Pam Hendrickson isn’t a sports fan but she’s been impacted by the greatest coach of all time.

After working with Tony Robbins for 18 years, rising to serve as his vice president of content and product development, Pam founded the Content Solutions Group. She’s also an excellent producer as I can personally attest after having worked with her on a new project.

In recent months, our team has traveled across the country, interviewing some of the leading figures in the sports world, from Joe Torre to Steve Kerr, about how Coach John Wooden, the legendary teacher who led the UCLA Bruins to 10 national titles, impacted their lives. We also garnered insights from business and thought leaders, including John Maxwell and Dr. Mehmet Oz, on how Coach Wooden influenced them as they pursued greatness.

After watching all of the interviews with these high achievers, Pam noticed the people Coach Wooden impacted were…different.

“The second you walk into the room, there’s something different,” Pam told me about meeting people influenced by Coach Wooden. “At first I couldn’t figure out what it was. Everybody we interviewed is a super achiever.These are people at the top of their games. At one point, I interviewed Ken Blanchard on one day and Dick Enberg the next day. They were both so fired up, so excited about what they were doing. These are people who have accomplished a lot but their graciousness, their humility, their warmth and their poise was unlike anything I’ve seen. What started to occur to me was that they were modeling Wooden. They all directly attributed where they are to Coach Wooden. It’s a phenomenon.”

Even though Coach Wooden retired after leading UCLA to a tenth national title in 1975, Pam noticed the people he mentored and influenced carried on his legacy of success…even today! She called this continued legacy “the Wooden Effect.”

Coach Wooden’s lessons remain relevant and people continue to learn team-building, leadership and success principles because of the power of his message. From first hand experience, I know how powerful Coach Wooden’s legacy is. I was personally mentored by Coach Wooden and I co-wrote his final book before his passing in 2010 at the age of 99.

“You meet the people impacted by Coach Wooden and you feel like you have been impacted by him,” Pam told me.

Coach Wooden would certainly be proud that his legacy continues. He always went above and beyond when it came to sharing his wisdom.

“Part of the Wooden Effect is the concept of paying it forward,” Pam said. “That’s something we need with all the uncertainty in the world right now.”

I am a better leader, a better father, a better boss, a better husband, and a better man because of the Wooden Effect. It’s an honor to be able to share his legacy of greatness for future generations.

Who do you know that inspired you to achieve greatness? What legacy do you hope to share with the people in your life? What is your version of the Wooden Effect? I’d love to hear your story!

[IMAGE: Al Bello/ALLSPORT]


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