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If UCLA lost to an opponent, but Wooden believed that each player made the effort to do their best, he was proud and happy, thanking each player for their effort. If UCLA dominated an opponent, winning by a wide margin, but Wooden believed his players didn't give their best effort, he would be ashamed and unhappy.
Winning and losing was secondary to Wooden. He considered each team member to be more than a basketball player (Wooden never considered a player disposable). Each player was first a student and second a future citizen of the world -- they were future husbands, fathers and neighbors. Wooden had just four years to prepare each player for life after basketball. His players showed their appreciation by making the effort to do the best of which they were capable. Wooden fostered a culture of hard work and mutual respect. (Wouldn't it be great if your fire station fostered a culture of hard work and mutual respect?) Wooden's principles, none of which have anything to do with sports, created what is perhaps the greatest sports dynasty in modern history. What if Wooden's principles helped you create the greatest fire station in history?
May the Fire Station Pyramid of Success help you discover the peace of mind that comes from knowing you have done your best to become the best you are capable of becoming.
Next: Part 2 -- Five blocks that will establish a strong foundation for your Pyramid of Success: Industriousness, Enthusiasm, Loyalty, Friendship and Cooperation.
MARK EMERY, EFO, is a shift battalion chief with the Woodinville, WA, Fire & Life Safety District. He is a graduate of the National Fire Academy's Executive Fire Officer program and an NFA instructor specialist. Emery received a bachelor of arts degree from California State University at Long Beach and is a partner with Fire Command Seattle LLC in King County, WA. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or access his website www.competentcommand.com.