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Change for Success


Coach John Wooden is considered by many the greatest NCAA basketball Coach of all time. Coach Wooden led the UCLA Bruins men’s basketball team to a 664-162 record during his 29 years as head coach. He won ten NCAA national championships in a 12-year period as head coach and set the record with seven in a row. Coach Wooden guided the Bruins to a record 88-game winning streak. During his tenure, the UCLA men's basketball team excelled with four perfect 30-0 seasons. He created the pyramid of success and authored or co-authored several books. 

But it wasn't all about winning for Coach Wooden. John Wooden did his best to inspire his players to work hard and be their very best on and off the court. Success was an after effect of leading a principled life. The cornerstones of the pyramid of success are industriousness and enthusiasm. Coach Wooden's thoughts on industriousness; “There is no substitute for work. Worthwhile things come from hard work and careful planning.” And in regard to the enthusiasm he wrote, “Your heart must be in your work.” Wooden once said, "Things work out best for those who make the best of how things work out."

As business people, we are often faced with situations that do not work out the way we planned. Successful businesses learn to adapt and adjust so these changes do not create an even more difficult situation. When a business can make adjustments based on current circumstances it places itself in the best possible position to succeed. If a business is overly rigid or inflexible it may cause unnecessary or otherwise avoidable problems. Remaining inflexible while dealing with an unhappy customer may prove to be catastrophic.

Remember in business, as in life, change is inevitable. How we deal with these changes will determine the outcome. How have you addressed changes in the past? Drawing from past experience can be a good way to formulate your response to a given change. Remember to focus on the positives and use that attitude to address the situation. Own your response. Once you have reacted to a change, stand by your response and customers and associates will know they can count on you.

Versatility is a trait that can be difficult to achieve, but the benefits of being proficient in many facets of your business can be truly valuable. Dealing with change often requires a varied skill set. The ability to set prices at a fair level, while protecting your profit margin may be needed if a sudden price increase affects your product line. Having a knack for navigating the wholesale market may prove critical if one of your wholesale providers goes out of business. The competence necessary to deal with an irate customer fairly may prove to be invaluable. As you can see, the more versatile you are, the more likely you are to succeed when changes occur.

Understanding the reason or reasons you went into business can help you develop the underlying basis or principles to create a framework for your actions. This foundation provides a starting point which can guide you as you make adjustments to address changes. If your purpose is to help people, your decisions should be driven by that premise. If your passion is to teach, then reactions to changes should keep education in mind. Be true to yourself and everything becomes a little easier.

Don't let changes scare you, there is an opportunity behind every change. John Wooden once said, "Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming." Developing a tool kit that allows you to do your very best may help put your mind at ease, because your business success may rely on your ability to react when things change.

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