|Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 11||Issue 544|
|Craig Impelman Speaking | Championship Coaches | Champion's Leadership Library Login|
MY FAVORITE DYNAMIC DUO: BOOKER T. WASHINGTON AND JOHN WOODEN: "HAVE POISE DON’T POSE" (BOOKER T. WASHINGTON PART TWENTY FIVE)
John Wooden Video Clip (62 sec.): Coach Wooden is asked if he talked to his players about winning. Great clip!!
Booker T. Washington was an American educator, author, orator, and adviser to several presidents of the United States. Between 1890 and 1915, he was the dominant leader of American educational innovation and reform.
The two finest teachers of life skills I have encountered are Booker T. Washington and John Wooden.
John Wooden defined Poise as "Just being yourself" and added "When you maintain your poise, you’re being yourself. You're not acting. You're not trying to be something you're not. You are yourself, therefore you're going to be able to function closer to your own particular abilities."
Today some people wear designer jeans (leaving the price tag on) and $200 sneakers to pose and impress others. In 1900 at the Tuskegee Institute, some folks would pay to have their shirt collars laundered to pose and impress others. In his 1902 book, Character Building, Mr. Washington describes how he addressed the situation:
"We want, also, to be sure that we remain simple in our dress and in all our outward appearance. I do not like to see a young man who is poor, and whose tuition is being paid by someone, and who has no books, sometimes has no socks, sometimes has no decent shoes, wearing a white, stiff, shining collar which he has sent away to be laundered.
It is much better for a young man to learn to launder his collars himself than to pretend to the world that he is what he is not. When you send a collar to the city laundry, it indicates that you have a bank account; it indicates that you have money ahead and can afford that luxury. That kind of pretense and that kind of acting do not pay. Get right down to business and, as I have said, if we cannot do up your collars well enough here to suit you, why, get some soap and water, and starch, and an iron, and learn to launder your own collars, and keep on laundering them until you can do them better than anybody else.
I am not trying to discourage you about wearing nice collars. I like to see every collar shine. I like to see every collar as bright as possible. I like to see you wear good, attractive collars. I do not, however, want you to get the idea that collars make the person. You quite often see fine cuffs and collars when there is no real person there. You want to be sure to get the person first. Be sure that the person is there, and if he/she is, the collars and the cuffs will come in due time. If there is no person there, we may put on all the collars and cuffs we can get, and we shall find that they will not make the person."
Are you a "poiser" or a "poser"?
Yours in Coaching,
The Homely Man
Looks as though a cyclone hit him—
Edgar Albert Guest (1881-1959)
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