Career Success Advice from an NFL Quarterback Controversy

Here’s some career advice that comes from the young NFL season.  I live in Denver.  People here love the Broncos.  I’d go as far as saying that people in Denver love the Broncos almost – but not quite — as much as people in Pittsburgh love the Steelers.

We are in the midst of a quarterback controversy in Denver.  The coaches and players think that Kyle Orton is the best quarterback on the team.  He is the starter.  Many of the fans think that Tim Tebow, a second year player who won the Heisman Trophy when he played for the University of Florida, should be the starting quarterback.  Neither Orton nor Tebow have  commented publicly on the situation.  But a whole lot of fans and reporters have.

The sports talk shows are full of Orton/Tebow discussions.  People write letters to the editor of the Denver Post about it.  Sportswriters all seem to have their position on the issue.  Last Sunday, a columnist who doesn’t write about sports devoted his column to it.  That one got me.  I asked myself, “Why would people bother with this?  What difference does it make who the Broncos quarterback is?”  Then the answer hit me.  They bother because they care.  They care a lot.

And that’s where today’s career success advice comes in.  Tweet 100 in my career advice book Success Tweets says, “Care about what you do.  If you care a little, you’ll be an OK performer.  If you care a lot, you’ll become an outstanding performer.”  Bronco fans who care so much that they call talk radio shows and write letters to the editor are outstanding fans.  If they bring that same passion and caring to their jobs, I’m sure they are outstanding performers and on the road to life and career success.

If you want to become a life and career success, you have to care about what you do.  You have to be passionate about it.  I’ll use myself as an example.

I am passionate about helping people create the life and career success they want and deserve.  I care a lot.  That’s why I wrote Success Tweets and give it away for free.  That’s why I wrote a series of blog posts explaining the shorthand career advice in each of the 141 common sense tweets in Success Tweets in more detail and turned it into a career advice book called Success Tweets Explained.

I care so much about helping people create the life and career success they deserve that I’ve committed to writing a 700 or 800 word blog post five days a week, 50 weeks a year.  Besides that, I’ve created a membership site called My Corporate Climb to help people create their corporate career success.  I also do webinars and speeches.  I am really passionate about being the very best career success coach out there.

I do all of these things because I care.  I care a lot about helping you achieve the kind of career success you deserve.  And I know that this caring will pay off in me becoming an outstanding career success coach – somebody who provides his clients with really great career advice.

When you care you do your very best.  2009 marked the 50th anniversary of the publication of one of my favorite books: To Kill a Mockingbird.  There is a passage in that book that has always stuck with me.  It’s in Chapter 11 and is spoken by Atticus Finch, the father, played by Gregory Peck in the film.  He’s speaking to Scout, his daughter…

“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand.  It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what.  You rarely win, but sometimes you do.”

It takes courage to care. Because when you care, you put yourself out there.  You do your best.  And doing your best can be a scary thing.  When you care, when you consciously do your best and fail, it is heartbreaking.  But at least you have the satisfaction of knowing you did your best.

I remember when I applied to graduate school at Harvard.  I decided that I was going to demonstrate to myself how much I cared by writing the very best application I could.  I wasn’t going to let myself off the hook if I didn’t get accepted by saying, “I could have written a better application, but I just didn’t spend the time I should have.”

When I put my application in the mailbox – we still did quaint things like that back in the old days – I was proud of what I had written.  I knew it was the very best I could do.  I was also frightened because I knew that my best might not be good enough.  After all, both of my other degrees were from state schools.  Who was I to think that those kind of credentials would get me accepted at Harvard?

I cared about the quality of my application, so I did the very best I could.  In this case, the story has a happy ending.  I was accepted and got my degree.  Even if I had not been accepted, I would have been proud of myself because I cared enough to write the best application I could, and I dared enough to admit it to myself.

What about you?  Do you really care about what you do?  Do you dare to admit how much you care?

The career success coach point here is simple common sense.  Successful people are proud of what they do.  They care.  They are like the Broncos fans who call talk radio and write letters to the editor.  They follow the career advice in Tweet 100 in Success Tweets. “Care about what you do.  If you care a little, you’ll be an OK performer.  If you care a lot, you’ll become an outstanding performer.”  Does your work show that you care?  Or does it reflect an “it’s good enough” attitude?  Take it from a career success coach, if you want to create the life and career success of which you are capable and which you deserve, make sure that how much you care shows through in every single piece of work you do.

That’s my career advice on caring about what you do – a lot.  What do you think?  Please take a minute to share your thoughts with us in a comment.  As always, thanks for reading my daily thoughts on life and career success.  I value you and I appreciate you.


PS: If you haven’t already done so, you can download a free copy of the companion piece to Success Tweets, Success Tweets Explained.  It’s a whopping 390 + pages of career advice explaining each of the common sense tweets in Success Tweets in detail.  Go to to claim your free copy.  You’ll also start receiving my daily life and career success quotes.

PPS: I opened a membership site on September 1.  It’s called My Corporate Climb and is devoted to helping people create career success inside large corporations.  To celebrate the grand opening, I’m giving away a new career advice book I’ve written called I Want YOU…To Succeed in Your Corporate Climb.  You can find out about the membership site and get the career advice in I Want YOU… for free by going to http://www.mycorporateclimb.


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