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Issue 577 - My Favorite Dynamic Duo: Booker T. Washington and John Wooden: "Listen to Learn" (Booker T. Washington Part Forty)

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 12 Issue 577
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login



In his 1902 book, Character Building, Booker T. Washington made clear the importance of listening to people you want to help before telling them what should be done:
"For eight or nine years now it has been our custom to hold here what is known as the Tuskegee Negro Conference. A number of years ago it occurred to some of us that instead of confining the work of this institution to the immediate body of students gathered within its walls, we perhaps could extend and broaden its scope so as to reach out to, and try to help, the parents of the students and the older people in the country districts and to some extent, if possible, in the cities also.
With this end in view, we some years ago invited a number of men and women to come and spend the day with us, and, while here to tell us in a very plain and straightforward manner something about their material, moral and religious condition. Then the afternoon of that same day was spent in hearing from these same men and women suggestions as to how they thought this institution and other institutions might help them, and also how they thought they might help themselves."
The process Booker T. had for helping the poor farmers from all over the South had three basic first steps:
  1. Listen to the farmers tell them: "in a very plain and straightforward manner something about their material, moral and religious condition."
  2. Listen to the farmers give them: "suggestions as to how they thought this institution and other institutions might help them."
  3. Listen to how the farmers: "thought they might help themselves.
To provide the best assistance: listen first.
Do you listen before you make suggestions?

Yours in Coaching,
Craig Impelman




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Application Exercise



Story Time

'Tell us a story,' comes the cry
From little lips when nights are cold,
And in the grate the flames leap high.
'Tell us a tale of pirates bold,
Or fairies hiding in the glen,
Or of a ship that's wrecked at sea.'
I fill my pipe, and there and then
Gather the children round my knee.

I give them all a role to play-
No longer are they youngsters small,
And I, their daddy, turning gray;
We are adventurers, one and all.
We journey forth as Robin Hood
In search of treasure, or to do
Some deed of daring, or of good,
Our hearts are ever brave and true.

We take a solemn oath to be
Defenders of the starry flag;
We brave the winter's stormy sea,
Or climb the rugged mountain crag,
To battle to the death with those
Who would defame our native land;
We pitch our camp among the snows
Or in the tropics burning sand.

We rescue maidens, young and fair,
Held captive long in prison towers;
We slay the villain in his lair,
For we're possessed of magic powers.
And though we desperately fight,
When by our foes we are beset,
We always triumph for the right;
We have not lost a battle yet.

It matters not how far we stray,
Nor where our battle lines may be,
We never get so far away
That we must spend a night at sea.
It matters not how high we climb,
How many foes our pathway block,
We always conquer just in time
To go to bed at 9 o'clock

Edgar Albert Guest (1881-1959)






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