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Issue 372 - "Entitled to nothing, grateful for everything." (Jack Clark Part Three)

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 9 Issue 372
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login




Jack Clark is the University of California's varsity rugby head coach. His teams have won 28 National Championships in 33 years. A key principle of Clark's teams and their culture is to: Practice Resiliency. Clark makes this happen by insisting his teams buy into, believe and act with a very straight forward attitude: "Entitled to nothing, grateful for everything."
Entitled is defined as: "believing oneself to be inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment."
Grateful is defined as: "feeling or showing an appreciation of kindness; thankful."
A person's attitude towards events, other people and in the long run their life in general, is either one of entitlement or gratitude. The two attitudes cannot co-exist with respect to the same event. In an interview with Jan Stenker for Unconditionally Strong, Clark discussed the impact the principle "Entitled to nothing, grateful for everything" has had on his team's performance:
"I think what matters most — outside of talent — would probably be the culture of the team: developing a really resilient, embedded team culture around performance. It's like anything else: You've got to rep it. You've got to talk about it on day one and day five and in the middle of the season and at the end of the season.
Our mindset is how we filter our values and how we talk about them. I think it's important now, more than ever before, because there is a lot of entitlement. But we say our mindset is "entitled to nothing, grateful for everything."
We're really happy when people do something for us and somebody washes our clothes or somebody puts on a meal for us. Anything that we get, we feel really grateful for it, but we don't really think we're entitled to much.
I mean you ask how you become resilient. Well, that's kind of it. You don't expect much — not from the ref, not from the opposition. If you're playing into the wind in both halves, that's just how it is. We just don't expect to get a break. That makes you tougher in a way."
Coach Wooden said: "Too often we just want things to work out the way we want them to but we don't want to pay the price, so to speak, of doing the things that would help that become reality." Coach Clark and Coach Wooden believe in gratitude and hard work, not entitlement.
Do you approach your job with an attitude of entitlement or gratitude? What is the approach of your team members?

Yours in Coaching,
Craig Impelman




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Application Exercise




Is it all in the envelope holding your pay?
Is that all you're working for day after day?
Are you getting no more from your toil than the gold
That little enclosure of paper will hold?
Is that all you're after; is that all you seek?
Does that close the deal at the end of the week?

Is it all in the envelope holding his pay?
Is that all you offer him day after day?
Is that all he wins by his labor from you?
Is that the reward for the best he can do?
Would you say of your men, when the week has been turned,
That all they've received is the money they've earned?

Is it all in the envelope, workman and chief?
Then loyalty's days must be fleeting and brief;
If you measure your work by its value in gold
The sum of your worth by your pay shall be told;
And if something of friendship your men do not find
Outside of their envelopes, you're the wrong kind.

If all that you offer is silver and gold,
You haven't a man in your plant you can hold.
If all that you're after each week is your pay,
You are doing your work in a short-sighted way;
For the bigger rewards it is useless to hope
If you never can see past the pay envelope.

Edgar Allen Guest (1881-1959)






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