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John Wooden was perhaps the greatest coach of all time, both on and off the court. He treated his players like family, instilling life lessons about character, leadership and teamwork.

This article pulls together twenty of his most inspiring quotes. Regardless of your role in life- a parent, teacher, business or religious leader, John Wooden has a message for you about character, competency and consistency, the key ingredients for building trust.

  1. “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.”
  2. “The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.”
  3. “Tell the truth. That way you don’t have to remember a story.”
  4. “Be prepared and be honest.”
  5. “Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.”
  6. “Talent will get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there.”
  7. “If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have the time to do it over?”
  8. “It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.”
  9. “A coach’s primary function should be not to make better players, but to make better people.”
  10. “You can do more good by being good than any other way.”
  11. “Sincerity may not help us make friends, but it will help us keep them.”
  12. “Never make excuses. Your friends don’t need them and your foes won’t believe them.”
  13. “Did I win? Did I lose? Those are the wrong questions. The correct question is: Did I make my best effort? That’s what matters. The rest of it just gets in the way.”
  14. “Things work out best for those who make the best of the way things work out.”
  15. “Seek opportunities to show you care. The smallest gestures often make the biggest difference.”
  16. “It is amazing how much can be accomplished if no one cares who gets the credit.”
  17. “Discipline yourself and others won’t need to.”
  18. “Listen if you want to be heard”
  19. “The key ingredient to stardom is the team.”
  20. “Make each day a masterpiece.”

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the Executive Director of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust, and runs the world’s largest membership program for those interested in the subject. She is also the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series and the Executive Editor of TRUST! Magazine. In 2012 Barbara was named “One of 25 Women Changing the World” by Good Business International.

Our 2015 Poster, 52 Weeks of Activities to Increase Organizational Trust is available to those who would like to support our work by making a small donation.

Copyright 2015, Next Decade, Inc.

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