Schwarzkopf and Wooden
A serious study of leadership could include Norman S. Schwarzkopf and John Wooden. These were two men whom I greatly admired. They are both gone now but their lessons live on. Let us visit each briefly and consider a quote from each.
UCLA coach John Wooden was perhaps the greatest college basketball coach of all time. His UCLA teams won 10 NCAA championships in a 12 year period during my growing up years. He was known for emphasizing the basics and started practice each year showing his college athletes how to tie their shoes and put on their socks correctly.
He frequently shared the following quote with his players. “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.”
General Norman Schwarzkopf led the US military in the Persian Gulf war. He too would rank among the best examples for leadership. Note the importance he gave to character in the following quote. “Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy.”
Consider the great emphasis both of these men placed on character.
In Philippians 2:22, Paul says of Timothy “you know his proven character.”
Could the same be said of me? Is my character proven? And is it known by others?
Of which am I more concerned, my character or my reputation? Shouldn’t I be concerned with both?
In leadership, on which do I place more emphasis, strategy or character?
It has been said that adversity does not build character, it reveals it. While I understand this premise, I believe adversity does help us build character. I base that belief on what I read in the Scriptures. Paul says tribulations in one’s life produce a chain reaction of traits that include character. (Romans 5:3-4)
Character and reputation is really my inner self and my outward image. Coach Wooten says be more concerned with the former. But in reality, shouldn’t they be in harmony?
Proverbs 27:19 – As water reflects a face, so a man’s heart reflects the man.
Yes, your conduct should consistently reflect your inner character.
1 Samuel 16:7 – For the LORD does not see as a man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.
What does He see when He looks at mine?