John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success


These days, project management appears to be an essential part of successfully developing business. The term implies leading and controlling a team or a particular project to high results in a limited period. The primary goal of project management is to achieve the arranged aim within specific constraints, namely the score and budget. Another aspect, which distinguishes this term from management, is a certain timespan. Project management also requires the application of certain knowledge, skills, strategies, and methods. Therefore, John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success, which implies a detailed description of the crucial components for attaining an objective, may be beneficial for fulfilling all the intentions (Marion, 1). This way, the purpose of this paper is to describe the extent to which the aforementioned theory could be applied to project management and compare personal leadership style with John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success. After such analysis, some proposals for adjusting the theory to the Global Green Books Publishing will be presented.

John’s Wooden Pyramid of Success in Project Management

John Wooden was an American successful basketball coach, who managed to bring the entire team together and stimulate them to do their best. Apart from providing the players with strong motivation, he taught them fundamental skills that led them to attaining high results and turned their dreams into reality. John Wooden was interested in identifying and developing the traits of character and specific habits that are helpful for achieving ambitious goals. In 1948, the talented coach introduced his theory Pyramid of Success, presented in a scheme in the shape of a triangle. The inventor offered practical steps and some soft skills for individual and team excellence. He used to apply the same strategy while training the team and preparing them for games, and the results were unmatched. Despite the fact that the theory was invented by a former basketball player and a coach, it is beneficial for using in other spheres, as it contains an effective roadmap to become a better person.

First of all, John Wooden determined success as heartsease, which can be achieved only by feeling satisfied with the efforts made as a result of doing the best from any possible options. He believed that, unlike constant complaining and condoning, undertaking efforts regularly to the best of one’s abilities is the correct direction for guaranteeing satisfactory results. In addition, the victory does not appear to be the goal of the game, as the journey is significantly more important than the destination.

One of the Pyramid of Success’ components is healthy competition, as the spirit of competitiveness is the greatest joy of the fight. A serious battle with a strong opponent stimulates and raises the spirit at a higher level. The author also highlighted the importance of being natural and not pretending being someone else. It is not worth losing temper regardless of the circumstances and situation. Even in the case of placing pressure, the leader should not yield. This way, equilibrium presents another essential part of the theory, which means sticking to one’s own principles and beliefs and taking measures in accordance with them. The following point is logically derivative from the previous one. Confidence is useful for achieving the appropriate level of competence and excellence. However, this trait of character should be drawn special attention to, as the line between confidence and arrogance is fine. Furthermore, physical, psychological, and moral conditions should be adequate, as all these three points are interdependent on each other.

The center of the Pyramid is occupied by skills, and this factor is not dependent on the sphere. It is a matter of extreme significance for each job to complete all the tasks correctly and quickly. John Wooden appreciated the experience, but preferred to have more skills. Moreover, leaders are lifelong students, as the process of gaining specific skills is continuous and uninterrupted. Achieving the goals and maintaining the results are different challenges, and they are unique and demanding in their own way. For this reason, self-control is beneficial for succeeding and helpful for preventing emotional explosions. John Wooden considered alertness as another component of success too, notably, this skill is advantageous for both life and business, and inactivity as the major rival of success. Therefore, initiative and hard-working nature are necessary traits for all leaders.

Friendship is another part of success since it adds to the potential for a consolidated team. Loyalty is an integral trait of a leader, who is willing to fulfill their ambitions. The majority of people are eager to be the participants of the team when the administration of it cares for them. Cooperation, sharing ideas and information, responsibility, and creativity are the priority to all the leaders and teams. The final part of the Pyramid is enthusiasm, which appears to be even more efficient when combined with the hard-working nature. Making significant efforts is not sufficient for achieving ambitious goals, and enthusiasm is the aspect which inspires and motivates to continue the way.

As is evident from the information presented above, the Pyramid of Success can be beneficial when applied for project management too since it contains a great amount of helpful advice. For instance, it is a common sight when directors are focused on succeeding to a large extent and do not pay appropriate attention to the working conditions of employees. They tend to overburden the workers by assigning them complicated and extensive tasks and not employing a sufficient number of specialists. This way, taking into consideration the component of Wooden’s Pyramid of Success about loyalty would become a practical step for completing the project. It is essential to provide employees with deliberate working conditions, including the time to rest and have a meal. Moreover, it is advisable to make concessions when it is needed. This recommendation also addresses the condition, as it is a matter of extreme importance to maintain the resourceful state of both workers and the leader.

Another expediential option regards the cooperation between specialists who work on the project. It is worth taking advantage of all ideas and encouraging employees to share information, as each person has a unique experience that should be appreciated and taken into account. As a result, some rationale options can be advanced for improving the objective of a project. The last suggestion implies developing appropriate skills, and this point relates to both the header and the executives. The leader should be interested in obtaining new knowledge and improving themselves and motivate the employees to follow this advice in order to produce high results. Continuous studying should be the priority and should always be encouraged. This way, the elaborating project can be significantly improved by following the roadmap of John Wooden.

Personal Leadership Style

There is a great variety of leadership styles, ranging from autocratic to laissez-faire ones (Smith, 2). As for me, my personal leadership philosophy appears to be a combination of democratic and coaching style. I get accustomed to sharing information with employees regarding the hardships and challenges that are likely to arise while working on the project. As a leader, I encourage specialists to discuss the problem and present their points of view before making the final decision, as their ideas may be extremely beneficial for minimizing and preventing difficulties. Such habit is related to the component Cooperation in John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success, and I share the view presented on the theory and put it into practice.

In addition, as have already been mentioned, I also stick to the coaching leadership style, so, I try to stimulate the workers to improve their knowledge and skills. I strongly believe that the skills should be updated regularly in order to match the deliberate level (Deeprose, 3). For this reason, frequent seminars and conferences are organized to provide a deep insight into the chosen topic. If the necessity to learn additionally is evident, employees are sent to special courses for improving their qualifications. This approach matches John Wooden’s opinion on continuous studying too.

Moreover, I make efforts to establish trustful relationships between the group members and organize common leisure activities. This way, all the employees may get acquainted with each other and learn the skills and experiences of their colleagues. Friendly relationships contribute to achieving success, as people tend to understand one another more precisely (Marion, 1). According to the Pyramid of Success, friendship is essential for achieving high results, and I take into consideration this advice.

Appliance to the Global Green Books Publishing

John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success can be beneficially applied to the Global Green Books Publishing case, as the company used to have multiple problems with the organization. One possible suggestion regards team spirit, as there were occasions where the lack of motivation and unity was evident. Supervisors should learn the methods of stimulating employees and bringing them together, as collaboration and trust are efficient in order to develop a profitable business. A convenient and friendly atmosphere also contribute to minimizing the stress at the workplace, as workers become sure that in case of unexpected problems, they will receive understanding and help. Moreover, team spirit improves the coordination between specialists and departments, which has a positive impact on the business.

Another sufficient option addresses cooperation between colleagues, as sharing information and experience definitely contributes to a company’s successful development. The founders of Global Green Books Publishing struggled from the lack of knowledge and experience at first, which appeared to be the reason for the company’s decline. However, there is a likelihood that other employees could have advised them on a particular problem so that the negative result could be minimized or prevented at all. Finally, sharing ideas was the aspect that led to the improvement. Cooperation with Samantha became an incentive for the business’s growth, as she was interested in project management and proposed to apply some changes. Her suggestions were the key factors that supplied Global Green Books Publishing with high results. For this reason, cooperation between workers is significant and sufficient. This way, John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success can become an appropriate solution not only for sports challenges, but also for troubles in business environment.


James W. Marion. 2019. Project Management: A Common-Sense Guide to the PMBOK Program, Part Two–Plan and Execution. Momentum Press.

Peter A. C. Smith, Tom Cockburn. 2013. Dynamic Leadership Models for Global Business: Enhancing Digitally Connected Environments. IGI Global. Web.

Donna Deeprose. 2002. Project Management: Operations. Wiley. Web.

Cite this paper

Select style


BusinessEssay. (2022, January 13). John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success. Retrieved from


BusinessEssay. (2022, January 13). John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success.

Work Cited

"John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success." BusinessEssay, 13 Jan. 2022,


BusinessEssay. (2022) 'John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success'. 13 January.


BusinessEssay. 2022. "John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success." January 13, 2022.

1. BusinessEssay. "John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success." January 13, 2022.


BusinessEssay. "John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success." January 13, 2022.