner defined leadership as individuals who can significantly influence the thoughts, behaviors, and feelings of other people. In writing to coaches, Vealey (2005) defined leadership as the behavioral, psychological, and social process of influencing individuals to move toward the achievement of specific objectives. Perhaps an emphasis on the word influence as the key verb describing leadership makes it seem like some mystical, internal charisma that is needed to compel others into action or to behave in a certain way. This is especially emphasized when lauding transformative leadership, or the ability to inspire individuals to transform themselves and their world (Vealey, 2005). Coaches, and others in leadership positions, have been urged to move beyond mere managerial or transactional leadership of managing their day-to-day responsibilities effectively (e.g., planning practice, organizing a schedule, handling a budget, communicating with players) to become more transformative leaders who can inspire individuals to achieve a vision and transform themselves in significant ways (Vealey, 2005; Weinberg & Gould, 2007). A young aspiring coach may read such ideas and wonder if she has the innate stuff to be a transformative leader and coach. This is not to say that transformative leadership is a problematic term or that it is difficult to achieve without certain key innate qualities related to charisma and persuasion. In fact, the psychological, education, and business literature is bursting with practical articles and ideas about how to become more transformative, or positively influential, in leading others. In the sport psychology literature, this involves enabling others to focus on collective goals or accomplishment (Murray & Mann, 2006), or providing guidance for coaches to develop specific skills (vision, relationship, control/decision-making, reinforcement, and information) required of transformative leaders (Vealey, 2005). Chelladurai (2007) explains key skills that coaches or mentors can develop to practice transformative leadership within the pursuit of excellence in sport, including creating a vision, engaging in inspiring communication, individualizing communication, and knowing when to be demanding and directive.
3 298 Chase Other definitions and examples of leadership in the business literature illustrate the importance of a growth mindset. In Jim Collins book Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don t, he defined Level 5 executives as those individuals who rated higher on the leadership hierarchy than Level 4 effective leaders. Level 5 executives lead with ferocious resolve, have professional will, and lead with personal humility (Collins, 2001). Level 5 executives influence others to work for the good of company without the need to receive all the glory themselves. Collins contends that businesses do not need to hire a larger-than-life egocentric leader (e.g., someone with supernatural innate talents, focused on his/ her success) to be great. Level 5 executives have a growth mindset. For example, Darwin Smith, CEO of Kimberly-Clark (and a Good to Great leader according to Collins) stated, I never stopped trying to become qualified for the job. Collins states that most people have the potential to evolve to a Level 5 executive under the right circumstances that includes factors such as self-reflection, conscious personal development, and involvement with a mentor or teacher. Level 5 executives, who are similar to transformative leaders in their qualities and goals for success, can develop if they have a growth mindset. There is a well-established commercial industry offering books, videos, and multistep programs on developing effective, transformative leadership skills. Stephen Covey s two books (1989, 2004) identify key habits of highly effective people, and explain how each of us can learn and engage in habitual behaviors to enhance our personal success. Even Covey s dedication in his 2004 book emphasizes a growth mindset, by dedicating his 8th Habit book to the humble, courageous, great ones among us who exemplify how leadership is a choice, not a position. David Allen s acclaimed book Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress- Free Productivity (2001) and follow-up Making It All Work (2008) provide step by step instructions, worksheets, and systems to teach productive self-management and organizational skills. All of this popular literature clearly states that leaders continue to grow on the job. Leadership primers from successful coaches are also widely marketed and available for young coaches who wish to learn the lessons of leadership effectiveness. Examples include She Can Coach: Tools for Success from 20 Top Women Coaches (Reynaud, 2005), Leading With the Heart: Coach K s Successful Strategies for Basketball, Business, and Life (Krzyzewski, 2000), and Dr. Jack s Leadership Lessons Learned from a Lifetime in Basketball (Ramsey, 2004). Again, emphasizing the growth mindset critical for leadership effectiveness, the She Can Coach book is described as a resource in which highly successful women share how they have grown into their roles and learned to handle them with proficiency (p. viii). These resources move beyond simply autobiographical or biographical anecdotes and entertainment to consciously lay out strategies, processes, and behaviors those readers can choose to incorporate and innovate into their own lives. The success of this industry does not prove that leadership is learned, but certainly a lot of people who buy these products believe that it is. There is a key assumption on the part of readers who purchase popular leadership literature. They have a growth leadership mindset. For new coaches, the message becomes not about being born with the right stuff to be a great leader, but about being around the right mentors, the right coaching education programs, and putting forth the effort to learn to be a great leader. Adopting this growth mindset ensures that leadership
4 Leadership Mindset 299 is viewed as a skill that may be developed, and that leaders are made, not born, and most typically, they are self-made. Therefore, perhaps the most important focus in transformative leadership is people s abilities to influence or transform themselves through learning, effort, and persistence to internalize a useful and effective leadership skill-set. Approaches to Studying Leadership Several models or approaches to the study of leadership appear in the sport psychology literature. These models tend to focus on how leadership works, as opposed to how leadership develops. However, the ways in which leadership is studied or conceptualized may influence the leadership mindset that people adopt. Thus, a few of the conceptual approaches to the study of leadership are examined in this section, with an eye for how each approach may influence the leadership mindset. Great Person Approach. One of the first approaches to the study of leadership was to examine the personality traits or characteristics of successful leaders to learn about their commonalities. Termed the trait or great person approach, this view posited that individuals who are successful leaders should have similar personality characteristics, regardless of the situation in which they are asked to lead. Researchers searched for common characteristics and traits among successful leaders. After hundreds of studies, the trait approach was abandoned because a common set of leadership characteristics were not found (Chelladurai, 1990). Researchers concluded that there are no specific characteristics or personality traits that lead to effective leadership, also suggesting that ability to lead is not innate. Clearly, the great person approach was fueled by our cultural fascination with heroes who are distinguished from followers by having innate superior wisdom, strength, virtue, and/or attractiveness. Behavioral Approach. In juxtaposition to the great person approach, the behavioral approach to leadership suggested that effective leaders demonstrated the same effective behaviors, regardless of the situation. The key was to determine what behaviors are the most effective and then teach these behaviors to other leaders. One of the most cited studies in the coaching effectiveness research was Tharp and Gallimore s (1976) observational study of John Wooden, men s basketball coach at UCLA. Tharp and Gallimore recorded over 30 hr of Wooden s coaching behaviors to develop a list of 10 effective behaviors. Tharp and Gallimore s behavioral approach was replicated many times with different coaches and the findings indicated that specific behaviors that consistently predicted effective leadership were not found in different situations (Weinberg & Gould, 2007). These results led researchers to consider the context or situation, in addition to effective behaviors. There was no evidence that successful coaching behaviors were innate and not learned. Interactional Approach. The interactional approach to studying leadership examined personality traits, characteristics, and behaviors of the leader in the context of the situation. This approached argued that the interaction between both the personal factors and the situational factors needed to be considered. This approach also emphasized that coaching behaviors that are successful with one team in one sport may not transfer to be effective with another team in another
5 300 Chase sport because of the unique characteristics found in different situations. An interactional approach to leadership stresses that effective leadership behaviors must match the situation, and that there is not one type of leadership trait for every situation. In fact, many great leaders alter their behavior to fit the context of the situation. The interactional approach seems to suggest that effective leadership can be learned within the context of a situation. Two interactional approaches that have examined sport leadership include the multidimensional model of sport leadership (Chelladurai, 1990) and the mediational model of leadership (Smoll & Smith, 1989). Multidimensional Model of Sport Leadership. Chelladurai s (1990) multidimensional model of sport leadership is a combination and extension of earlier leadership models I (e.g., Fiedler, 1967; House, 1971; Osborn & Hunt, 1975; Yukl, 1971). The multidimensional model approach to studying leadership has been shown to be effective in previous research (Horn, 2002). Specifically, the multidimensional model of sport leadership suggests that group performance, coachathlete compatibility, and member satisfaction are a result of the congruence among required, preferred, and actual leader behavior, which stem from characteristics of the situation, the leaders, and the members of the group. Leader and member characteristics can include age, experience, gender, personality, and ability. Situation characteristics can involve the goal of the organization/group, type of sport (team vs. individual), type of task (open vs. closed), or culture. A key to the multidimensional model of sport leadership is the agreement between the leader s required and actual behaviors and the group s preferred behavior. For example, the situation might require the leader to take on an autocratic leadership style and her behavior follows suit. The group members would prefer a democratic leadership style and so there is a lack of agreement. Performance and athlete satisfaction may tend to be lower in this situation. There was support for this model in the research although Chelladurai and colleagues did continue to refine the leadership model. The multidimensional model of sport leadership was slightly changed in 2001 to include the component of transformational leadership (Chelladurai, 2001). Transformational leadership consists of charisma, idealized influence, inspiration, intellectual stimulation, and individualized consideration and is believed to influence situational characteristics and group characteristics. According to Chelladurai and similar to Vealey s (2005) work, transformational leaders introduce a new vision and spread inspiration and confidence to the group in their ability to accomplish the group s goals. It is interesting to note that according to Chelladurai (2001) and Bass (1985), not all effective leaders (e.g., those who manage) have charisma. Charisma might be considered more of an innate trait than a learned quality of effective leaders. Overall, the research associated with the multidimensional model of sport leadership has provided a solid foundation for the study of sport leadership (Riemer, 2007). Criticism of the model suggested a lack of comprehensive research that has examined correlational, rather than causal, links in the proposed model. Segments of the model have been tested, with only a limited number of situational, leader, and group member characteristics. The multidimensional model of sport leadership does provide support for an interactional approach to studying leadership in sport as findings indicate that situational factors and characteristics of the leader do interact (Horn, 2002). However, while there is evidence that this model success-
6 Leadership Mindset 301 fully explains leadership it has some limitations; the multidimensional model of sport leadership does not address perceptions about one s ability to lead and how abilities to lead originate. Mediational Model of Leadership. Smoll and Smith s (1989) mediational model of leadership examines the relationships among situational, cognitive, behavioral, and individual difference variables suggesting that effective leadership in youth sport coaches is a result of the coach behaviors, player perception and recall of those behaviors, and player s evaluative reactions. An athlete s attitude toward the coach and his sport experience are mediated by his perception and recall of the coaches behaviors. For example, if an athlete views a coaching behavior as positive and helpful, then the player may react in a positive and constructive manner. Factors that influence these relationships are the coach individual difference variables (e.g., goals, motives, gender, intentions), player individual difference variables (e.g., age, gender, anxiety, motives), and situational factors (e.g., level of competition, nature of sport, success record). Using the Coaching Behavior Assessment System (CBAS), Smith, Smoll, and Curtis (1979) (observed and assessed coaching behavior, developed training methods to improve coaching behavior, and measured the effects of players enjoyment and satisfaction. This significant line of research followed by a conceptually-based training program and evaluation of the training program s effectiveness clearly supports a growth leadership mindset. Overall, Smoll and Smith (1989) found that coaches own perceptions of their behavior did not correspond well with the actual observed behavior. Players perceptions of their coaches behaviors did not correspond well to the self-perceptions of their coaches. In addition, training programs can change coaching behaviors that in turn can enhance players enjoyment, satisfaction, and rating of their coaches. The mediational model adds to the evaluation of sport leadership, however, Smoll, Smith, and colleagues have called for additional research to examine the relationships among the factors (Anshel, 2003). Summary of Approaches to the Study of Leadership The various approaches to studying leadership in sport have progressed in sophistication in examining what is effective leadership. The great person approach suggested individuals who are successful leaders should have similar personality characteristics, regardless of the situation in which they lead. The behavioral approach to leadership suggested that effective leaders demonstrate the same effective behaviors, regardless of the situation. The interactional approach argued that the interaction between both the personal factors and the situational factors needed to be considered. The multidimensional model of sport leadership suggested that group performance, coach-athlete compatibility, and member satisfaction are a result of the congruence among required, preferred, and actual leader behavior. The mediational model of leadership suggested that effective leadership in youth sport coaches is a result of the coach behaviors, player perception and recall of those behaviors, and player s evaluative reactions. All of these approaches have been examined in the sport leadership literature. Nevertheless, researchers are not able to stipulate any single best leadership approach or say what behavior works
7 302 Chase for different situations and populations (Anshel, 2003). Because the answer to the question What qualities in what situation produce the most effective leaders? remains elusive, it seems that the question asked earlier is more significant. That question is the focus of this article. How do individuals personal beliefs about the antecedents of leadership ability (i.e., whether it is innate or learned) influence their leadership behavior and ultimate effectiveness? Why A Growth Leadership Mindset is Important The different approaches to studying leadership have all suggested that the ability to lead can be learned. There is some speculation that transformational leaders are different than traditional leaders or managers since transformative leaders possess unique traits, such as charisma or inspirational influence. According to Murray and Mann (2006), charisma is uniquely distinct to the leader and cannot be transferred to another leader. Nevertheless, this speculation has not led researchers to suggest that transformative leaders are born, not made. In this section, Dweck s (2006) research on mindset is reviewed and applied to leadership. Dweck s mindset conceptualization contends that leader s views of their abilities to lead (e.g., innate or learned) can greatly influence whether they are effective leaders. Dweck s research for the past twenty years has demonstrated that how people view their abilities profoundly affects the way they live their lives (Dweck, 2006). Her research examined how two mindsets (e.g., a fixed mindset or growth mindset) affect leadership, school achievement, friendships, athletic performance, and motivation. Specifically, if individuals believe that their abilities are fixed or unchangeable, they tend to believe they either have what it takes to succeed or they don t. A fixed mindset affects individual s effort because they believe that those who have ability don t have to work hard because things come easily to them. When they do encounter failure, they tend to give up or only seek out opportunities where there is no risk of failure. People with a growth mindset think just the opposite. They believe that their ability is changeable and that they can improve with effort. Failure is not threatening to them because that is a part of learning and working hard to accomplish something. A review of the literature has found clear and consistent findings that individuals with a growth mindset (as opposed to a fixed mindset) will have higher selfefficacy (Kanfer, 1990), persist longer and put forth more effort (Jourden, Bandura, & Banfield, 1991), perform better in physical activities (Lirgg, George, Chase, & Ferguson, 1996; Ommundsen, 2003), and make better management decisions (Wood & Bandura, 1989). Specifically, Wood and Bandura (1989) examined conception of ability and management decision-making. Using graduate students from business programs, the authors divided the students into two groups. One group was told that the task measured their basic, underlying abilities to manage and make decisions. The higher their capacity was, the better their performance. They were led to believe that they had an innate or fixed ability. The second group was told that the task measured their ability to improve upon their ability to manage and make decisions. The management skills were developed through practice and the task would provide them the opportunity to improve. This group was led to believe that they had an acquired ability. The students were then asked to run a simulated furniture company in which they had to place employees in the right jobs, and decide how to organize and
8 Leadership Mindset 303 motivate them. Following feedback on employee productivity, they were asked to make complex management decisions. The task was difficult and early attempts by the groups were marked as failures. Results compared the two groups and found that the group with the innate or fixed mindset did not do well or improve their decision-making over time. The group with the acquired ability kept improving over time. They used the feedback and changed their decision-making to increase their productivity. Of the two groups, the one with the acquired perception of ability or growth mindset had higher self-efficacy and better performance. This research suggests that a growth mindset for leadership may lead to better decision-making by the supervisor and better performance by their employees. Dweck (2006) provided several examples of how a growth mindset in business leadership is important and more effective. According to Dweck, Enron s leaders Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling were good examples of leaders with a fixed mindset. Enron hired employees that they believed were naturals in business, they created a culture that worshiped talent, and because employees worried about being seen as less talented they refused to admit there were problems and self-correct themselves. On the other hand, Dweck described the growth mindset leaders: Jack Welch of General Electric, Lou Gerstner of IBM, and Anne Mulcahy of Xerox. All three of these leaders believed in human potential and development. Instead of focusing on their own innate talents, they encouraged the growth and improvement of themselves and others around them. They believed that leadership was about growth, passion to get better, and gratitude toward coworkers. Each year, companies spend millions of dollars for executive leadership training programs (Dweck, 2006). According to Dweck, these training programs are ineffective. Are the programs ineffective and poorly organized? Are the managers untrainable and incapable of learning? The research shows that the answer to both questions is not a matter of the effectiveness of the program or the managers. Dweck suggests that the problem lies with the managers not believing in change or growth in their employees. After the manager makes a judgment about the ability of an employee, that belief becomes fixed and therefore the manager never tries to implement the training program. The fixed opinion of their employees influences the manager s feedback about their employee performance and communication about ways to improve. In their view, why work with someone to improve their performance if they are not capable of getting better? Leadership training programs only work if the participates believe in change and growth. Growth Mindset in Coaching The study of leadership mindset or antecedents of leadership in coaching has not received much attention in the sport leadership literature. Research conducted by Chase, Galli, Myers, and Machida (2008) examined leadership mindset in high school and college coaches. High school coaches in their study indicated that they believed their overall ability to coach is more learned than innate. When asked about five specific dimensions of coaching, the coaches indicated that their ability to motivate athletes, build character, physically condition athletes, and teach techniques to their athletes were learned abilities. Their game strategy ability (e.g., managing Xs and Os ) was perceived to be more innate than learned. Interestingly, NCAA Division I collegiate coaches differed in their leadership mindset based on whether they were head or assistant coaches. Chase and colleagues
9 304 Chase found that head coaches perceived their ability to coach as more learned (a growth mindset), whereas assistant coaches perceived their ability to coach as more innate (a fixed mindset). The same results were found for specific dimensions of coaching: their perceived abilities to motivate athletes, build character, use game strategies, and teach techniques to their athletes were all considered to be more learned by head coaches and more innate by assistant coaches. The authors interpreted these results to suggest that more experience by head coaches (e.g., head coaches had coached more years than assistant coaches) influenced their mindset to believe that coaching effectiveness could be learned. What are the implications for coaches who believe in a fixed mindset? Dweck s research would suggest that they may not have successful win-loss records over a long career and their player s would not reach their full potential in sport or life nor enjoy playing for them. Coaches with a fixed mindset tend not to evolve, seek feedback to improve, and are threatened by losses. As a result, their players do not seek challenges to improve or reach their potential because they do not want to risk failure. The team environment can become one based upon fear and lack of effort. None of these results sound like the achievements of a transformative leader. On the other hand, consider the example of legendary coach John Wooden, who was mentioned earlier in this review. Wooden s mindset or belief about his leadership abilities and his player s basketball abilities could be considered a growth mindset. He fostered a growth mindset in his players that allowed them to put forth the effort to improve, while demonstrating a growth leadership mindset with his coaching expectations. Wooden lived by the principle that each day his players should put forth the effort to get a little better and over time they would become a lot better (Dweck, 2006). The next section addresses coaching education programs and their role in changing the mindset of leaders in sport. Coaching Education Programs Coaching education programs have been cited as one of the primary sources of coaching efficacy and important ways to increase coaching effectiveness (Feltz, Short, & Sullivan, 2008). An abundance of applied research contends that the coach-created climate (e.g., ego or mastery) must be considered, with a mastery climate preferred. Review of achievement goal theory (Duda & Balaguer, 2007; Roberts, Treasure, & Conroy, 2007) and coaching efficacy literature (Feltz, Short, & Sullivan, 2008) is beyond the scope of this paper, nevertheless, both should be included in coaching education programs and influence the effectiveness of the coach as a leader. This review would suggest that coaching education programs should focus on helping coaches develop a growth mindset about their leadership abilities, as opposed to focusing on how to be a great leader. For example, the National Federation of State High School Associations has developed a coaching education program (required for interscholastic coaches in many states) that focuses on the development of four skill sets for coaching effectiveness (Treasure, 2007). These skill sets are: technical (knowledge of sport), tactical (analytical/decision-making component of coaching), managerial (maintenance and organization of a systematic approach to coaching in terms of preparation, time management, administration, and programming), and interpersonal (the most critical category that underpins everything a coach does, such as communication, social skills, and motivation).
10 Leadership Mindset 305 The program is divided into learning modules, so that coaches develop their knowledge and abilities in each of the four skill sets. In many states, the program is required for not only novice, but also experienced coaches, with the point being that continuing education within a growth mindset is critical for any professional field. Coaches, like business leaders will only find education programs effective if they believe their coaching abilities are changeable and not just innate. Dweck suggested that changing to a growth mindset includes leaders monitoring words and actions when communicating with individuals and groups, praising effort and improvement rather than talent and abilities, providing constructive criticism that includes information about how to improve, setting high expectations that are achievable, pursuing the process of learning, and asking for full commitment and full effort from themselves and their players. Required coaching education programs, coaching certification, and continuing education programs send an important message to coaches that coaching skills are learned, and lifelong learning is a key to leadership effectiveness. Conclusion The question posed at the beginning of this review asked, Should coaches believe in an innate ability to lead? The conclusion should be no, especially if they believe that they have innate leadership talent that is fixed and doesn t require growth or effort to be effective. Leaders in sport need a growth mindset so they can transform themselves and believe in their ability to influence the transformation of others to achieve the collective goal. A growth mindset is simply a way of viewing the world and being open to possibilities for growth. Compare the difference between a growth mindset and fixed mindset when faced with challenges, obstacles, effort, criticism, and success of others. A growth mindset embraces challenges, persists during setbacks, views effort as necessary for achievement, learns from criticism, and finds inspiration in the success of others, whereas, a fixed mindset avoid challenges, quits during setbacks, see effort as pointless and threatening, ignores critical feedback, and may feel threatened by the success of others (Dweck, 2006). Leaders believe in their abilities and the antecedents of their leadership ability stem from a growth mindset, which is a critical component related to their effectiveness and success as a leader. All aspiring leaders should internalize a growth mindset, and shape their self-image as a transformative leader dedicated to strong effort to make a difference in the life of others. Consider John Wooden s growth mindset about his leadership ability: There is no basketball in which I am a genius. None. Tactically and strategically, I m just average, and this is not offering false modesty. We won national championships while I was coaching at UCLA because I was above average in analyzing players, getting them to fill roles as part of a team, paying attention to fundamentals and details, and work well with others. Additionally, I enjoyed very hard work. There is nothing fancy about these qualities. They have wide applications and equal effectiveness in any team endeavor anywhere. If there is any mystery as to why UCLA won ten national championships while I was the coach, that may clear it up. (Wooden, 1997, p. 113)
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