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Issue 309 - Accuracy not Exaggeration

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 6 Issue 309
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login



In 2003, I attended a management training seminar. The instructor's lesson was that there are certain personal characteristics that employees have that can't be changed or coached.
The instructor's message did not feel right to me. I phoned Coach Wooden to get some wisdom.
I asked Coach if he thought there were any personal characteristics on his Pyramid of Success that couldn't be changed or coached. Coach said he wanted to think about it and requested I phone him the next day.
The next day Coach said: "Well I would never say never but if I had to pick one it would be Industriousness. If they're lazy when you get them they will probably be lazy when they leave."
There are two great lessons here from Coach Wooden's response.
1. Coach said he wanted to think about his response. He didn't just react with a general sweeping statement.
You don't have to answer a question because you think the person asking you expects you to have an answer. Whether you are a salesperson, coach, CEO or teacher, it's okay to respond to a question with "I don't know but let me see what I can find out."
2. Coach qualified his response by saying "I would never say never".
General reactive sweeping statements sometimes prove to be inaccurate even when they are made by usually credible people. Here are a few examples:
1876: "This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication." — William Orton, President of Western Union.
1883: "X-rays will prove to be a hoax." — Lord Kelvin, British mathematician and physicist, President of the British Royal Society
1889: "Fooling around with alternating current (AC) is just a waste of time. Nobody will use it, ever." — Thomas Edison
1946: "Television won't be able to hold on to any market it captures after the first six months. People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night." — Darryl Zanuck, 20th Century Fox
1966: "Remote shopping, while entirely feasible, will flop." — Time Magazine.
1977: "There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home." - Olson, Chairman and Founder of Digital Equipment Corporation
2003: "The subscription model of buying music is bankrupt." - Steve Jobs (25 Billion Songs have been sold on ITunes)
2004:"Two years from now, spam will be solved." – Bill Gates (Today spam accounts for over 90 percent of all e-mail sent.)
2007: "There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share." - Steve Ballmer
Do you believe hype or are you a "never say never" - "we don't know what we don't know" person.
What are you teaching those you influence with your example? This is a valuable lesson for youngsters who take internet content as fact.

Yours in Coaching,
Craig Impelman




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Application Exercise




The day is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
The vine still clings to the mouldering wall,
But at every gust the dead leaves fall,
And the day is dark and dreary.

My life is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
My thoughts still cling to the mouldering Past,
But the hopes of youth fall thick in the blast,
And the days are dark and dreary.

Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)






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