Whether you ever played basketball, or any other sport for that matter, it would not be hard to find anyone in the business world who both knew of and greatly admired Coach John Wooden who recently passed away at age 99. He certainly was a man who was looked to by many as not just someone who was a master strategist and motivator but maybe more importantly as someone who demonstrated what real leadership is all about at a very high level for a very long time.
Published on: Monday, June 21, 2010
Job Search Success Wooden Style
If you have never seen Wooden's Pyramid of Success, it is very much worth a look and, I thought, has a great deal to offer anyone who finds themselves in the middle of trying to manage a job change at a time where the environment is challenging to say the least.
Specifically, there were a number of the blocks in Wooden's pyramid that would apply equally well both personally as well as professionally. Here are a few that I thought make sense in terms of managing a job change:
Industriousness: "Success travels in the company of very hard work. There is no trick, no easy way." Certainly this is true of a job search. It is very hard work indeed and for sure there is no trick or easy way. Sitting in front of a PC and firing off résumés to job postings for several hours a day and thinking you have had a "good day" is not how it is going to happen for most people. Our research shows that expanding your personal and professional network is by far the most potent leverage point.
Enthusiasm: "Your energy and enjoyment drive and dedication will stimulate and greatly inspire others." Mostly importantly, it will inspire you when you are doing the heavy lifting, and for sure, it will make an interviewer sit up and take notice.
Intentness: "Stay the course. When thwarted, try again — harder, smarter. Persevere relentlessly." Yes it is tough and tiring, but every ounce of effort brings you one step closer to success.
Poise: "Be yourself. Don't be thrown off by events whether good or bad." The success you have had in your career to date was gained because of the skills you brought to the situation and organization, not because you were trying to be someone other than yourself.
Confidence: "The strongest steel is well-founded self-belief. It is earned, not given." You have earned the right to have self-confidence! It isn't like you don't have a track record that demonstrates the things that you have done to bring success to the challenges you have faced.
That said, for sure we all need some help from time-to-time, and certainly there is nothing wrong with that. As a leader, that's why you had staff to help you implement. In this case, having someone like a John Wooden "on staff" is something that any of us would more than glad to have.
Dave Opton founded ExecuNet in 1988 to provide a trusted environment where senior-level executives could build career opportunities by facilitating connections to other executives, experts and key market insights. Dave has drawn upon his 35 years of experience in human resources to develop and grow what has become the leading business and career membership network for executives and senior managers. A widely recognized executive career management expert, Dave is regularly quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Business Week, Fortune, Fast Company, and other leading business publications. Mr. Opton received his BA from Indiana University.
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