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Are you the ocean that raises, or rocks, ships?

January 24, 2011

Just because people are good leaders does not mean they are leading people to do good things.

There are good leaders who lead people to bad things, horrific things, terrible things.

There are leaders who make your team better.

There are leaders who make your team worse.

Do you help or hinder?

Do you rock ships?

Do you make waves so large that ships rock and roll on the water?

Do you make your team better, or do you find a reason to make other people on the team to not give their best effort?

Are you in the gym 10 minutes early, or just on time?

If you are in a class which has a huge exam coming up, do you call your best friend to study or go out?

Is the person who says they have your back there to protect it or stab it?

What kind of a leader are you?

"Judge not, that ye be not judged.

"For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

"And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

"Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

"Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye." - Matthew 7:1-5

Do not complain about how bad the leadership is unless you are willing to stand up and be counted.

It's easy to complain.

People are good at it.

What people do not like to do is step up and be in a position to be criticized.

If you know the play that was just called in the huddle is not going to work, do you do your best to make it work or just go through the motions because you knew it was doomed from the start?

So, if you know you are going to bomb a test, do you take it anyway, of just not show up and take your F?

What you do in those situations reveals your character.

If you want to complain about something, make sure you have 20:10 vision and not 20:400.

Are you meek and humble or are you loud and demonstrative?

Meek and humble gets a lot done.

Outside of the Bible, one of the greatest things to read about how to lead people to do good things is John Wooden's Pyramid of Success.

The 15 blocks making up the pyramid are called:

Industriousness Friendship

Loyalty Cooperation

Enthusiasm Self-control

Alertness Initiative

Intentness Condition

Skill Team spirit

Poise Confidence

Competitive greatness

Not once did Wooden talk about winning in building the pyramid.

He was there for a long time to do nothing but raise the ships.

Wooden also talked about 12 lessons in leadership.

Good values attract good people

Love is the most powerful four-letter word

Call yourself a teacher

Emotion is your enemy

It takes 10 hands to make a basket

Little things make big things happen

Make each day your masterpiece

The carrot is mightier than the stick

Make greatness attainable by all

Seek significant change

Don't look at the scoreboard

Adversity is your asset

Far too many adults think adversity is a bad thing.

In our daily lives, adversity is what makes us better, whether it be in our jobs, in our homes, in our classrooms or in an athletic endeavor.

"Adversity is the state in which man easily becomes acquainted with himself, being especially free of admirers then," Wooden said.

If you are prepared for adversity, you will also be prepared to take advantage of the opportunity it will give you.

"This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.

"So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

"And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.

"And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst." - John 8:6-9

It's easy to point fingers, yet we hate it when fingers are pointed at us.

Why is that?

It's easier to place blame than look in the mirror.

We would rather place blame on the coach why our kid isn't playing than actually telling the child that they are sitting on the bench because they aren't working hard enough.

It's easy to see how are kids are doing in class. That's what grades are for.

Grades tend to be a direct reflection of how are kids are working outside the classroom.

But, we can't see that on the athletic fields because we do not see our kids during practice and we rely on them to tell us the truth.

Adults then take that for gold and go whine to the coach why their kid is not seeing more playing time.

Dear parents, have you ever had this conversation:

"Did you study?"


"Then why did you fail the test?"

"I don't know. I guess I froze."

"No. You didn't freeze. You didn't study."

Relate that to sports.

"Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming." - John Wooden

Industriousness means there is no substitute for hard work.

Hard work goes hand-in-hand with achieving goals.

The harder you work does not guarantee success, but it does make having success much easier.

Success is different for each person.

For a student who struggles in school, success may mean a 'B' in math.

For an amateur golfer who cannot break 100, success means shooting a score in the double digits.

Competitive greatness is being at your best when your best is needed and your best is needed each day.

(Mathison, a Weirton resident, is the sports editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and can be contacted at

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