The difference between winning and succeeding by John Wooden

In his video "The Difference Between Winning and Succeeding," John Wooden addresses the fundamental principles of personal achievement. John defines success as "peace of mind obtained through self-satisfaction and considerable effort to do the best and better whatever condition that exists" (Wooden, 2016). John focuses on the most important factors that contribute to personal achievement, such as focusing on what counts, being patient, developing one's character, constant progress, respecting time, and taking advantage of every opportunity to improve and become better.

The video's theme applies to Kaizen's continuous improvement principle, where the ways of executing an improvement might apply to management ideas. Success is achieved through persistence and commitment to achieving improvement. Consistent steps and incremental processes lead to greater gains. John emphasizes that the road to success requires patience. Similarly, changes are inevitable in the process, and one may be required to make difficult decisions and choices. An improvement approach takes on a permanent cycle that can be repeated and modified for better results. The topic discussed by John can apply in organizational management as the advice seeks to improve quality while promoting reliability and higher productivity. The message in the video can be linked to Bessant‘s model of implementing continuous improvement. Continuous improvement and success, requires interest, formal commitment, strategic goals, proactivity, and full adoption. Constant improvement, therefore, needs an intentional involvement by individuals and organization’s management (Bessant, 2000).

John Wooden’s impeccable wisdom at his age surprised me. I was not expecting a man of his age to brilliantly and succinctly give a continuous and organized lecture full of wise counsel. The talk changed my way of thinking about the quest for continuous improvement and success.


Bessant, J. (2000). Developing and sustaining employee involvement in continuous improvement. IEE Seminar Kaizen: From Understanding to Action.

Wooden, J. (2009, March 26). The difference between winning and succeeding. Retrieved November 13, 2017, from

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