You Will Find Success With A Focused Even Mindset

You Will Find Success With A Focused Even Mindset

 

John Wooden was the first basketball player to be named All-American three times. Motivated to share his love of the game and vision for success, he moved on to become one of the most beloved, respected coaches in the history of sports. As head basketball coach at the University of California in Los Angeles, Wooden won ten NCAA national championships over 12 years. (Including an incredible 7 in a row). He was named national coach of the year six times. Over his twenty nine year career, John Wooden’s vision for achieving success and his skills at motivating and inspiring others went way beyond the sports area creating renown in the fields of personal success and organizational leadership.

Success in one thing creates success in other things

John Wooden’s lessons about leadership start with, “Good values attract good people.” Next comes, “Love is the most powerful four letter word.” The reason John Wooden was so inspiring was because he didn’t just coach his teams and his players on basketball, he coached them on life. In the same way, if any of us want to achieve true success, we cannot solely focus on our careers. We need to focus on our lives and the lives of those around us. And what each of us can do to make the world better.

Emotion is your enemy

Wooden’s fourth leadership rule states, “Emotion is your enemy.” By focusing too much on either the good things that happen or the bad you will be carried away from your goal. Winning a game is great, but if you imagine you’ve reached your final goal you won’t put in the effort required to get to the championships.

Everyone loses sometimes, but if you get lost in pits of self pity and stop putting in the effort to improve you will never win. That’s why you don’t want to let the peaks get too high or the valleys too low.

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Strong Leaders Work From Within

Strong Leaders Work From Within

When you think of leaders who became fabulously successful you might think of Elon Musk, or Bill Gates or Richard Branson, or Walt Disney, the list could go on forever. Each of us has our own person list of people we admire and wish we could emulate. No matter who is on your personal list it’s important to remember they didn’t achieve their success on their own. Before reaching the top, everyone has help along the way.

Develop leadership skills

If you’re going to lead a team, then you should have strong leadership skills. Not everyone is a born leader, but anyone can learn and (and improve). Ask advice from people you believe are good leaders, take courses, and practice what you learn.

You want the people you work with to be as capable as you. Don’t be afraid of surrounding yourself with people who are smarter than you. As Warren Buffet said, “It’s better to hang out with people better than you. Pick out associates whose behavior is better than yours and you’ll drift in that direction.

Keep the lines of communication open

You might have great ideas, but you won’t have all the great ideas. Keep the lines of communication open so people feel encouraged to both contribute their ideas and also bring problems to your attention. Let people know their opinions, thoughts and contributions matter.

Shared vision

What is the goal of this endeavor you’ve started? Does everyone on the team know the goal? Are they invested in its accomplishment? A shared vision binds a team, makes it stronger and more focused. It makes achievements toward the goal something that can be celebrated by everyone. This Big Think video discusses Steve Job’s favorite product: The Apple Team

Recognize your strengths and weaknesses

Now that you’ve surrounded yourself with the best people you can find, trust them when they point out areas that aren’t working. Sometimes we get so caught up in what needs to be done, what we believe we can do, we end up losing perspective. You need to be humble enough to recognize the difference between going too far out on a limb and testing a limb’s limits.

Create a positive atmosphere

Sometimes you end up spending more time with the people you work with than your own family. You need to nurture relationships with those people. Praise them when they’ve done something praise worthy. Not just in private but to others as well. Make sure people know how much you appreciate what they do. They’ll want to do even more!

What Are Soft Skills?

what are soft skills

Applying for jobs, writing your resume and acing an interview are all about presenting yourself well. You want to highlight the skills you have and how they match up with the job you’re applying for. Some of these skills are easy to assess. Are you familiar with Microsoft Office? How fast can you type? Do you have specific certifications etc. Other skills are less easy to qualify.

What are Soft Skills?

Skills like leadership, flexibility, and problem solving are all considered soft skills. Soft Skills generally refer to the personal skills one has that allows them to work effectively with others. Soft skills are about how good you are at interacting within a team and with others.

Are They Important?

For most employers, soft skills are just as important for the applicant to have as hard skills. While hard skills will prove you are able to do the specific tasks of the job well, soft skills will tell employers whether you can work with others and help their business grow. Soft skills speak more to who you are as a person rather than a worker, and while companies want good workers, they’re also looking for great people.

Showing Off Your Soft Skills

Soft skills can be a little harder to make clear. On your resume, in your cover letter and during an interview be prepared to share examples of how you displayed creative thinking, leadership and decision-making skills. Pay special attention to the soft skills that the company has put in their job listing and think of examples for each.

Improving Your Soft Skills

If you feel that your soft skills aren’t where they need to be to land you the job, there are a couple ways to improve them. Many soft skills simply need to be flexed and used to get a better handle on them. Seminars on leadership and teamwork can serve as a base to grow from. Volunteering in your spare time will also give you instances to use and grow your soft skills. You can also use stories from volunteering in your interview to demonstrate your ability.

Take time to grow your soft skills and find ways to share them through your cover letter, resume and interview.

 

Turn Communications Into Successful Communications

Turn Communications Into Successful Communications

 

Ever notice that some people seem to have a knack for getting the best out of those around them, while others seem to go from creating misunderstanding to snafu to lost opportunity? The difference might be as simple as a lack of strong communication skills.

 

Start with the little things

You might think small talk is a waste of time, but it’s part of day-to-day socializing. It’s the beginning of getting to know people. Through those small daily interactions you’ll find out that Jen’s husband has gone back to school, you’ll know when it’s time to encourage Sanjar in his quest to run his first marathon.

 

What you learn through that small talk will help you form relationships and bonds with the people you work with. Not only are you getting to know them better, you’re building an atmosphere of trust and camaraderie.

 

Listen with your ears and your eyes

Pay attention to the body language of the person you’re speaking to. Are they engaged with what you’re saying or are they distracted?

 

If you don’t have their full attention, your communications are not hitting the mark. Are your instructions unclear? Is there something going on with them that needs to be addressed? Is there a problem with what you’re asking them to do? You cannot guess the answers to these questions, so ask.

 

Sometimes if you’re busy it might be tempting to be distracted by a screen or a piece of paper in front of you while giving instructions to someone. That’s a shortcut to giving the same instructions again later. If you want someone to understand what you’re saying you need to give them your full attention. If you expect them to respect you then start by respecting their time and presence.

 

Be approachable

Ultimately you want to get things done. That shouldn’t mean they have to get done in exactly the way you suggested if there’s a better way. You need to make sure that people understand you want them to come to you with questions and suggestions. Communication is a two way street. Being heard and listening are equally important.

 

With strong communication skills you’ll be able to ensure things get things done right, the first time!

Landing a Job as an Introvert

You’re an introvert and probably prefer to be in a company with a few people than a company with many people. You’re not the type to come away from loud, busy situations feeling stimulated. You may not be the first to voice your opinion (which is not to say you don’t have as strong opinions as anyone else). But does that mean your job search is going to be harder or less successful than your extroverted contemporaries? Not at all – it just means you’re going to take a different path to your destination.

Can introverts find it in themselves to network?
An extrovert might find him or herself the center of attention at a party. But the key to networking is building one-on-one relationships where you articulate what you’re looking for and ask for guidance and help. An introvert has just as much chance of making that connection as an extrovert.

Should introverts forget about being a leader?
Does being introverted mean you shouldn’t have leadership ambitions or desires? Absolutely not! Although extroverts and introverts have different management styles and relate differently to the people they work with, neither one is any better or worse in leadership positions than the other. In some situations, the management style of the extrovert will produce better results in others than the introvert. For example, people who like a lot of direction will do very well under an extroverted leader. However, people who prefer the chance to explore alternatives and experiment with new ways of doing things feel more empowered by a more introverted leader.

Can introverts be a strong salesperson?
At first glance you might be inclined to think a personable, engaging extrovert would be miles ahead in the sales game compared to a quieter and more reserved individual. Well, think again. Neither introversion nor extraversion will be an indicator success as a salesperson. The best sales people are the ones in the middle. They don’t turn others off with all the loud blustering and neither do they get ignored in the quiet. For sales, the best road is the middle road and that’s where introverts and extroverts need to meet.

Famous introverts:
Albert Einstein and Warren Buffet was an introvert and so is J.K. Rowling, just to name a few. They were and are still very much in the public eye who are leaders and unafraid of success and game changers. When it’s your turn at bat, the real question isn’t whether you prefer to wear a brightly colored shirt blazoned with “I’M HERE!” or you prefer more muted attire. The question is what you do once the ball has been pitched.

Should I Apply to a Job if I Don’t Have Experience?

It happens so often that people miss a job opportunity because they actually don’t’ have the qualifications listed don’t have the qualifications or experience listed on the job posting so they don’t apply. Well NEWS FLASH! All the requirements and experience listed on the ad just make up a “wish list” for employers. They may not expect a candidate to have all those qualifications but still list them to weave out anyone who is not 100% qualified for the position.

An easy rule to remember is that if you have more than 50% of the qualifications and experience listed in the posting, you should apply. Most employers are willing to train new candidates and make exceptions if the qualifications and experience are very easy to learn.

However, don’t apply to a job if there is a very specific and mandatory education or skill requirement that you don’t have. The bottom line is to apply even if you think you don’t have experience but feel like you can confidently take on the role.

Transferable skills are an asset

After going through a good amount of schooling and having some work experience under your belt, there have got to be some skills you already have which can be transferred over to the job you want to apply to.

Work-related experience: See if the skills you’ve picked up during your previous work experiences can be applied to the job. For example, if you were a leader of six people and the job ad requires a supervisor to oversee 10 people, you still have the potential to become a supervisor because: a) You were already in a role that required some kind of leadership of others b) You know a thing or two about managing others, even if it’s less than the amount in the job ad.

Breaking into different industries: Breaking into a different industry can also work because employers might want new insight in the company. If you are an accountant and want to work in a payroll company, they might take a second look at you because the skills of an accountant are similar to payroll positions.

Your cover letter will support your “no/lack of experience”

Like we mentioned before, your cover letter can make or break your chances at getting the job. So even if you don’t have the exact experience they’re looking for, use your cover letter to highlight the experiences you do have that would make you an asset to their company.

Convince the employer: This goes back to thinking about all the transferable skills you have. If you write your cover letter well, you will have the hiring manager sold on the fact that even if you don’t have experience, you do have the skills. In the letter, talk about how your skills can be applied to the role and how you can benefit the company as a whole.

Show your knowledge for the position/industry: Do your research on the position or industry you are applying for so you know the key points to hit when writing the cover letter. That knowledge may make the difference between an interview and being passed over for one.

Maybe You’ll Get Lucky

You never know what is going on in the minds of hiring managers and their intentions for the company. Maybe they want someone who isn’t familiar with the industry to bring in new perspectives. Or they like your resume and cover letter so much that they are willing to offer you an interview. The possibilities are endless. Applying for a job even if you don’t have exact experience doesn’t hurt but it certainly does increase your chances at a job offer than not submitting one at all.