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Two leaders who place values at the top

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in Best-Practices Leadership,Leaders & Managers

When John Wooden coached basketball at UCLA, he hardly ever visited prospective players at home. He did make exceptions, though.

Once, he visited a talented kid with the idea of offering him a scholarship. Wooden had the papers in hand. But as he watched how the player treated his mother, Wooden recognized a trait that didn’t belong on his team: disrespect.

Wooden often passed on great talent if the player lacked character.

“Just because the talent and giftedness is there doesn’t mean you’re going to be able, as a coach, to bring it out,” Wooden says. “But if their values are there … you can bring the best out of them every time.”

So, how do you hire and keep people who share your mission, work ethic and what you believe in? When leadership coach and author John C. Maxwell moved his company from San Diego to Atlanta, he sat his employees down and went over this starter set of values:
  • “It’s everybody’s responsibility to grow. It’s the leader’s responsibility to help.”

  • “Every person ought to do something that makes a positive difference.”

  • “Everyone around me needs to love what they do as much as I do. I have no desire to motivate people. I’d rather beg them to find another job.”

  • “We need to set the bar higher for ourselves than anybody else will.”

  • “The only way to build a great organization is by developing a great team.”

  • “Without integrity, everything else is meaningless.”
— Adapted from “Values 101,” John C. Maxwell, Leadership Wired,

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