Most you know what I am referring to when I say “Peanuts” comic strip. For those of you who don’t know, I’m referring to Charlie Brown. I never really found Charlie Brown or the “Peanuts” comic strip to be very entertaining or amusing. However I did run across its creator, Charles Schultz’s, philosophy in a basketball newsletter last year. This week I am going to share with you the essence of his philosophy and why we should incorporate it into our lives.
I’m going to give you a short quiz here from Mr. Schultz. Are you ready? Here we go. 1) Name the five wealthiest people in the world. 2) Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize. 3) Name the last half-dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress. 4) Lastly, name the last decade’s worth of World Series winners.
How did you do? I’m guessing not all that well. Ok, I’ll give you another one from Mr. Schultz. Let’s see how you do on this one. 1) List a few teachers who aided you in school. 2) Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time. 3) Think of people who’ve made you feel appreciated and special. 4) Lastly, think of five people you enjoy spending time with.
I’m guessing you did a lot better on the second quiz. Here’s why: we rarely remember the headliners of the past. It all goes back to the saying, “You can’t take it with you when you go.” The answers to the first quiz were all first-rate achievers. They were the best of the best, but sooner or later all of the applause, attention, and accolades fade away. When they do you are left with the people and relationships you’ve created.
The most important lesson from the two quizzes is simple. The things that matter most to us in life are the people who truly care about us. In the world we live in today it is very easy to get caught up in the materialistic mind-set. Every time I read Charles Schultz’s philosophy it helps to ground me and refocus on what’s most important: quality, caring relationships.
In the coaching profession it is easy to get wrapped up in wins and losses. We all want to win and hate to lose. Sometimes that burning desire to win consumes us and we lose sight of what truly matters: building meaningful relationships that last. In studying successful coaches such as John Wooden and Mike Krzyzewski it is clear how important building people first relationships are to winning programs. Rather than putting the emphasis on building the W’s in the win-loss column, we should focus on showing people that we care. If we take this approach winning will undoubtedly follow.
In the business world the same holds true. People want to do business with those who show genuine care and concern. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, the name of the game is building relationships. If you lose sight of that you will lose customers. Here’s an example: my wife and I left the car dealership our family has bought from for years because we weren’t good enough for them anymore when looking for a used car. Once our salesman learned we were interested in a used car that was worth less than a new car, he passed us off to another salesperson. Then that salesperson failed to return our calls, or show any sign of caring about what our needs and interests were. As a result, they lost our business permanently. If you want to be successful, treat people right and show them; rather make them feel that you truly care. If you do the money will follow.
In life we often complicate things more than they need to be. In following this simple yet profound philosophy of Charles Schultz, we can transform our life and those around us. Always remember that we can’t take the awards, money, and trophies with us when we go. However, the relationships and connections we’ve made will carry on.
FYI: Our ECA Basketball & Youth Skills clinic scheduled for Sat 5/11 has been postponed until this fall. More details to follow.
Thanks for reading, have a great week and be an RGP today!