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Two Sets of Three — Best Advice in Business or Life Ever?

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I was being interviewed by Avil Beckford the founder of Ambeck Enterprise & The Invisible Mentor, a spot where professionals educate themselves with expert interviews, biographies, book summaries/reviews, and tips and resources.

She asked me a fairly simple question that caused me immeasurable distress.

Avil Beckford:

An invisible mentor is a unique leader you can learn things from by observing them from afar, in the capacity of an Invisible Mentor, what is one piece of advice that you would give to readers?

Now why would that question cause distress? I don’t consider myself a unique leader. Don’t think I have ever even played one on the radio. But, if I were to slip into the part I thought to myself that the advice should bridge both the life of business and the business of life.  I had to do a memory deep-dive to mine some gold. Advice that was unassailable, invincible, incontrovertible.


Steve Kayser: What is one piece of advice I would give?  Advice I stole from John Wooden, it’s called two sets of threes.

  1. Don’t lie.
  2. Don’t cheat.
  3. Don’t  steal.


  1. Don’t complain.
  2. Don’t make excuses.
  3. Don’t whine.

That’s advice that works in any situation. Anywhere. Anytime.


Here’s the interesting thing about that advice. It was passed on to John Wooden by someone else.
Any ideas?


His father.

John Wooden went on to become the greatest basketball coach to ever live. And what did he do with that advice beside live it? He passed it on to all the young athletes that played for him.  The two sets of three are his footsteps left in the sands of time.

That’s a true mentor.

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