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September 24th, 2013

**"Whatever you do in life, surround yourself with smart people who'll argue…

By Ron Nakamoto

**"Whatever you do in life, surround yourself with smart people who'll argue with you," John Wooden**

The video below, introducing Malcolm Gladwell's new book "David and Goliath" triggered a memory of mine about the 1964 UCLA National Championship basketball team.  In the video, Gladwell talks about a girls basketball coach and the strategy that he used to reach a national championship with an unlikely team.  This link

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/alexander_wolff/06/03/wooden.1964/index.html

is to a 2010 Sports Illustrated article by Alex Wolff that tells the story of that team, the first national championship team coached by the legendary John Wooden.  It's a wonderful story with many lessons and insights that go well beyond basketball.

The connection between the story in the Gladwell video and the 1964 UCLA Bruins story is the full-court press, a strategy that befuddled opponents in both instances.  The full-court press was to basketball in those days what Clayton Christensen would later call "disruptive innovation."  Interestingly, the idea for that innovation, according to Wolff's story, was generated by assistant coach Jerry Norman, not Coach Wooden.
Enjoy the article and the video and ponder the lessons, especially those that go beyond the typical teamwork and sports cliches, to get at unique ability, unique ability teams, and the many byproducts of disruption.
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