3 Simple Things to Add Value to your Career

by Joel Fleischman

John Wooden has said he modeled his career (coaching college basketball better than anyone ever has and teaching English at UCLA) by following and teaching 3 simple rules that could not be broken.

1. Never be late.
2. Clean and neat.
3. No profanity.

It’s all here in his speech.



1.  Be On Time.

Nick Saban a few weeks ago nailed it at the SEC media day.  It’s all about trust.   Many people blow this off and think it is trivial when it is just the opposite; it is fundamental to a culture of trust.  And it SAVES a ton of time.  Agenda based, on time meetings, get 47% more done.  (I made that up.)  But they do.


Here is the coach of Alabama football speaking on this.  You can replace huddle and team for your own organization.


2. Be Neat & Clean.

This is a respect thing.  By dressing well you are respecting your profession, your co-workers and your customers.  Dress one level above your customer for best results.    You don’t want your customer to think “you are better then them.”   Think of the most respected people you know or work with.  Are they neat and clean?  I will bet they are.

3.  No Profanity.

This is a tough one for me, especially on the golf course.  I had to consider why this was such a big deal.  I mean doesn’t coach Ditka and those types of folks earn respect by using a little foul language.  And then I thought about it more.  When someone I respect drops profanity, often I adjust my seat, or smile uncomfortably.

And often I do lose respect.  Really, there is no need for it.  You never know the effect it will have on others.

The best leaders, really the best people in life, are calm when there is a storm.  Running around swearing like Foghorn Leghorn gets nothing done and does make you look like a cartoon character.  So don’t do it.


Keep things simple and follow simple steps to improve; sometimes it is really that easy.

– Joel Fleischman.  Joel is the president & solution provider for Drexel Building Supply.  (drexelteam.com).   You can follow him on twitter:  @JoelmFleischman.  He has provided solutions for builders and their clients since 1996 and a whole bunch of other stuff that you probably don’t care about.