SA 014: Steve Jamison on Process Over Outcome, and How He Became a Co-author with John Wooden and Bill Walsh

Steve Jamison

In this episode of the Sweet Adversity Podcast, I talk to Steve Jamison, the foremost authority on the life and leadership of  UCLA coach John Wooden, who’s often cited as the greatest coach of the 20th century.

We discuss the similarities and differences between coach Bill Walsh and John Wooden, how he developed the relationship and trust to become the collaborator of these famed coaches and leaders that also included tennis coach Brad Gilbert, his opinions on Bill Belichick and the coaches of today, on whether or not they take on some of the approaches and philosophies that coaches Wooden and Walsh spurred on, including focusing on process over outcome, the score taking care of itself, and how adversity creates opportunity in these leadership scenarios.

Guest Bio:

Steve Jamison is a best-selling author and America’s preeminent authority on the leadership philosophy of UCLA’s legendary Coach John Wooden whose basketball dynasty won ten March Madness national championships.

For over a decade Mr. Wooden and Mr. Jamison have collaborated on projects including five best-selling books, an award-winning PBS television special, WOODEN: Values, Victory, and Peace of Mind, and numerous personal appearances.

The Essential Wooden (McGraw-Hill), their latest published work, has received rave reviews from Dr. Stephen Covey, Ken Blanchard, John Maxwell, Oracle’s Chairman, Jeff Henley, and others.

The Essential Wooden follows the success of WOODEN ON LEADERSHIP (McGraw-Hill), My Personal Best: Life Lessons from an All American Journey(McGraw-Hill), and the acclaimed classic, WOODEN: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections (Contemporary).

Mr. Jamison and Mr. Wooden also publish a series of children’s books – Coach Wooden for Kids© — including INCH and MILES: The Journey to Success (Perfection Learning). Their books are published worldwide.

Mr. Jamison is the Executive Producer of the PBS presentation WOODEN: Values, Victory, and Peace of Mind and Executive Director of the John Wooden Leadership seminar, a teaching forum dedicated to furthering the principles of John Wooden’s philosophy of leadership.

Additionally, Mr. Jamison authored the world’s most popular tennis instruction book, Winning Ugly: Mental Warfare in Tennis (Simon and Schuster), with legendary coach Brad Gilbert and Andre Agassi. They are currently preparing a sequel.


Some Questions We Ask:

How did he first met John Wooden, Bill Walsh and Brad Gilbert, and how did he develop the relationship and trust to become the collaborator they work with?

  • What are the keys to telling stories, in really getting the essence of the coaches’ philosophies?
  • How much does he believe that struggle and adversity were part of John Wooden’s leadership style?

All good things come through adversity.

Adversity accompanies achievement.

  • What did he notice as far as the leadership styles and personalities of coach Wooden and Bill Walsh?
  • When he hears the word successful, what is the first thing that comes to mind?
  • If he could have dinner with one person he admires, past or present, who would it be and why?
  • What’s next in his career?

What You’ll Learn In This Episode:

  • His interview tips, how he frames conversations as he prepares for interviews
  • Why coach Wooden believes the biggest mistake is often an error of omission.
  • How coach Wooden defined winning and success
  • How coach Bill Belichick differs from coach Wooden
  • Coach Wooden and Walsh, and work-life balance



Steve Jamison on

Sweet Adversity podcast review

For instructions on how to rate and review the podcast, click this link.

Leave a Comment

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This