This week’s Wednesday Wisdom comes from The Daily Coach Blog with a video that can be found here.
The knocked-over garbage can lay on the floor, trash strewn about, a broken chair nearby.
The trash was remnants of the anger and frustration of the Houston Cougars men’s basketball team, which had just lost on a controversial finish, 83-82, at Alabama on a Saturday night.
But as the debris lay near the Houston bench and taunts from the winning crowd were hurled toward the players walking back to the locker room, guard Jamal Shead paused for a moment, reached down, turned the garbage can right-side up and began placing the cups and dirty paper inside.
Shead was undoubtedly angry. His team had just lost in heartbreaking fashion on the road to a top-ranked opponent amid a controversial no call from the referees. It would’ve been hard to fault him had he just stormed off or even added to the pile. But he didn’t. He maintained perspective and exhibited maturity and poise under duress when not everyone around him did. That’s character, that’s integrity and, ultimately, that’s true leadership.
Regardless of our profession, it’s important that we remember it’s easy to be well-behaved and considerate after success.
But how do we respond when we feel we’ve been wronged? How do we act in defeat when we’re fuming?
These moments illuminate our true character far more than the fleeting times of triumph.
Shead is just a sophomore, but he seems to already have his Master’s in maturity — a degree that can be all too rare. And he gave us a tremendous lesson in managing emotion and maintaining perspective amidst tumult.
When we feel we’ve been wronged, we can be mad or livid on the inside.
But when the trash is on the floor, the true leader still picks it up.