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I’ll Take Corny Any Day

Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.
John Wooden

“Coach” passed away on June 4th and I’m taking it pretty hard.  Perhaps it is because UCLA basketball legend John Wooden’s passing was just days after the anniversary of my own father’s death–a man who also coached hundreds of young men to be better than they thought they could be both on and off of the field–I am feeling the loss more deeply than I would have otherwise.  Perhaps it is because, during my time at UCLA, I saw his impact on a generation of students who never saw his teams play that I developed a deep appreciation for his role as a teacher…and he always viewed himself as a teacher first and foremost.

I had never heard of Wooden’s Pyramid of Success before working at UCLA.  I don’t know how I missed it but it resonated with me deeply when I first saw it.   It seems to encapsulate the values I try to live by and and strive to achieve.  At first glance, many people call the pyramid corny and out of touch because it was developed during the middle-20th century (Click here for a memorial written by Gail Goodrich about his reaction to the pyramid on the first day of training at UCLA).  And, yet, it was this corny road map that enabled his athletes and others who followed it to be highly successful in life.

In this day and age where cynicism and narcissism seem to rule the day, I’ll take a corny road map to success any day over anything that is offered today!

Click here to visit the official John Wooden website. You’ll find a treasure trove of wisdom.

John Wooden's Pyramid of Success (courtesy of www.woodencourse.com/woodens_wisdom.html)

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  1. Not a sports fan, but he sounds like a real gent and I can appreciate his success pyramid.

    Thanks for the kind comments on my blog over the weekend, by the way. It definitely helped to hear the reassurance from a lot of women with similar experiences.

  2. My children were grown and gone when I heard the comment that raising children is about building character. I think “grandma” knew this but we’ve moved away from a thoughtful approach to the home and the values we should cherish and foster there and also in our educational system. Coach Wooden’s pyramid is a great example of these values.

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