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Issue 284 - Keeping Friends

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 6 Issue 284
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login



If you ever visited John Wooden you would find a calendar filled with engagements and daily visits from friends. He was always busy. I have never known anybody with so many friends. They were from all walks of life and many different backgrounds.
Coach was the happiest person I ever met. His life was filled with helping others and spending time with his friends. The two events were related. Certainly the fact that his life was filled with friendships was related to his celebrity, but it went a lot further than that. There are many old lonely celebrities. Coach was not one of them.
When it came to friendship, Coach Wooden followed his own advice:
"Work at it. Don’t take friendship for granted. If you do it may not last. And don’t just work at it from one side. Friendship comes from mutual esteem, respect and devotion. Just as in a successful marriage, both sides must work at it."
"Once we have taken the steps towards friendship we must remain loyal to our friends, lest the friendship fall apart."
Here are four lessons I learned from Coach Wooden on keeping friends:
  1. Stay Connected. All of us have what we call long lost friends. Pick up the phone and give them a call and check in. No agenda is needed: hello and how are you will suffice. Even if it’s once or twice a year, keep that connection. If it is a friend in the same city, make it a point to have dinner at least once every three months. Time flies by: Don’t get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life. Make sure your daily schedule includes a To Who List for your friends not just a To Do List for your job.
  2. Be a giver, not a taker. When you visited Coach Wooden he never wanted a favor. He was, however, always available to help. His schedule was full.
  3. Be a loving, supportive, loyal, non-judgmental listener. When you visited Coach Wooden, you never worried about what he would think about you. No judgement would be passed. You did know he would listen with sincere interest and be supportive. Love was always there when you entered his home.
  4. Be sincere. Coach put it this way: "Sincerity may not make a friend, but it will keep one. It often takes a while to be validated, but once a person knows that our word, character and steadfastness have withstood the test of life, a firm friendship can be established and maintained."
Dust off that address book and call a friend tonight; no agenda needed. As Coach liked to say: "To have a friend be a friend." Good luck with your To Who List!

Yours in Coaching,
Craig Impelman




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Application Exercise



Beautiful Faces

Beautiful faces are they that wear
The light of a pleasant spirit there;
Beautiful hands are they that do
Deeds that are noble, good and true;
Beautiful feet are they that go
Swiftly to lighten another’s woe.

McGuffey’s Second Reader


The Human Touch

’Tis the human touch
in this world that counts,
The touch of your hand and mine,
Which means far more
to the fainting heart
Than shelter and bread and wine.
For shelter is gone
when the night is o’er,
And bread lasts only a day.
But the touch of the hand
And the sound of the voice
Sing on in the soul always.

Spencer Michael Free (1856-1938)





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