Assume Every Shot Will Be Missed – Brilliant Counsel from Coach Wooden

Assume every shot will be missed and produce a subsequent opportunity to get a rebound.   
John Wooden, Wooden on Leadership


When things go wrong, there are many appropriate responses, but this one is never appropriate:  “I can’t believe this went wrong.”

We should know by now that things will go wrong.  Without a doubt.  Take any start-up, any project, any established company, any small endeavor, any large endeavor…any oil drilling rig, any coal mine, any nuclear power plant, and we really, really should know by now:  something will go wrong!

So, though we need to plan and prepare and double-check and triple-check to head off any and every problem problem that might come along, we really need to “assume every shot will be missed,” so we have to work hard at turning such a miss into an opportunity to score off the rebound.

That does not happen if we don’t actually expect something to be missed – something to go wrong.

John Wooden is an overflowing font of wisdom, but this advice may be as important as any.

By the way, John Wooden lived and coached this way. He covered every base, meticulously.  If you don’t know the story, on the first day of practice, every season, he led his players though a slow, deliberate ritual – teaching them to put on their socks and shoes the right away.  Because, if you don’t get your socks and shoes on correctly, you develop problems with your feet. And bad feet will lead to even more missed shots…

So…take a look at your business.  What could possibly go wrong?  (Answer:  everything!)  Identify those possibilities, then expect them happen – plan for them to go wrong — and then plan to get the rebound.

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