Executive Leadership and Core Values: What Do You Want to be Remembered For?

April 30, 2011 | By | Add a Comment

One of the reasons I admire college basketball coach John Wooden is because he proved that if you focus on individuals and core values over “success” and winning, you would be successful. Many of his players did not get what he was doing – they came from high school athletic experiences where they focused on winning, they had become the star and had yet to learn the value of humility.

Many of these players look back on their experience being led by Wooden as transformational. They began to see how his coaching prepared them for life, not for winning basketball games.


I don’t have a lot of juice around going back and running businesses. I had done it to be seen, make money and prove myself (none of which worked by the way). But I love the art of business and I love leadership. What does get me fired up is being in business leadership roles where I can help people grow as individuals. That was the part of running businesses that fed by soul and was fulfilling.

A focus on people and values first takes courage because it sometimes goes against the push of board member, financially-oriented investor or a star member of your top team. Do you have the courage to stick to your convictions and stay aligned with your core values, no matter what?

What are your top three core values? What are the top three things you want to bring out of each of your employees solely for their benefit? Are these things driving your decisions? If they are you should be leaping out of bed every morning with a sense of purpose.

Watch this 2 minute video about how people remember John Wooden. If you stay true to your core values you will be remembered for the impact you made on their lives more than the money you made or how “successful” you or they became.

Filed in: Leadership

About the Author (Author Profile)

Executive coach, top team facilitator, author and speaker. I work with individual leaders and their teams to help navigate personal and professional transitions and to increase leadership capacity and improve communication and relationship skills. I founded my coaching firm in 2001 following 12 years asa CEO. Check out more on me and my coaching process in my book "The Business of Wanting More: Why Some Executives Move from Success to Fulfillment and Others Don't"

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