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By Dr. Harry Tennant

Edclicking

by Harry Tennant
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Entries with keyword: success
Posts 1 - 3 of 3

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The 8 Traits Successful People Have in Common: 8 to be Great

After reading John Wooden's book on success, I read Richard St. John's, The 8 Traits Successful People Have in Common: 8 to be Great (remembering what George Herbert said, "Woe be to him who reads but one book.").

St. John interviewed about 500 successful people in diverse fields and collected interviews of additional successful people, compiling a big database on the keys to success. He identified about 300 traits and from those, he identfied eight major traits.

  1. Passion: Successful people love what they do
  2. Work: They work very hard
  3. Focus: They focus on one thing, not everything
  4. Push: They keep pushing themselves
  5. Ideas: They come up with good ideas
  6. Improve: They keep improving themselves and what they do
  7. Serve: They serve others something of value
  8. Persist: They persist through time, failure and adversity

Another interesting list. So, how does it compare with Coach Wooden's Pyramid of Success?

Coach Wooden's
Pyramid of Success
Compared to
St. John's 8 to be Great

Competitive Greatness
Be at your best when your best is needed
   
Poise
Just being yourself
Confidence
Comes from being prepared and keeping proper perspective
     

Condition

Push

Skill

Ideas

Team Spirit

Serve

   

Self Control

Focus

Alertness

Improve

Initiative

Push, Persist

Intentness

Persist

 

Industriousness

Work

Friendship

Serve

Loyalty

Serve

Cooperation

Serve

Enthusiasm

Passion

With just a bit of tweeking we see a lot of overlap. (St. John's categories are in blue in the diagram above.) Wooden has a lot of characteristics that are specific to teamwork: team spirit, friendship, loyalty and cooperation. St. John notes that some people find success through teamwork while others work alone. However, St. John's list emphasizes the importance of other people by specifying that your work must serve others.

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Keywords: success

 

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

8 to be Great and 21st Century Skills

Richard St. John's, The 8 Traits Successful People Have in Common: 8 to be Great is the distillation of a large number of interviews with successful people into the most critical lessons for success. He interviewed about 500 successful people in diverse fields and collected additional interviews of successful people, compiling a big database on their thoughts on the keys to success.

St. John identified about 300 traits and from those, he identfied eight major traits, shared most widely. The eight traits are listed below.

  1. Passion: Successful people love what they do
  2. Work: They work very hard
  3. Focus: They focus on one thing, not everything
  4. Push: They keep pushing themselves
  5. Ideas: They come up with good ideas
  6. Improve: They keep improving themselves and what they do
  7. Serve: They serve others something of value
  8. Persist: They persist through time, failure and adversity

One of the interesting characteristics of these traits is that they are not inate. They are thought to be learnable, which suggests that they can help nearly anyone achieve their success in their lives.

The Partnership for 21st Century Skills advocates teaching and assessing students on skills that go beyond the typical core curriculum. The 21st Century Skills include

  • Creativity and innovation
  • Critical thinking and problem solving
  • Communication and collaboration
  • Flexibility and adaptability
  • Initiative and self-direction
  • Social and cross-cultural skills
  • Productivity and accountability
  • Leadership and responsibility

This list of skills certainly looks like good skills for students to acquire. But if St. John is correct, and his list of traits are the most critical for success, what are the right skills to teach?

  • Should we teach how to find and pursue a passion (found to be the most critical trait of successful people)?
  • Should we teach students how to focus and minimize distractions?
  • Should we teach students how to persist on long-term projects and how to overcome disappointments?
  • Should we teach students how to assess whether a piece of work is actually useful to and serves others and how to make it even more valuable to others?

It is debatable, of course, whether St. John's eight traits are truly the most important. But if we assume for a moment that they are, shouldn't we teach students to acquire the traits for success?

Posted at 9:44 PM (permalink) 4 Comments View/Leave Comment Share this post with email Share this post on Facebook Share this post on Twitter Share this post on LinkedIn
Keywords: success

 

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Coach Wooden's Pyramid of Success

Although John Wooden thought of himself as a teacher, as the head basketball coach at UCLA, he was the winningest coach in college basketball. Yet, he never mentioned winning to his players.

Winning is something you don't have control over, but you do have control over yourself. Coach Wooden defined success this way:

Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable.

He emphasized to his players that success is the result of a set of habits which he called the Pyramid of Success as shown below.

Coach Wooden's
Pyramid of Success

Competitive Greatness
Be at your best when your best is needed
   
Poise
Just being yourself
Confidence
Comes from being prepared and keeping proper perspective
     
Condition
Mental, Moral, Physical.
Moderation must be practiced
Skill
A knowledge of and the ability to execute the fundamentals
Team Spirit
An eagerness to sacrifice personal interest for the wellfare of all
   
Self Control
Practice self-discipline and keep emotions under control
Alertness
Be observant and eager to learn and improve
Initiative
Don't be afraid of failure but learn from it
Intentness
Being determined and persistent
 
Industriousness
There is no substitute for work
Friendship
Requires a joint effort
Loyalty
To yourself and all those depending on you
Cooperation
Be interested in finding the best way, not in having your own way
Enthusiasm
You must truly enjoy what you're doing

I highly recommend his book, Wooden on Leadership. Despite its title, it's not just a book about business leadership and despite its author, it's not a book about sports. It's a book about the habits of character that lead to success: doing the best of which you're capable. It's a great message to pass on to students as well as great advice on how to set an example for the students and staff you work with.

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Keywords: success

  Posts 1 - 3 of 3
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