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Issue 71 - Loyalty, Like Respect, Must Be Given Before You Get It

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 2 Issue 71
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login




This idea was a basic principle that shaped the coaching and leadership style of Coach Wooden.
Coach Wooden summed it up this way: The best leaders are usually humble leaders, because they gain loyalty through respect rather than bravado.
Coach had three rules for his teams that contributed to an environment where respect and loyalty were given and received.
1. Be on time
Coach believed being punctual demonstrated respect for the value of his player's time. Conversely, he felt that being late was disrespecting the time of others.
Whether it was practice, training table, a team meeting or a bus, Coach always arrived early and insisted that the players were punctual.
Coach Wooden delivered this behavior with flawless reliability which, as Coach likes to say, creates respect.
2. Never Criticize a Teammate
This rule helped foster the camaraderie between teammates needed for building loyalty.
For his part, Coach Wooden never criticized a player to the media.
If a serious discipline issue had to be addressed, Coach gave respect to the player by speaking to him privately. In his book A Game Plan For Life with Don Yeager, Coach described why:
If there was an issue I felt needed attention with my players, I tried to do it by taking them aside and speaking to them privately. If there is a problem, it should be addressed early on, but it also should be addressed quietly. This not only allows the individual a chance to listen to the criticism and think about how to resolve the matter, but it often also creates a bond between the teacher and the student. There is an understanding that is forged and an appreciation for the private correction. No one likes to be called out in front of his or her friends. Humiliation is not the same thing as correction: One attacks the person; the other attacks the problem.
3. Not one word of profanity
This rule applied to the coaches and players.
In Wooden on Leadership, former player Kenny Washington describes Coach Wooden’s communication style that gave and got the respect of his teams:
Coach would never degrade, abuse, or humiliate individuals, even though he had the power to do it. He gave respect even when discipline was doled out. Certain things he insisted on, like no swearing, being on time, no showboating, all of that. But when it came to working with us, he treated everybody as an individual, approached each of us in a way that worked.
With respect as a foundation In Wooden on Leadership, Coach summarized how Loyalty is developed:
Loyalty will not be gained unless it is first given. It comes when those you lead see and experience that your concern for their interests and welfare goes beyond simply calculating what they can do for you.
Yours in Coaching,
Craig Impelman
Twitter: @woodenswisdom



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Application Exercise

Favorite Poetry



 Respect is a lesson that everyone should learn

Respect must be given before an expected return
Respect is something that’s given for free
Respect is about us and never about me
Respect is the basis on which relationships are founded
Respect is the anchor that keeps a person well grounded
Respect builds the character and defines who we are
Respect sets the standard and raises the bar
Respect is magnanimous and helps to fulfil
Respect is the partner that sits with good will
Respect is like honey, so sweet it’s perceived
Respect a taste to savor for when it’s received
Don Wilson






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