They Call Me Coach; Legend John Wooden

Commercial Real Estate Agent with KW Commercial

Friday, June 4th, Coach John Wooden passed away at the age of 99.  Baby Boomers may recall college basketball in the 60's and 70's, as we witnessed Wooden's basketball teams dominate the sports scene with 10 National Championships in a span of 12 years and 88 straight wins in the early 70's.  I was in high school and college during those championship years and as a high school basketball player, we ran the UCLA 3-1-1 full court press.  We weren't the most talented team but we did pride ourselves in hard work and hustle.  As I prepared to become a teacher and coach, I heard Coach Wooden in person at my very first coaching clinic in Seattle back in 1973. Even as a young adult, I could see that he was a very special person. I recall he was more of a philosopher than an X and O coach.

Coach Wooden created the Pyramid of Success; key components of a successful basketball player or team.  We could personalize the pyramid and say:

  • Coach Wooden created the Pyramid of Success; key components of a successful person, or
  • Coach Wooden created the Pyramid of Success; key components of a successful real estate agent, or
  • Coach Wooden created the Pyramid of Success; key components of a successful lender, or
  • Coach Wooden created the Pyramid of Success; key components of a successful parent.

 As you can see, I could on and on, its one for the ages. Yes, the pyramid was designed for his basketball players, but now that I am a commercial real estate broker, I see that many of his statements are applicable to the brokerage business.  The pyramid's corner stones are Industriousness at one corner and Enthusiasm at the other corner.  Hmmmm, hard work with energy.  Sounds like it could find a place in real estate. 

Here are some of the other traits found in the pyramid;  competitive greatness, poise, confidence, condition, skill, team spirit, self control, alertness, initiative, intentness, friendship, loyalty, cooperation.  One of Wooden's key beliefs was  to focus criticism on effort, not performance. With effort, performance takes care of itself.  Hmmmmm, you mean like working on lead generating and listings and then closings will take care of themselves?

Here is part of UCLA and Portland Trailblazer great Bill Walton's statement on Coach Wooden's passing;

"The joy and happiness in Coach Wooden's life came from the success and accomplishments of others. He never let us forget what he learned from his two favorite teachers, Abraham Lincoln and Mother Theresa, "that a life not lived for others is not a life."

"I thank John Wooden every day for all his selfless gifts, his lessons, his time, his vision and especially his faith and patience. This is why our eternal love for him will never fade away. This is why we call him ‘Coach.'"

And lastly, I have included some of Coach Wooden's quotes.  I encourage you to take these words and place them into the context of the real estate world. 

  • Be prepared and be honest. 
  • Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.
  • What you are as a person is far more important than what you are as a (real estate agent) basketball player.
  • If you're not making mistakes, then you're not doing anything. I'm positive that a doer makes mistakes.
  • Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.
  • It's the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.
  • Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out."

"You can't live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you."

Do you want to learn more about Coach Wooden?  Just google his name.


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Joe Sosky is the Managing Director for KW Commercial in Vancouver, Washington, as well as a developer of NNN leased properties.  Give me a call if you have a client who may want to buy, sell or lease a Commercial or Investment property.  Each month we teach people how to become a Millionare Real Estate Investor.  Our Workshops are held in Downtown Vancouver on the 3rd Tuesday of each month!  Email info@jtsinvesting for more information!

Joe Sosky; Commercial Real Estate Associate Broker and Investment Specialist
KW Commercial



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Pat O'Reilly
RE/MAX..214-289-6176 Irving and all of Dallas Fort Worth - Irving, TX

He was a special man..thanks for the post!!

Jun 05, 2010 03:15 PM #1
Respect Realty LLC
Respect Realty LLC - Milwaukie, OR
Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate

He was an amazing coach and I have never heard of a player of his criticize him. The fact is every one you hear talk about him say how much he changed their lives and made them the successful person they are today.

Jun 06, 2010 07:39 AM #2
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Joe Sosky

Commercial Real Estate Broker - (360) 816-9652
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