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Issue 97 - Be More Concerned With Your Character Than With Your Reputation, As Your Character is What You Really Are While Your Reputation is Merely What Others Think You Are

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 2 Issue 97
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login
It has often been said that the wisdom of John Wooden is timeless. This famous quote of Coach Wooden is not only timeless, it continues to become more and more important and applicable as time goes by.
With the advent of Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Email, Texting and numerous social media sites, people are more and more frequently receiving communication about their reputation.
Sometimes people see something negative posted about them and get upset and/or feel a need to strike back. This is counterproductive.
Coach’s quote about character and reputation is a quick reminder that can help us calm down and keep things in proper perspective.
This topic was one Coach discussed directly with his teams every year. In his book Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections on and Off the Court with Steve Jamison, Coach recounted the discussion:
I told my players each year, Fellows, you're going to receive criticism. Some of it will be deserved and some of it will be undeserved. Either way, deserved or undeserved, you're not going to like it.
You're also going to receive praise on occasion. Some of it will be deserved and some of it will be undeserved. Either way, deserved or undeserved, you're going to like it.
However, your strength as an individual depends on how you respond to both criticism and praise. If you let either one have any special effect on you, it's going to hurt us. Whether it's criticism or praise, deserved or undeserved, makes no difference. If we let it affect us, it hurts us.
Coach’s idea about not getting too carried away when you receive praise is important.
In his book Wooden on Leadership with Steve Jamison, Coach Wooden comments on how this focus on character not reputation affected his approach toward competition, and how he felt it could be applied in business:
Don’t allow others, including your competitors, to define you or your organization.
While others will judge you strictly in relation to somebody or something else—the final score, the bottom line, or a championship—this is neither the most demanding nor the most productive standard.
The highest, purest, and most difficult standard of all, the one that ultimately produces one’s finest performance—and the great treasure called “peace of mind”—is that which measures the quality of your personal effort.
I think this is a very valuable message to share with our young people today.

Yours in Coaching,

Craig Impelman
Twitter: @woodenswisdom




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Application Exercise

Favorite Poetry




The sun set, but set not his hope:
Stars rose; his faith was earlier up:
Fixed on the enormous galaxy,
Deeper and older seemed his eye;
And matched his sufferance sublime
The taciturnity of time.
He spoke, and words more soft than rain
Brought the Age of Gold again:
His action won such reverence sweet
As hid all measure of the feat.


Ralph Waldo Emerson



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