RLL 28--Respect and Anger: Two Keys to Better Relationships

Real Life Leading 28

Respect and Anger: Two Keys to Better Relationships

Happy Sunday, leaders! I hope that all is going well in your world and that your weekend so far has been both restful and productive. We’re less than two months from the launch of my upcoming book ‘Inverted Leadership: Lead Others Better By Forgetting About Yourself’, and so in the next five weeks I’ll be sharing excerpts from my previously-published ebook ‘(Extra)Ordinary Leadership: 10 Things Dad Taught Me Without Saying Anything.’ I hope you enjoy these, and I look forward to your feedback. Also, be sure to email me and let me know if you’re  interested in being part of the launch team for ‘Inverted Leadership’! Without further ado, here’s this week’s update.

Principle 1: Always show respect to others, even when they don’t extend you the same courtesy.

‘Respect’ is a practical outworking of the ‘Golden Rule’ of our childhood: treating other people the way in which we would like to be treated. It encompasses many other positive traits as well: humility, deference, trust, giving credit where it is due. At its core, respect is showing love to others in the way we ourselves wish to be loved. It is seen in the way we expect children to treat their parents, students their teachers, and young people their elders. It is the way a soldier is supposed to respond to an officer, or the way a player responds to a coach.

This is Erik, who showed me such great respect when I didn't deserve any at all. Still a mentor and a friend over 20 years later!

This is Erik, who showed me such great respect when I didn't deserve any at all. Still a mentor and a friend over 20 years later!

In all of the preceding examples, however, the respect is shown upward; that is, it is seen in a vertical relationship from one person to another person, with the second person holding a position of authority over the first. This is as it should be, as in every area of life authority figures expect to be treated in a certain way, as this helps maintain order and structure and stability. However, respect shown in the opposite direction, downward as it were, or even horizontally, as amongst colleagues, tends to be even more powerful in its impact because it is not commanded or demanded respect. There often is no punishment or negative consequence inherent in failing to show respect horizontally or downward. However, to do so, to show respect in those ways, is to do what is unusual; and because it is unusual it causes more of an impact.

The evidence for the impact of this is obvious to anyone who has been the recipient of this type of ‘undeserved’ respect. As a teenager, I received this from my high school soccer coach and youth leader, Erik, and it was this respect that caused me to have such a high regard for him. He has been, after my dad, the largest male influence in my life since I was fourteen years old. He treated all of his players well, he treated the youth group well, and I have never heard a former player or youth member say a negative word about him. This is not to say he was permissive; in fact, Erik was quite strict with us in many regards. But when he disciplined us, it was always tempered with love and respect, and therefore we knew, even when we were in trouble, that he cared about us.

It was the same way with my father, who spent twenty years as an officer in the U.S. Army. After his death, I interviewed several soldiers who had served under his command during the Vietnam War. To a man, they said that Dad was not ‘popular’ in the normal sense of the term (i.e., not everyone liked him), but every soldier I spoke to said that they respected him as an officer and as a person because he was tough but fair, and most importantly, they all knew he would do everything possible to bring them home safely. In the words of Ronnie Smith, who served under Dad in Vietnam, “We didn’t like your father in Vietnam. But later we realized what he had done. He was hard on us, and he brought us home.” In a war whose merits were dubious at best and are still debated by historians today, he went out of his way to avoid risking soldiers’ lives unnecessarily. This was done through a strict adherence to the rules and by treating his soldiers in such a way as to cause them to also be alert and attentive to their duty.

As a result of Dad’s respectful treatment of the soldiers under his command, and their combined efforts to do their jobs well, all of Dad’s soldiers (so far as I have been able to determine through research) came home alive, despite seeing combat enough and to such a degree that Dad earned three bronze stars during his time in Vietnam. And, what may be even more important and impactful, Dad continued to show these soldiers respect throughout his lifetime by keeping in touch with them and by visiting army friends on various occasions. For example, after he was diagnosed with cancer in 2007, Dad attended a reunion of some of his soldiers from their time together in Vietnam, and many of them expressed gratitude (as well as some surprise) that he, as their commanding officer, would actually care enough about them to come to such a reunion. He spoke to them individually, shook their hands, and thanked them for their service even though decades had elapsed since their service had ended. This type of respect, shown to people who were formerly under his command and authority, spoke volumes to those soldiers and, when I heard about it, to me.

Dad’s respectful treatment of subordinates was not limited to his time in the military; it was his habit to do this also to his colleagues and employees in the civilian workplace. One woman, Veda, worked with him in an army depot that refurbished military supplies, and she told me via email of how he often went out of his way to teach her extra information related to their tasks and to the items and equipment being refurbished. He would spend time answering various questions about how the materials would be used in the field, thus helping Veda to understand why her part in the process mattered and how it also thus contributed to the military effort at large. Through all their time together on the job, Dad treated her with a respect and courtesy that she remembers fondly to this day.

Dad in his dress uniform. He taught me many things just through how he lived, and he continues to teach me things even though he's been gone for 10 years.

Dad in his dress uniform. He taught me many things just through how he lived, and he continues to teach me things even though he's been gone for 10 years.

"John was our supervisor for a while at the [Anniston Army] Depot. I was the shipping clerk. So there were many occasions which he would have to go to the different buildings in search of needed parts. After a few trips to the buildings, people began to dread the thought of us coming through the door. Excuses abounded for not being on time, and your dad would clear his throat, take off his cap, and proceed to tell them, in government terms, how these things were to transpire. Never raised his voice, never used a condescending term, just as it should be. I would turn my head to keep from laughing because the looks on their faces were priceless. They didn’t even know what your dad did. It didn’t take many times until things would be coming to us, on time, and counted correctly. I never heard or saw him speak down to anyone in any way. He asked of people what they were to do, what they were capable of doing, and he expected that they do it correctly.

I learned more from talking with him about things on the Depot than I did from the people who were supposed to know. It was nice working with someone who cared about what was going on and understood the urgency of what we were all doing."

This type of regard and respect for the people he worked with made an impression, though it did not necessarily make him popular. Thus, there were times when people would treat him with less respect than either his military career or his occupational position deserved. However, according to Veda when this happened, “he never defended himself. He’d just turn and walk away.” Sometimes being respectful to others simply means refusing to respond, and Dad understood that as well.

Action Step #1: Consider who you need to show respect to tomorrow that you didn’t show respect to today, and then go and do it.

Principle 2: Control your temper—it’s yours, and only you can lose it.

Emotions are complex, often deceptive, things. This obvious understatement of the case nevertheless serves as a way to first delve into the topic of emotions, how they relate to showing love to others, and how all of these things showed themselves in Dad’s life. There are quite literally thousands of books about love, and there are probably even more ways than that to define what one means by ‘love.’ For our purposes, and as was explained in the introduction, love is not an emotion, but rather it is a choice, an action, and a habit (as opposed to a one-time act or moment).

Defining love this way immediately puts us at odds with 21st century American pop culture, but then Dad was never really one for pop culture. Also, defining love by the standards of our culture is a debatable (at best) enterprise anyway, with so many different explanations floating about. For these reasons, and as Dad demonstrated throughout his life, love is more about what you do and say, and has much less to do with how you feel at any particular moment. Later in this book we will discuss numerous other emotions and how Dad was an excellent example of how to control them. For this chapter, the focus is specifically on anger, as it is in some ways different than all other emotions.

Anger is different in large part because it has more power to destroy than any other. Joy, happiness, and other positive emotions can all destroy (in one sense) if a person pursues them at the expense of other things. However, anger is rarely, if ever, an emotion that builds others up. Rather, it is almost exclusively an emotion that tears people down. There is a time and a place for it, though that comes about much less often than most people (myself included) might like for it to. Anger is not inherently bad, however. C.S. Lewis explains in ‘Mere Christianity’ that there are no ‘bad impulses’ or ‘good impulses’. Rather, all our impulses are good at sometimes and bad at others; in other words, there is a time and a place for anger. However, anger is one impulse that is more often negative in its effects than happiness, joy, or other ‘positive’ emotions. Unfortunately for many people around me when I was a child, anger is also one of the major emotions that I displayed, especially in the area of competitive sports.

I'm very thankful that my daughters are kinder to each other than I was to my brother when we were that age.

I'm very thankful that my daughters are kinder to each other than I was to my brother when we were that age.

On numerous occasions, Dad talked with me about my anger and how it was harmful, damaging, and also just unhelpful toward my teammates, my siblings, or my family. He did not, however, articulate aloud the relationship between anger and a lack of love for others. He had displayed anger when I was young, and yet because I knew he loved me, I never saw a possible disconnect between anger and love. As I got older, however, I began to see that while Dad was great at loving people, he was also careful to not direct his anger at people in a hurtful way. I do have some memories of him doing this when I was young, especially toward my older brother. But as we got older, this happened only infrequently.

After I became an adult, I began to see that Dad was unusual in how he displayed his anger. The older I got, the less often it appeared, and not only that, but it seemed to only appear after many attempts to change the situation without anger which proved to be unsuccessful. The first incident that comes to mind was at a church league softball game that we played while I was still in high school. One of my favorite memories of that time is playing in those softball with Dad. He had been a college baseball player, and I had grown up playing baseball as well. Even into his fifties and early sixties, he was one of the most skilled players on our softball team, and it was fun to be able to share the field with him.

During one game, a player on our team who had formerly played highly competitive adult-league softball grew upset because he felt the opposing team was using a bat which failed to meet the league-mandated specifications. He grew more and more angry and began yelling at both the umpires and the other team. Throughout this, our players had been trying to calm him down and remind him that it was a friendly league, it was not a big deal, and that we should just carry on the game. Dad, in particular, tried to get things back on track. At this moment, our player made a comment to Dad, who was certainly older than most players not just on our team but in the whole league, along the lines of, “I don’t need another father to tell me what to do.”

There are numerous different responses to this that would have been unhelpful, hurtful, or which would have simply escalated the situation farther. However, as I recall, Dad did not say anything in reply to this for a few minutes. As our player continued in his loud complaints, I remember Dad finally saying back to him, because of his continued boisterousness at what was supposed to be a friendly church league game, “Maybe you do need another father.” I remember thinking, “Wow, did Dad just say that?!” because Dad was not known for getting involved in that type of altercation. I do not remember another similar incident at all, in fact. Recalling the incident now, it amazes me further that Dad did not say his response viciously or in a negative way, but rather as a simple statement of fact: if this is how you are choosing to act right now, perhaps you do need someone to show you an example of how you should act in this type of situation. No anger, some irritation, but ultimately the goal was simply to try to get things back under control and be able to move on.

I was very glad to learn how to ride a horse from two experienced riders: my wife (pictured here) and my former student Cody (who was out ahead of us, leading the way).

I was very glad to learn how to ride a horse from two experienced riders: my wife (pictured here) and my former student Cody (who was out ahead of us, leading the way).

Now, to be fair, our player who was upset was an upstanding man in his own right. He was normally even-keeled, under control, and was a positive example both to the church as a whole and specifically for our youth group. I think that on this one occasion, his own desire to win, his competitive nature, simply got the best of him. That is something I can entirely empathize with, and so I do not fault him. Rather, as I look back now, I am both glad and a little surprised to see that Dad approached this situation in the same way he approached similar situations with me. In fact, since this man was not his son, though he could probably have been, based on the age difference, it is possible that Dad showed him more patience and grace than he showed me in similar situations.

For example, within a year of this incident, I made an unintentional display of frustration at a softball game, and Dad’s reaction was definitely closer to anger. For some reason one summer my all-star baseball team had been invited to play in a slow-pitch softball tournament. There are obvious parallels between the sports, and so we decided to go and play. During the game, I struggled to adjust to the different strike zone of slow-pitch softball, and in my first at-bat, I struck out without swinging at a single pitch. I walked back to the dugout, visibly frustrated at having struck out. As I neared the dugout, I took off my helmet to toss it to a teammate who I thought was waiting for it. After I had let the helmet go, however, the teammate turned away and never made a move to catch it. As a result, the helmet crashed into the bat-rack, knocking over half a dozen aluminum bats onto the concrete floor of the dugout, making a tremendous noise.

To everyone watching, Dad included, it looked as if I had thrown my helmet in anger and frustration, causing the loud noise and demonstrating a very poor attitude. This is certainly how Dad saw the situation, and so he very quickly came over to the dugout to talk with me about my attitude and actions. He told me, in his quiet-yet-stern tone of voice, that my actions were unacceptable and that anything else even remotely close to that type of display would be my last opportunity to play sports for quite some time. And I believed him.

The older I get, the more I realized that this is one of many times when Dad would have been justified in displaying anger toward me. Now that I am a parent, I can see how one would be frustrated, embarrassed, and angered by this type of action from a child. However, Dad did not blow up at me, and he did not yell or create more of a scene that might have caused me to also respond in anger. He did talk to me very sternly, and he was very clear about his expectations for my future attitude and behavior. I understand now just how important that was, because though I do not know how easy or difficult it was for him to control his temper in that situation, I know that him doing it was the right way to go.

Action Step #2: Carefully examine yourself today to see ways in which you are allowing your temper to control you. Acknowledge these so that you can then retake control of your emotions.


RLL 20--Church Camp and Yellow Card: Difficult Conversations and Leadership

Church Camp and Yellow Card:

Difficult Conversations

This past weekend was a busy one in the Hawbaker household: one daughter had a Friday night soccer game followed by a weekend-long church camp. The other daughter had a basketball tournament all day Saturday, and my wife’s family was celebrating Chinese New Year (her brother’s family adopted a young girl from China a couple years ago, and so this has become a new family tradition). In addition to all of those things, my soccer team had a tournament as well, and so I was busy coaching most of the weekend.

After the rush ended this morning, I was reflecting on the various events, and in doing so I was struck by one common theme that came up for me which has a direct bearing on leadership: difficult conversations and why they are necessary. For me, there were three such talks that particularly stood out this weekend: one conversation with my daughter, one with a referee, and one with an opposing coach. What they all had in common was that they were focused on topics that make me uneasy, or which required me to accept responsibility for things I had done poorly. But, after having engaged in all three of them I also came away realizing that each situation was better because of having had those conversations.

The first conversation was with my daughter on Friday afternoon, and it was admittedly the least difficult of the three. She is almost fourteen years old, and the topic of the conversation was about friends and boys and young teenage relationships in general. I have never been a fan of my daughters growing up, mostly because I remember being a teenage boy and thus am familiar with how they think. I also know that, no matter what I do, the girls will grow up; and so, I know the best thing is to continue having these difficult conversations, even when they make me uncomfortable.

Hanging out with the daughters on a fun afternoon

Hanging out with the daughters on a fun afternoon

Thankfully, my older daughter is very open with me when we talk: she tells me about the boy she likes, and she tells me how her friends tease her about it. She tells me about how the other boys in her group of friends give her a hard time and make her face turn red. And she tells me how excited she gets when she sees the particular boy that she likes. All of these things make me varying degrees of uncomfortable, for different reasons: it’s hard that she’s growing up, and I want to protect her from teasing and from heartache, and yet I know that those are situations that she mostly will have to learn to navigate on her own.

Thus, as her father, the best thing I can do is to try to provide guidance so that when she is faced with various situations she is as prepared as possible to make good decisions. As a leader, this is what we must do in our various contexts, whether at home at work or in a volunteer position. When there is a difficult issue, I know that many times the easiest option is to ignore it and hope that it works itself out, but I also know from experience that that rarely occurs. Thus it becomes necessary to have these conversations in order to facilitate a better environment or culture for the group. In this case, the goal of having these talks with my older daughter is to help her make decisions that are good for her in both the short term and the long term.

The other two conversations revolved around my soccer tournament this weekend. During our Friday night game, the play was very physical and rather heated, and I became concerned that players might get hurt. In my frustration I purposely yelled in such a way as to force the referee to issue me a yellow card, which (for those who are unfamiliar with soccer terminology) is an official warning and type of rebuke. If a coach or player receives two in the same game, he or she is ejected and cannot return. In addition to that, while things were still heated, I had a verbal exchange with the opposing coach, which almost never goes well. He responded in kind, and both of us came across looking rather immature and setting a poor example for our players. Those mistakes were actually the easier parts of the situation.

The hard part was that when the game ended Friday night, I felt unsettled about the whole situation. I knew I had behaved poorly and that I needed to attempt to reconcile those situations. So I went to the referee and I apologized for yelling the way I had. I still didn’t agree with her decisions, nor did I appreciate how she approached the situation. However, the truth of the matter is that, as the referee, her decisions are the ones that matter; my opinion is merely my opinion, and it makes no difference in her decision-making. As I told my team afterward, I had treated her merely as a referee, and in doing so I failed to treat her as a person who is refereeing.

The same thing was true in my exchange with the opposing coach. I unconsciously ceased to view him as a person, instead viewing him as just an opponent, and when I did that I allowed my frustration to get the better of me. However, I also knew that after the game I was still not in a great frame of mind to try to apologize, and so I waited and then went and found him in between games on Saturday. We talked, we both apologized and shook hands, and I believe we both went away from the exchange feeling better. He admitted that he hadn’t taken my words personally, that he knew it was all in the heat of competition, and I appreciated his honesty. We still didn’t agree about the game or some of the calls, but now we were disagreeing cordially, as opposed to disagreeing angrily. And the difference there is crucial to leadership.

Disagreements that become personal often become elevated very quickly, and then the disagreement often morphs into personal attacks rather than just a disagreement about an external situation. We also observe this in family life, when what started as a disagreement over what television channel to watch turns into a name-calling fest where feelings and relationships are damaged.

In sports, as in life, it’s very easy to forget that people are people, and so we often treat workers as workers rather than as people who are working at a particular job. Think of the hotel clerks, waiters, or cashiers that we have all seen mistreated by irritable customers (and remember that sometimes we are those irritable customers). In family situations we often allow our emotions to get the best of us and we resort to personal attacks, using hurtful names or bringing up often irrelevant past wrongs simply for the sake of ‘winning’ an argument. (Does that ever really happen? There’s a chapter about that topic in my book coming out this summer!)

But when we remember that people are people, and we try to treat them with the respect that all humans deserve, it makes us more humble. When I’m angry about a referee’s call, I need to be reminded that the referee’s decision matters more than mine; that’s not always fun or even fair, but it’s still true. And how often do we say that sort of things to children and young people? “Life’s not fair.” It’s true for adults, too, though we often tend to forget it in our pride. As leaders, we cannot afford to let our pride cause us to dehumanize people, though this will happen to all of us. And when others dehumanize us and attack us, we must have the maturity and humility not to respond on kind. On the occasions when we have failed at both of those, as we inevitably will, may God grant us the humility and grace to go back and apologize and seek forgiveness, in the name of restoring good relationships.

Action Step: What difficult conversation do you need to have with someone in your circle? Ask yourself why you have been avoiding having it, and then decide if it’s worth it to continue putting it off.

RLL #16: 8 Great Books for 2018

RLL 16: 8 Great Books for 2018

    Happy Sunday, everyone! Most people have already begun (and many have also already failed at) their New Year’s resolutions, so I thought instead of resolutions I would give you a quick update on recommended reading for this upcoming year. The good news is that it’s never too late to get started reading excellent books, so it’s a great way to not fail at your resolutions (for more info on how to do better at setting/reaching goals, etc, check out the excellent work being done by Michael Hyatt and Jon Acuff).

So, below is a brief list of books I recommend for 2018. They are of different genres, but the two things that tie them together are: 1) I am recommending them only because I have read them and found them valuable, not because I just *think* they would be good books to read; and 2) they all contain encouraging information about both life and leadership that I think everyone will find valuable and helpful. They are not listed in any particular order (i.e., which I like best, or which are easiest to read, etc), they’re just all excellent books that I recommend to people all the time. If you’ve already read one or more of them, I would LOVE to hear what you think about the ones you’ve read. If you haven’t, then let me know when you have and we’ll talk about what you learned. So, without further adieu, here’s the list!

1) ‘Steal the Show’ by Michael Port

I have been a high school history teacher for over a decade, so I am no stranger to being in front of a group of people and presenting information. Even for me, Michael Port’s book ‘Steal the Show’ is a treasure-trove of information about the art and craft of speaking and presentation-giving. It contains clear directions, helpful tips and exercises, and also activities for helping you practice and gain confidence for any and every situation in which you have something on the line. In doing so, it also contains insights into leadership, such as helping us to see why communication is so important and how we can become better at precise communication. As the back cover says, “Confident communication is a skill, and anyone can learn how to do it.”


2) ‘Mere Christianity’ by C.S. Lewis

In addition to history I also teach high school Bible, and I have used this as one of my textbooks for Bible class for the past five years. One of the classic works of the 20th century, ‘Mere Christianity’ was originally conceived of as a series of radio talks given by C.S. Lewis to the British public during World War II. Lewis articulates many valuable truths to the readers (as he did his listeners) through a blend of word-pictures, humor, and wit. Whether you are a Christian or not, this book also contains amazingly important information about human nature and relationships, about why we think the way we do, and about how important it is to examine our motives, thoughts, and actions. “If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.”


3) ‘The Hobbit’ by J.R.R. Tolkien

Until I was in college, I wanted nothing to do with what I considered “nerd-books” (read: sci fi/fantasy novels, etc). But I was very blessed in my sophomore year of college in that I had a scholarship which paid for me to attend Oxford University (in the U.K.) for a semester. While there, I began reading JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis for the first time, since both had been at Oxford for much of the 20th century. In short: I fell in love with their work and have never looked back. ‘The Hobbit’ is an adventure story, full of exciting action, magic, and humor. It is also full of amazing wisdom and insight into human (hobbit, really) nature. I read this book to my children when they were younger, and it is one that I re-read every year. If you have always thought, “Yeah, those kinds of books just aren’t for me,” that’s ok. Give it one more try. “If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”


4) ‘Gates of Fire: An Epic Novel of the Battle of Thermopylae’ by Steven Pressfield

This book is the story of the amazing Battle of Thermopylae, in which a small group of around 300 Spartan warriors held off a force of 2,000,000 (yes, you read those numbers correctly) Persian invaders. The story itself is incredible, and this book is written not as a history book, but as a novel, telling the story from the point of view of two main characters. It is a fascinating look into life in ancient Greece, but more importantly it contains extremely valuable information about traits of leadership, the importance of overcoming one’s own limitations, and the power of self-sacrifice in leadership. “The supreme accomplishment of the warrior: to perform the commonplace under far-from-commonplace conditions.”


5) ‘Tuesdays with Morrie’ by Mitch Albom

When I was a teenager, my dad had me watch this movie with him one weekend, and at the time I did not come close to appreciating how amazing it was. Last year, at the age of thirty-four, I got around to reading the book after picking it up at a yard sale, and I immediately felt a sense of regret that I had not paid more attention to the lessons Dad was trying to get me to see when I was younger. This book is powerful, insightful, touching, encouraging, joyous, and heart-breaking. It explores human nature, leadership, relationships, and love. I wrote about it more extensively in the second-ever RLL blog post (, and I still feel just as strongly about it. “That’s the thing, you see. Once you get your fingers on the important questions, you can’t turn away from them.”


6) ‘Out of the Blue’ by Orel Hershiser

My dad was a huge Los Angeles Dodgers baseball fan, and Orel Hershiser was one of those athletes that Dad always told me I should pattern myself after due to his character, not just his athletic ability. Hershiser is what Dad called a “classy player,” who showed respect to his opponents regardless of the situation or circumstances. That ‘class’ comes across in this book as well, which is mostly the story of the 1988 LA Dodgers season (in which the Dodgers won the World Series and Hershiser won the World Series MVP award), but it also is the story of Hershiser’s upbringing and his life off the baseball field. In the book, Hershiser is honest, humble, and self-reflective, and he shares much valuable information with the readers. I recommend this book to all baseball fans and also to anyone who simply enjoys a good read. “The most important thing is doing the right thing the right way and letting the results take care of themselves…”


7) ‘The Messiah Method’ by Michael Zigarelli

I am a high school coach and former college player, and so I’m always looking to improve my coaching. One of my former college teammates who is also a coach (and far more accomplished than I am) recommended this book to me a few years back, and I owe him a huge debt for doing so (Thanks, Cush!). Messiah College in Pennsylvania has a soccer program that is the best in the country on both the men’s and the women’s sides. Their record of winning games and championships is incredible, and in this book Michael Zigarelli (himself a Professor of Leadership and Strategy at Messiah and a high school soccer coach) looks at the seven disciplines that Messiah has followed to create such an amazing program, regardless of changes in coaching staff. The book is not about coaching soccer as much as it is about creating a specific type of culture and atmosphere within this college community, and thus the lessons are applicable at high schools as well as in businesses and in the corporate world. Their success speaks for itself, but so does the testimony of one former player, which captures the incredible atmosphere and culture at Messiah:  “I’d rather sit on the bench at Messiah than start anywhere else.” How many organizations have a culture that would inspire that type of attitude?


8) ‘Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections’ by John Wooden

This is a book my dad gave me for my 15th birthday, and I cannot remember how many times I have read it and referenced it. John Wooden is the legendary UCLA men’s basketball coach (back when coaches were also often still teachers, even at giant universities like UCLA) who is, even today, widely considered one of the greatest-ever coaches in any sport, at any level. He also was incredibly humble and kind, generous and caring. This book is a wonderful collection of thoughts, short stories and anecdotes, as well as lessons learned (and taught) through Coach Wooden’s life and career. It is inspirational, encouraging, challenging, and uplifting all at the same time. “Make each day your masterpiece.”


Action Step: Pick one of these books and read it! Then, let me know what you think about it.

As always, thanks for your time, and I look forward to hearing from you! Let me know what you think about the list, and I would LOVE to discuss any and all of these books with you in the future. Have a great Sunday!

Walk Worthy,