The Wooden's Wisdom Logo

Motivate Your Team! Cheer Up A Friend! Inspire Yourself!

Issue 333 - It Doesn’t Cost A Nickel To Be Nice - (Sparky Anderson)

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 8 Issue 333
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login



Sparky Anderson was one of the greatest managers in the history of Major League Baseball. He managed the National League's Cincinnati Reds to the 1975 and 1976 World Series championships, then added a third title in 1984 with the Detroit Tigers of the American League. He was the first manager to win the World Series in both leagues. His 2,194 career wins are the sixth most for a manager in Major League history.
There is much to be learned about leading a good life and being a good leader from Sparky Anderson. Here are three ideas to consider:
1. It's never about you. Sparky put it this way:
Baseball is a simple game. If you have good players, and you keep them in the right frame of mind, the manager is a success. The players make the manager. It's never the other way. If a team is in a positive frame of mind, it will have a good attitude. If it has a good attitude, it will make a commitment to playing the game right. If it plays the game right, it will win-unless, of course, it doesn't have enough talent to win, and no manager can make goose-liver pate out of goose feathers, so why worry?
2. Principles' are more important than pay. In 1985 the California Angels contacted the Detroit Tigers for permission to talk to Sparky about returning home to Los Angeles to become their manager. Sparky told the Tigers to tell the Angels he was not interested without even inquiring about how much money was being offered. When he came to the Tigers in 1979 he had promised that he would stay in Detroit until he was fired and he would keep his word.
In 1995, Sparky was the only manager in baseball who refused to manage the replacement players that were going to be put in place. Sparky refused to do this because for him it went against the integrity of the game. He put his $2 million salary and future induction into the Hall of Fame at risk. He would not compromise his integrity. Sparky put it this way:
"If you don't stand up for everything you believe in, you got no place to stand. If principle has a price tag, then it ain't worth nothin' in the first place."
3. Treat everybody great! Sparky tried to put a smile on the face of everybody he met every day. His players marveled watching him every day he came to work as he stopped to visit with every stadium employee and address them by name. For Sparky it was like that everywhere he went. He put it this way:
"What you really gotta do is treat everybody right. Every person out there is a child of God. Ain't no one person more special than anyone else. God likes to see all of His children happy. If you wanna make God happy, just go out and make His children feel good. It doesn't cost a nickel to be nice to people. It's something you can give away for free and it means more than a million dollars. Sometimes the smallest thing done by a stranger turns out to be the biggest part of someone else's life."
Will you make a stranger smile tomorrow?

Yours in Coaching,
Craig Impelman




Watch Video

Application Exercise




It's all very well to have courage and skill
And it's fine to be counted a star,
But the single deed with its touch of thrill
Doesn't tell the man you are;
For there's no lone hand in the game we play,
We must work to a bigger scheme,
And the thing that counts in the world to-day
Is, How do you pull with the team?

They may sound your praise and call you great,
They may single you out for fame,
But you must work with your running mate
Or you'll never win the game;
Oh, never the work of life is done
By the man with a selfish dream,
For the battle is lost or the battle is won
By the spirit of the team.

You may think it fine to be praised for skill,
But a greater thing to do
Is to set your mind and set your will
On the goal that's just in view;
It's helping your fellowman to score
When his chances hopeless seem;
Its forgetting self till the game is o're
And fighting for the team

Edgar Albert Guest (1881 – 1959)






For more information visit




Enter a list of email addresses, separated by spaces, to send this issue to.

Email a Friend

Return to Issue List

Our Services
Why Wooden's Wisdom
Presentation Team
Wooden's Wisdom Leaders
Leadership Resource Center
Member Login

© Copyright 2024 | # of Times Wooden's Wisdom Issues Opened: 6,892,953

Hosting & Design