John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success

Subject: Tech & Engineering
Pages: 5
Words: 1553
Reading time:
6 min
Study level: College


A large part of the modern business all over the world is project-oriented: more and more companies are oriented towards the creation of fundamentally new products or services, to achieve new results in well-known areas. Finding ways to plan, manage, and execute work is important for any team or company. Project management helps teams organize, track, and complete project work. Management will help a team plan, control, and execute work to deliver the project on time. There are various models of project management, one of which is John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success, which can change the style of leadership and the atmosphere in the team.

Pyramid of Success in Modern Management

Project management seems to be an integral part of successful business development these days. This term implies leading and controlling a team or a specific project to achieve high results in a limited period of time. Project management requires the application of certain strategies, methods, skills, and knowledge. However, an important aspect that distinguishes this term from management is a certain time interval. John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success focuses on detailing the components needed to achieve a given goal (Wishloff 79). Thus, it may prove useful for the implementation of all intentions.

John Wooden prioritizes success with the satisfaction and excitement that can be achieved with a sense of effort. As a result, it turns out that any of the possible options is the best. Wooden believed that in contrast to constant complaining and connivance, regularly making efforts to the best of one’s ability is the right direction, guaranteeing satisfactory results (Wishloff 94). In addition, winning is not the goal of the ‘game,’ since the path to success is much more important than success itself.

The Pyramid of Success can be useful for project management, as it contains a lot of useful tips. For example, managers are often more success-oriented and do not pay enough attention to the working conditions of employees. They tend to overload workers by giving them complex and voluminous tasks and not hiring enough specialists. Thus, given the important powers identified by Wood, loyalty will be a practical step for the successful completion of any project (Wishloff 79). It is necessary to provide workers with thoughtful working conditions, including time for rest, communication, eating, and more. Moreover, it is desirable to make concessions when necessary. This recommendation applies to the general condition of employees since it is extremely important to maintain the resource position of both workers and the leader.

A clear example of the need for leaders to consider the Wooden pyramid in project management can be strategies chosen by a manager in an enterprise to increase the efficiency of a new employee. Firstly, a person must have diligence to cope with the tasks assigned to one and be able to further develop in a team. Secondly, along with the strictness and exactingness of results, the manager encouraged cooperation both within the team and with other departments too. It can both unite the team and change the attitude of employees to each other and to work in a positive direction, as well as contribute to the development of new ideas received because of collaborations. Employees should be encouraged to share information, as each person has a unique experience that needs to be considered and valued (Wishloff 81). That, thirdly, implies the development of both the necessary work skills and personal development.

The choice of strategy should be carried out not only towards employees, but also managers must comply with the chosen strategies. Employees of any position should be interested in gaining new knowledge and self-improvement. Moreover, a good example can motivate people around to follow this advice for high results. Lifelong learning should be a priority and should always be encouraged (Varajão 427). Thus, modern project management can be greatly improved by following John Wooden’s pyramid of success.

Own Leadership Style

The management style undertaken by the leader is important for the performance of the department and the entire organization as a whole: the success of the organization depends on the management style. Each manager’s leadership style is individual; it is by one’s leadership style that each manager presents oneself to others as a good or bad leader (Hansen 923). My personal leadership style has certainly changed over the years, which is evident in the participatory leadership style which is the main motivational model for my work. I truly believe that my leadership style has grown and developed a positive light. Due to my short-tempered nature, which requires me to do all the work efficiently and meticulously, I can demand from employees to put in more effort. On the one hand, this supports the idea of industriousness put forward by Wooden. On the other hand, although I believe that, regardless of status, employees should create a friendly atmosphere in the team, I can demand more from them, as their boss. The synthetic style of thinking allowed me to introduce encouragement of cooperation and the development of new ideas in management, which largely overlaps with the model of John Wooden.

As a leader, I encourage professionals to discuss the problem and present their points of view before making a final decision, as their ideas can be extremely helpful in minimizing and preventing difficulties. This habit is related to the Collaboration component of John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success, and I take the above theory and put it into practice (Wishloff 93). In general, I adhere to the democratic style of leading a team, which largely intersects with the guidelines outlined by Wooden. Essentially, the concept of the Pyramid coincides with my vision of how a manager should act, regardless of the position. No matter how great the delegated power of the leader is, constant hard work, enthusiasm and cooperation are still the basis of the group’s success. Mostly, my philosophy relates to Wooden’s bloc of cooperation and initiative support.

Communication within the Organization

Building blocks are fundamental elements that are known to be critical to successful communication. The pyramid is process-oriented, not task-oriented, and focuses exclusively on personal communication. Attentive listening is perhaps the most important skill for effective communication, despite the fact that many people equate effective communication with talking rather than listening. Showing genuine interest in an employee helps build rapport, relieves tension, and makes it easier to assess business literacy and understanding of basic human factors (Sjödin 167). The Wooden Model is a conceptual framework designed to stimulate thought and discussion.

John Wooden’s pyramid of success can be successfully applied to Communication Failures, as the company had a lot of relationship problems. In this case, an increase in the level of team spirit will contribute to the development of team unity and increase motivation. Managers should learn methods to incentivize employees and bring them together, as cooperation and trust are effective in growing profitable businesses (Kerzner 143). A supportive and friendly atmosphere also contributes to minimizing stress in the workplace, as employees become confident that, in case of unforeseen problems, they will receive understanding and assistance. In addition, team spirit improves coordination between specialists and departments, which has a positive effect on business.

After analyzing the Wooden model, it is possible to describe the sequence of necessary steps to successfully overcome the crisis during the project. First, in any situation, one should remain disciplined and true to the main principles of the organization of work, namely, diligence and cooperation. One must always look for the underlying problem that needs to be addressed in order to turn it into an opportunity for productive change. Despite the obstacles in resolving issues, it is better to remain positive, to remain enthusiastic to inspire and motivate the entire team. In addition, for the successful implementation of the model in the team, all the efforts and undiscovered skills of the participants should be considered as a completely new tool.


The model discussed in this article has many benefits in terms of team success. However, even many successful cases are not enough to become a complete and sufficient argument in support of the relevance of the model. Instead of developing a competitive environment within the team, successful project leaders can use a project management tool to help develop the team. Successful achievement of a goal, according to Wooden’s Pyramid of Success, is based on hard work, cooperation, friendship, and enthusiasm. It contributes to the creation of the right team, so it is important for managers to organize joint work of different groups to unite the team and encourage initiative. By improving team collaboration, employees will gain new skills and knowledge, which will also have a positive impact on the effectiveness of the team. Regardless of the position and leadership style, creating a healthy workplace atmosphere will lead to significant success not only in the department but throughout the organization.


João Varajão. 2022. Project management processes – Impact on the success of information systems projects. p. 421-436. Web.

David Sjödin. December 27, 2019. Value creation and value capture alignment in Business Model innovation: A process view on Outcome-Based Business Models. p. 158-183. Web.

Harold Kerzner. 2017. Project management: Case studies.

Jesper Asring Hansen. 2018. Managing employee innovative behaviour through transformational and transactional leadership styles. p. 918-944. Web.

Jim Wishloff. 2020. Visualising success: The wisdom of John Wooden. p. 73-100. Web.