John Wooden on Praise and Criticism

You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one. John Wooden

Wow, did this quote ever from the great UCLA basketball coach, John Wooden, hit me. (Be sure to see the quote I provide at the end for a great lesson.)

Praise and criticism both appeal to the same ego, but from opposite ends. The same ego I speak of is the insecure ego. Insecurity, especially when it is in a leader - is a most dangerous situation. The insecure leader acts to quench insecurity.

Pride and Humility

My son has been doing a lot of summer reading. C. S. Lewis in particular (The Great Divorce, Mere  Christainity, Screwtape Letters) and books on leadership by Jim Collins, Kouzes and Posner and Lencioni. Late last night he said, "In these books, pride and humility is the main thing." I thought about it for a minute and agreed with him. Pride and humility are at the center of life, relationships, work, leadership . . .

Pride is that Original Sin. It is the "mother-lode" of all that has gone wrong in the world. It is the slumbering Smaug, that when awakened, wrecks havoc and ruin. Pride has ended careers, destroyed families, and robbed bright futures. It limits a life and it disrupts an organization. No wonder the best authors write about pride.

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