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Issue 117 - The Ability to See the Good in Others and the Bad in Ourselves is Perfect Vision

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 3 Issue 117
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login



These words of wisdom from Coach Wooden reflect two key elements of his approach to life and leadership:
In his book Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections On and Off the Court, Coach recounts a story he often told about seeing the good in others:
There's an old story about a fellow who went to a small town in Indiana with the thought of possibly moving his family there.
"What kind of people live around here?" he asked the attendant at the local filling station. "Well," the attendant replied as he checked the oil, "what kind of people live back where you're from?"
The visitor took a swallow of his cherry soda and replied, "They're ornery, mean and dishonest!"
The attendant looked up and answered, "Mister, you'll find them about like that around here, too."
A few weeks later, another gentleman stopped by the gas station on a muggy July afternoon with the same question.
"Excuse me," he said as he mopped off his brow. "I'm thinking of moving to your town with my family. What kind of people live around these parts?"
Again the attendant asked, "Well, what kind of people live back where you're from?"
The stranger thought for a moment and replied, "I find them to be kind, decent and honest folks."
The gas station attendant looked up and said, "Mister, you'll find them about like that around here, too."
It's so true. You often find what you're looking for.
As Mr. Wilfred Peterson states in his essay, The Art of Leadership:
The leader has faith in people. He believes in, trusts, and thus draws out the best in them.
Coach Wooden often quoted Abraham Lincoln’s words on this topic:
It is better to trust and occasionally be disappointed than to mistrust and be miserable all the time.
Coach had very strong feelings about the importance of seeing the bad in ourselves:
You can make mistakes, but you aren't a failure until you start blaming others for those mistakes.
When you blame others, you are trying to excuse yourself. When you make excuses you can't properly evaluate yourself.
Without proper self - evaluation, failure is inevitable.
Coach always emphasized that not blaming others included not blaming fate for our mishaps. He often quoted George Moriarty’s poem The Road Ahead or The Road behind:
And so the fates are seldom wrong,
No matter how they twist and wind;
It's you and I who can make our fates,
We open up or close the gates
I think Coach would have approved of this excerpt from the Michael Jackson song Man In The Mirror
I'm Starting With The Man In The Mirror
I'm Asking Him To Change His Ways
And No Message Could Have Been Any Clearer
If You Wanna Make The World A Better Place
Take A Look At Yourself, And Then Make A Change

Yours in Coaching,
Craig Impelman
Twitter: @woodenswisdom




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Application Exercise

Favorite Poetry




Perhaps I was wrong
I should not have done those
And said the things which did nothing good
Neither for me nor for them
Instead, a great damage had been done to all
For the longer run, for longer relationships
I should have understood that
They have all sentiments just like I have
They get hurt as I get
I should have restrained
From winning debates
No prizes I win from their defeats
But I keep losing their hearts
Above all, I should have respected
Their honour and dignity
And recognized that they are too
Or belong to the race called human being
By no means none is fit for
Any humiliations and disrespect
Unconditionally I offer my apology
For my past misconducts
As well as for my misjudgements
In advance.

Abdul Wahab 





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