Character trumps reputation, every time

Today’s edition of Eldon’s Porch looks at some quotes from one of my role models.  John Wooden, former basketball coach of the UCLA Bruins, had terrific success as a coach.  But, his life is measured more by his character than his achievements.  We are looking at only 5 of his quotes today.  Think about these as you strive to achieve individual and corporate success.

  1. “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.” – Too often, our actions are dictated by what we think others will think or so rather than what is best for your group or our company or our patients.  When you strip away your reputation, what is your true character?
  1. “Don’t mistake activity with achievement.” –  I hear individuals say frequently that they have been extremely busy and their plate is full, as though this in itself is worthy of recognition.  In reality, our future is dependent upon actual results, not effort.
  1. “Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.” – This one should provoke some self-assessment.  Are our actions reflecting humility, a grateful attitude, or one that is caught up in conceit?
  1. “Seek opportunities to show you care. The smallest gestures often make the biggest difference.” –  One of the things I consider during my daily 42 mile commute each way is how I can make a difference to someone that day.  It is amazing to me how a very small comment or act by someone can completely change my day from one of pessimism to one of encouragement.  We need to pass it on which requires that we be intentional about finding those opportunities.
  1. “You can’t live a perfect day until you do something for someone who will never be able to repay you.” – Similar to #4 above… the best leaders are those that demonstrate leadership through service.  What can you do for someone today that will not necessarily result in a payback to you?

Think about these quotes today.  They can help drive to that character that differentiates the good from the great, the top from the bottom, and the so-so from the exceptional.  What do these quotes say to you?

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