In 1918, in a small town in Indiana, a Father gave his son a sheet of paper. On it was written 7 principles which he hoped his son would learn to live by. Little did the Father know that his son would not only live by those principles, but he would carry that sheet of paper in his wallet for the rest of his life.
Furthermore, his son would devoutly live his life by those principles and teach them to as many people around him as he could. That young son would go on to become the greatest coach in sports history. His name was John Wooden, and he was the coach of the UCLA men’s basketball team in the 1960’s and 70’s. I believe he should also be considered one of the greatest teachers of all time.
I tell you this story for two reasons. First, in the United States, this is the weekend when we recognize the contributions, sacrifices and love of our Father – Father’s Day. It’s also a great time for all Fathers to think about what they are teaching their children; and what life lessons will be their legacy?
Secondly, because the principles are so remarkably simple and so profoundly articulated in so few words, that we can use these principles to teach the leaders of our companies as well. Just think about how much better businesses would be managed, how much higher the level ethics and integrity, and the improvement in social responsibility that our businesses would take on. And I have to believe each of these would translate into business success.
Here are John Wooden ’s 7 principles.
1. Be true to yourself
2. Make each day a masterpiece
3. Help Others
4. Drink Deeply from good books, especially the Bible
5. Make friendship a fine art
6. Build a shelter against a rainy day
7. Pray for guidance and give thanks for your blessings.
In respect for Father’s Day, I would like to share with you the most important lesson my Father taught me. He told me before he passed that the most important lesson he and my Mother could teach me and my siblings was to be independent – to take full responsibility for my actions and learn not to depend on others for my success. He wanted us to earn our way through life. I’ll never forget that lesson, and remembering him on Father’s Day makes me hope that I’ve made him proud.
Here is wishing you and your Father a great Father’s Day!
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