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Issue 580 - Respect Builds Teamwork

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 12 Issue 580
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login



When I work with companies on team building, one of the most common complaints I hear is about a manager or co-worker who leaves the microwave, kitchen sink or their table dirty in the breakroom because they expect someone else to pick up after them. The employees tell me it shows a lack of respect for them and does not promote teamwork.
In his book Wooden On Leadership, with Steve Jamison, John Wooden was clear about his feelings on this topic:
"A student-athlete who feels so privileged that he can throw things on the floor while a student manager follows behind cleaning up the mess has a bad habit, one that contributes to selfishness, sloppiness, and disrespect—three-character traits I particularly dislike.
By requiring each student-athlete to pick up after himself, I may have encouraged a positive habit, good behavior, and a way of thinking that carried over to the court and our team. (It was my hope that some of my teaching might even carry over to what the players did in their lives after basketball.)
Aristotle said: "We are what we repeatedly do." He was referring to character—the values and habits of our daily behavior that reveal who and what we are. I wanted to create good habits in those under my leadership, not only in the mechanics of playing basketball, but also in the fundamentals of being a good person.
Thus, a small issue such as putting towels in the towel basket where they belonged was something I viewed as big, something that connected to my overall principles and beliefs—values—that went beyond just picking up after yourself.
If you teach loyalty, honesty, and respect for the rights of others, you will be taking a big step toward a cooperative team with proper team spirit."
Teaching employees to clean up their own break room (including the microwave) or athletes to clean up their own locker room is one way of teaching respect for the rights of others.
What are you teaching?

Yours in Coaching,
Craig Impelman




Watch Video

Application Exercise



Easy Service

When an empty sleeve or a sightless eye
Or a legless form I see,
I breathe my thanks to my God on High
For His watchful care o'er me.
And I say to myself, as the cripple goes
Half stumbling on his way:
I may brag and boast, but that brother knows
Why the old flag floats to-day.

I think as I sit in my cozy den
Puffing one of my many pipes
That I've served with all of my fellow men
The glorious Stars and Stripes.
Then I see a troop in the faded blue
And a few in the dusty gray,
And I have to laugh at the deeds I do
For the flag that floats to-day.

I see men tangled in pointed wire,
The sport of the blazing sun,
Mangled and maimed by a leaden fire
As the tides of battle run,
And I fancy I hear their piteous calls
For merciful death, and then
The cannons cease and the darkness falls,
And those fluttering things are men.

Out there in the night they beg for death,
Yet the Reaper spurns their cries,
And it seems his jest to leave them breath
For their pitiful pleas and sighs.
And I am here in my cosy room
In touch with the joys of life,
I am miles away from the fields of doom
And the gory scenes of strife.

I never have vainly called for aid,
Nor suffered real pangs of thirst,
I have marched with life in its best parade
And never have seen its worst.
In the flowers of ease I have ever basked,
And I think as the Flag I see
How much of service from some it's asked,
How little of toil from me.

Edgar Albert Guest (1881-1959)






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