I received a resume today from a guy who's a former NFL player with the NY Jets and Oakland Raiders. I freaking love that. Why? Because it shows that ...

  1. ...the guy understands the Law of the Farm.  You can't cram on the farm.  Plan.  Sow.  Nurture.  Reap.  That's the deal.  Season after season.  Overnight sensations don't exist.  It's the same way in life.  Wanna play in the NFL?  Dream about it.  Sleep in NFL pajamas.  Have heroes.  Play Pop Warner.  Dream about it some more.  Play in middle- and high-school.  Get your ass kicked.  Get right back up again.  Do wind sprints until you puke.  Keep dreaming.  Play college ball.  Etc.  Eventually, you blossom into a real ball player.  That doesn't happen over night, and neither does the ability to bring in a good crop.  That mentality is indispensable in building a business.

  2. The guy knows how to win.  Winning takes self composure -- which, ironically, requires selflessness.  Winning takes humility so that you can take your ego out of the game and get into "the Zone."  Humble people lack the fear of being humiliated, and that enables fearlessness.  Winning is about being able to see yourself in the third person -- if you see yourself at all.  Winning and excellence and humble service to others share a common thread:  They are all selfless states. That mentality is indispensable in building a team.

  3. The guy is adaptable.  He didn't buy-in to all of the rock-star adoration that people drip all over ball players and then fail to adapt in the real world, where workaday stiffs like us scrape out a living.  He went from NFL player to faceless Wan Administrator without bitching.  And now, he has actually done something with his white collar career, and his NFL career is just a footnote on his resume.  John Wooden was right:  Things turn out best for people who make the best of the way things turn out.  That mentality is indispensable in building a life.

What about you?  Are you like this former ball player?  At what activity have you excelled in your own life?  Is it on your resume?  Are you approaching your own career with the same level of passion -- for the love of the game?  Or are you living in the past?

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Harry Joiner is an executive recruiter specializing in integrated marketing and "new media." He has been featured in MarketingSherpa's Great Minds in Marketing series and received coverage in the Wall Street Journal's Career Journal Online. According to Viral Garden's weekly rankings, Harry's weblog MarketingHeadhunter.com is one of the top 25 marketing weblogs in the world.