Published in American Printer

By Sid Chadwick, Chadwick Consulting, Inc.

“Education is not the filling of a pail….but the lighting of a fire….!” ……………………William Butler Yeats

Bryant

INTRODUCTION:

Kobe Bryant’s unexpected death last weekend…. was heart-wrenching…and subsequently…..eye-opening….!

Every interviewee since last weekend…every Coach…his career-Trainer…every interviewed NBA player…..all said…in their own words….”I never knew anyone who worked as hard as he did…. No matter how many championships…or MVP Awards…..or Olympic Medals…..he never stopped working to improve how well he could play….he passionately loved the game…..and he loved his family…and daughters…..

His accolades won’t fit in this column…there were so many (including that he was the youngest player…. ever… drafted into the NBA…he was 17….).

Certainly he was gifted…but there were many with similar…even possibly greater gifts….yet….his capacity to relentlessly strive to improve his skills and performance capacity….never turned off…. until he knew… when he it was time to leave…….

Even in his last professional game as a Los Angeles Laker… (which I watched) …he scored 60 points….(Note….unlike so many gifted pro athletes…..he only played for the Lakers… over his 20-year career. His loyalty re. who he was….went deep.)

Sometimes I’m asked, “What should I look for in hiring a Sales Rep,,,I’ve had so many disappointments in my hires….?”

My answer has not changed much over the last two decades: “Talent is important….but is not the most important quality….The most important quality is ‘Work Ethic’….and a burning desire to constantly learn…and improve who you are…and what you can contribute…and accomplish.….

I don’t really know a test that measures…. “Work Ethic”…and…” desire to improve”.

As a strong opinion and observation…..Talented individuals with a low work-ethic tend to compromise….almost everything they touch…and… set a bad example that pulls down folks… they work around.

I also believe that an average talent… with a fierce work ethic….is almost always worth your investment…,and usually exceeds what you expect….they also tend to inspire (and challenge) …others around them.

A fierce Work Ethic….sets the example…. you want others to see, and emulate.

SUMMARY:

There are two critical qualities I look for in assisting others to find the Talent they need…for their organization to be successful…. in this great industry.

The first one is, I like to ask one question in all job interviews that clients ask me to either (a) coach them to ask, or (b) me to personally ask the potential hire:

“Can you tell me an experience you’ve had….that required everything you were as an individual… in order to accomplish what was required…what was expected…..and what you learned from that experience.”

Then I listen closely.

If an interviewee has reached this point in his/her life, and not experienced excellence from themselves…in the extreme….I don’t believe I can be so lucky as to reliably have that person deliver what my client needs….for the first time in their life.

The second requirement: There must be an insatiable desire to learn… and an unselfish generosity… to share what is learned…that seems important.

Professional and College Sports…and the “multi-media communications” — that come with professional and college sports… have provided a profound gift to our society…to our country… to our culture… for creating acceptance of people… who are different…..Professional and college sports allow individuals of all sizes….colors…and even countries of origin….and skill-sets…..to develop themselves through their “Work Ethic”….to perform and receive  recognized value….on a relatively level playing field……I do not find that quality of comparable measure…anywhere else… in our society.

“Be an encourager……the world already has enough critics”……Dan Willis

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