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Randall Bell, PhD
Our Personal Best
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Everyone is in the business of problem solving. The computer industry exists to solve data management and communication problems, the auto industry exists to solve transportation needs, and the medical industry exists to solve medical problems.

Homemakers solve the challenges of running a household. Students must solve problems to complete their homework. Whatever and wherever the case, problems should be viewed with an attitude of facing, even welcoming, a challenge rather than avoiding it.

I once had the chance to chat with one of my all-time heroes, John Wooden. Wooden was not only an outstanding basketball player, but also the world’s finest basketball coach; he led his UCLA team to an unprecedented ten national championships.

One of the most powerful developmental mind-sets is what I call The Wooden Approach, as opposed to the score-driven perspective. John Wooden sets out to do one’s personal best, while the score mind-set sets out to win a championship.” The score mind-set is obvious and a quick sell, but Wooden’s approach sets out a loftier goal and is ultimately more effective.

Many focus on the score and winning, while the Wooden Approach focuses on one’s self-development and the maximization of one’s capabilities. In our world, the masses are generally score driven.” These individuals and organizations focus singularly on the score, as a measurement for success. With this as their focus, the required attributes for building genuine value can be swept aside in the relentless and often elusive goal of capturing the all-important score.

On the other hand, the game-driven are problem solvers who focus on maximizing their potential and playing the game to the best of their ability. It is not that they are unaware of the score, but their heads are truly in the game. They love to create value and they enjoy developing a great strategy. Ironically, success is the natural result of this approach, yet it is not directly pursued. Abraham Lincoln said, I can do the very best I know how the very best I can; and I mean to keep on doing so until the end.

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