Category Archives: Career

What a US Masters victory can teach us

Today is a historic day for Australian sport. Thirty-two year old Adam Scott claimed the coveted green jacket in becoming the first Aussie to win golf’s prestigious US Masters. Tied after the final hole of the final round, a sudden death play-off with Argentinian Angel Cabrera spanned two holes before Scott sunk the putt to claim victory.¬† An amazing finish to a fabulous tournament!

One can look at the four days of this event and admire the skill and focus. One can look back even further to the twenty-odd years Adam Scott has been refining his craft since his father first placed a club in his hands as a child. The countless hours of practice, the commitment of family and friends, the dollars invested, all towards a potential pay-day!

Added to this is the often unseen opportunity cost. The time he choose to invest, even as a young fellow, came at a cost of something else. Whether it was hanging with his mates, special events or maybe even family celebrations, he had to forgo some very enjoyable and possibly unique things to achieve what he has today.

Being who we are called to be is not an easy choice. Developing and refining our natural talent requires time, commitment and the willingness to miss out on other things. We choose how to invest our time and every choice involves some form of sacrifice. Are we investing for a greater pay-day into the future or are we solely intent on having fun today?

There is, of course, a balance to be achieved. Enjoying the moment we’re in as well as building for our future. We cannot be singularly focused on one without our personal happiness suffering. But we do need to sometimes forgo the immediate pleasure and work towards our future, both for ourselves and for those around us.

If Adam Scott’s victory can teach us anything, it’s that hard work, commitment, perseverance and sacrifice can pay off!


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Raising the bar (or what we can learn from the high jump!)

Did you know the world record for high jump is 2.45 metres? That’s over 8 feet, or the height of an average Indian elephant!!¬†This record has stood since 1993, the longest standing record in the history of the sport. Around 100 years ago the record stood at 1.9 metres (or around 6′ 4″). The only way the height has increased is through athletes literally raising the bar, attempting something which they have not done before.

This is not a revolutionary concept I know, but do we actually apply it in our own worlds?

We’re into 2013, a new year in which many of us have proposed various resolutions with varying levels of commitment. Rather than focus on what is sometimes wishful thinking, let’s start by conceding that 2012 was an okay year. This may be true for many of us, perhaps an understatement for some, whilst it could be an exaggeration for others. Whatever it was, let’s just agree on the height of the bar as it rests now.

If this 2012 height was average, next we define what an above-average year will look like. Our relationships. …careers ….finances …health. Compared to our average 2012, how would each of these areas be different in the next 12 months? What would we need to do differently? What about our attitude? Upskilling, perhaps?

Javier Sotomayor was only 15 when he first cleared 2 metres. Over the ensuring 10 years he gradually raised the bar until he set the world record that still stands today.

What can we achieve in the next ten years, if we only start today?


Truth in advertising?

As a resume writer, I have the opportunity to help people “sell” themselves. Many of us have difficulty articulating our achievements verbally, let alone putting them down on paper as some form of permanent record, and being an external party I can bring objectivity.

A recent client, with whose workplace contributions I am familiar, commented that she “looked too good for the job!”. This wasn’t because the information was exaggerated or inaccurate, it was simply that when presented with her achievements and skills via a professionally prepared resume, she was surprised at just how valuable her contributions had been.

This is human nature. Most of us discount our contributions and experience. I do not think this is part of what we refer to in Australia as the “tall poppy” syndrome, I reckon we think just because we are able to do something competently, that this is somehow the standard for everyone.

What we advertise to others (employers, for instance) whilst truthful, may only be part of the story. This could explain why we feel we’re missing out on opportunities or that our potential is not being realised. We obviously need transparency and honesty in all communications, but we do need to ensure we’re sharing the full story. Through objectively assessing our input to a situation or relationship we may find we added value in more ways than our first thinking suggested.

We were there in the midst of the project / challenge / transformation and the people to whom we’re seeking to sell ourselves were not. We understand the context and significance because we were there – those who weren’t there, cannot.

My challenge to us all is to stop under-valuing our skills, abilities and talents. Let’s look for opportunities that utilise and expand our entire skill-set. Let’s provide the full truth!


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