Thursday, October 02, 2008

"Know the Way Broadly"

I was recently reviewing an article by Brian Mullins of His basic premise is, hire people who have accomplished something amazing despite industry experience. (I want to insert a disclaimer here: if you do have relevant experience & have accomplished something amazing well then you are going to be alright. This article will focus on those who only posses the later)

“Let’s say you are looking for a sales executive to fill a position in your software company. Candidate A has a lot of contacts in your industry and has three years of software sales experience. Candidate B set the school record for the 5,000-meter run at her college. Which one do you hire? Unless Candidate A can show me a six-figure W-2 from his previous employer, I’ll take my chances with Candidate B every time.” says Brian Mullins

Companies making hiring decisions based on past accomplishments unrelated to industry experience is a radical departure from what you are taught as a graduating student athlete. You are lead to believe- lead with your experience. That somehow waiting tables at TGI Friday’s means more to an employer than winning your conference tournament. That if you don’t have “real” work experience you are doomed, you should not bother irritating a company with your inferior resume. Those companies will only hire you if you have experience so promote that & that alone, bury you amazing athletic accomplishment they are a footnote relegated to “extracurricular activities”. This thought process is simply not true amazing matters.

In the increasing competition for talented candidates companies are seeking people who know how to compete but more importantly know how to win, success breads success as they say. When evaluating talent you may have someone with three years experience on a resume but in actuality it’s one-year experience three times over. This person toils in anonymity getting by never truly mastering their trade. They don’t know what it takes to be amazing they don’t know how to compete head on & win. So to understand why amazing matters we must look back nearly 400 years-

In his famous 17th century text, A Book of Five Rings, Miyamoto Musashi discusses how to become a great swordsman. He emphasizes the discipline, sacrifice, and practice involved in mastering this art. After a student spends years practicing and eventually mastering every nuance of sword fighting, he is said to “know the way broadly.” The author says, “If you know the way broadly you will see it in everything.” Meaning, if someone can learn the discipline it takes to be very successful at one thing, he can apply this success formula to other pursuits in his life. The bottom line is: People who are very successful at one thing in their lives usually find a way to continue on this successful journey.

Musashi offers truly sage advice in his adage “know the way broadly”. Not only does this apply to your nun chuck skills but to your resume & interview skills as well. As a collegiate athlete you have excelled you have done something amazing. In the upcoming posts will we determine how to “Know the Way Broadly” when starting your career search Stay tuned for the first installment “The Athletes Resume”.

1 comment:

Organic Meatbag said...

Hell yeah! Do you ever just stop and say "Show me the money"?!