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MasterMinds: March Madness and Lessons in Leadership

By Buffy Naylor
March 29, 2017 - Article

**Editor's Note: MasterMinds is a biweekly feature in which we invite leading master agents to share information, insights and expert opinions about what’s going on in their agencies, the IT/telecom channel or the business community in general.**

March Madness is all about brackets and baskets and something that master agents deal with every day — going up against fierce competitors. And while the outcome of any tournament game is never a sure thing, this much is: The same drive and discipline that enable a basketball team to rise through the ranks can put a business ahead of its competition.

In 1979, the year before Magic Johnson was named to the first of 12 NBA All-Star teams, he led the Michigan State Spartans to an NCAA title and was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. In 2015, he shared some of his business insights with the Stanford Graduate School of Business, leading them to tweet, "The same principles apply as a basketball player and a CEO: focus, strategy and discipline."

John WoodenPerhaps no one knew more about winning — at basketball and at life — than the late coach John Wooden, the "Wizard of Westwood." While he was head coach at UCLA, the Bruins won 10 NCAA championships in a 12-year period, including a record seven in a row (1967-1973). Wooden was known for motivating and mentoring his players on the court and off. His "12 Lessons in Leadership" are equally applicable to success at the backboard or in the boardroom.

1. Good values attract good people.

To build a strong team, you need to demonstrate a value system that will enable you to attract the kind of people you want. Wooden stressed the importance of character, saying "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."  He also noted that "Winning takes talent; to repeat takes character."

2. Love is the most powerful four-letter word.

Wooden believed that "The most important word in our language is love. The second is balance — keeping things in perspective." Whether players or …

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