Pyramid of Success Corner blocks

The Corner Blocks of John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success

Pyramid of Success Corner blocks

John Wooden’s famous Pyramid of Success has 15 characteristic blocks that lead to success. However, the structure is held together by 10 corner blocks.

Click the player to listen to this episode of The BIGG Success Show Podcast. Below is a summary.

It’s March Madness. It’s one of our favorite times of year and one of our favorite coaches is the late great, John Wooden. Among his accomplishments:

  • 88 consecutive wins (the longest winning streak in college basketball)
  • 10 NCAA championships

And the only person George ever asked for an autograph! Here’s the story…

John Wooden Tradition ticket

The Autograph Story

avatar-georgeWhen I learned that John Wooden would be at a Thanksgiving tournament in Indianapolis, I grabbed my book, “They Call Me Coach” and drove to the game in hopes of meeting him.

Why it was significant, was because my health teacher (who was also my basketball and baseball coach) would a lesson on John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success every year as part of his class schedule. For me, this was really my first exposure – except for the Bible – where I was really digging deep into inspiration and motivation and personal leadership.

George copy of They Call Me Coach book by John Wooden

Once I got there, I told ushers how much it would mean to me to get Coach Wooden to autograph my book. But each one would tell me he wasn’t seeing anyone. After he got done speaking about the game at half-court, I watched where where he went to sit. As I made my way to the area, I saw a long line of people waiting. Aha – the autograph line!

When my turn came, I said, “Coach that your book has inspired me more than any other book I’ve ever read. It’s been a great boon to my success, so I thank you for writing it”. He replied that he was glad to hear that, and signed my book.

John Wooden Pyarmid of Success from book

The Wisdom in The Pyramid

You don’t have to be a basketball fan to benefit from Coach John Wooden’s wisdom, as he’s written extensively on success and leadership. It’s in the book, They Call Me Coach, where you’ll find the Pyramid of Success.

The pyramid is comprised of 15 building blocks which are the characteristics you need to win in life.

We’ve created a guide that goes in depth into each one, free for you to download.

Coach also talks about the characteristics that bind the pyramid structure together, these are what we call the corner blocks. that complete the pyramid.

Let’s go to The Professor’s Whiteboard for: The 10 corner blocks in John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success.

Professors Whiteboard 1093 Corner Blocks of the Pyramid of Success

Exploring the Corner Blocks

The 10 corner blocks start on the left cornerstone of the Pyramid, working up the left hand side, and back down the right hand side.

Here’s each one in its order on the Pyramid…

Ambition (that is properly focused)

You can have all the ambition in the world, but if it isn’t focused, you can succeed but not be happy. Your goals have to align with your vision, mission and values.


Because change happens so fast in the world today, it pays to have an entrepreneurial mindset. While most people resist change, entrepreneurs thrive on it. That’s because entrepreneurs – in all occupations – know that change creates opportunities if you’re willing to adapt to it.

Resourcefulness (proper judgment)

As the entrepreneur-in-charge of your life, you realize how precious resources are. It starts with protecting the resources you already have. Then you can look for ways to grow your resource-base.

Fight (effort and muscle)

Successful people get knocked down too. The single biggest difference between winners and losers is how many times they get up. Because one time makes all the difference. Winners get up one more time than losers. Just one.

Faith (through prayer)

The BIGG in BIGG Success stands for Believing, Implementing Goal-getting, Giving-back success. You have to believe to succeed. Our faith (in God) is key to our success. We have learned that, when all else fails, find your faith. We learned that lesson so many times that we realized we had it backwards. Find your faith first and then a whole lot of things become easier to handle.


While it pays to push, it’s also true that you can only do so much in a short period of time. After all, you’re only human. Boy, have the two of us learned this one the hard way! Patience is one of the tests that BIGG success gives you to see if you’re worthy of the prize. Take McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc, as an example. He had tried many businesses that failed before he met the McDonald’s brothers. He’s living proof that it doesn’t matter how many times you fail, You just have to succeed once.


Be a person people can depend on.


Stay true to your values


If you always tell the truth you don’t have to remember what you said.


Be your true self

BIGG Takeaway

These corner blocks tie the main blocks in Wooden’s Pyramid of Success together. When your life is aligned with all these traits, your goals will lift you to where you want to go! It leads to BIGG success!

signatures: George & Mary-Lynn
George “The Professor” & Mary-Lynn
Co-Founders, BIGG Success

Direct link to The BIGG Success Show audio file | podcast:


Don’t forget to get the free guide where we explore the 15 blocks of the Pyramid of Success – the hard traits that build character for success. Download your free copy at