It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts was a favorite saying of Coach John Wooden’s, U.S. President Harry S. Truman (1884-1972) and baseball coach Earl Weaver (1930-2013), who used it for the title of his biography.
A key character trait needed to be a lifelong learner is humility.
Humility is also a critical character trait of a great leader. It is humility that leads to being open-minded, which in turn results in having great listening skills.
It was well known that Coach Wooden was a great listener, in part because he knew every time he listened with an open mind he would learn something.
With regard to learning and leadership, Wooden put it this way:
A leader who is through learning is through. And so is the team such a leader leads.
Great leadership requires a strong will, humility and an open mind; a diverse but powerful combination.
Coach Wooden learned by listening, asking others for input and advice, being a voracious reader, constantly documenting his successes and failures and reevaluating his processes to see what he could improve; all done with humility and an open mind.
It wasn’t until his 15th year at UCLA (1961-62) that Coach Wooden had a team that got to the Final Four of the national championship. He then won 10 National Championships From 63’ – 74’.
I guess that was after he “knew it all.”