The legendary basketball coach John Wooden impacted the lives of his players far beyond the court. He is fondly remembered by his former players for instilling valuable life lessons that most live by even today. Men like Bill Walton, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Sidney Wicks, Gail Goodrich, and Jamal “Silk” Wilkes speak in glowing terms about the lessons learned from the “Wizard of Westwood.” One of the wisdom filled truisms coach Wooden often told his players was to be quick, but don’t be in a hurry. Upon first glance, this seems to be a contradiction in terms. However, if we look closer the benefits of this simple statement are glaring.
To be quick means to take advantage of opportunities when they present themselves. It involves working effectively and being decisive. Whether taking the final shot as the clock winds down in basketball or preparing for an important business meeting where all the chips are on the table, it is important to be “quick” or efficient. On the other hand, we can’t hurry to the point of being sloppy, inaccurate, or producing sub-standard work. In the game of basketball, being in a hurry could cost us the game, but in life and business the stakes are much higher. Being in a hurry can often lead to lost customers, missed assignments, or even death.
The next time we feel compelled to rush through our long lists of things to do, we need to pause and think about getting the job done efficiently-while also focusing on completing the task the right way. Coach Wooden would be well pleased.