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Your winning personal brand: Better late than never

So Denver lost, big surprise, and the day certainly wasn’t devoid of them, like the death of talented actor and Oscar-winner, Phillip Seymour Hoffman at the age of 46. But the standout story of the day is that of Pete Carroll, the coach, who was once thought to not be NFL material after two coaching bouts with the Jets and the New England Patriots. There was even a time when he was unemployed before joining the USC Trojans in 2001.

Carroll on the field
Elsa/Getty Images

One the key aspects of Pete Carroll’s experience is that he was able to learn from what had not worked in his former roles as head coach, to go on and find success. Even at USC, he learned about the culture of a winning team and how that made a difference. One of the important roles he played at USC and for the Seahawks is choosing the talent for his teams, a skill he has developed through years of experience.

What does this mean for your personal brand? Well for starters it means that there’s a way to take a negative experience and turn it into solid success. It means there is always hope if you do not give up faith in yourself and what you can accomplish. You can’t allow yourself to listen to all the naysayers, the people saying there’s no way you can make a career change and certainly not at this stage of the game.

Pete Carroll didn’t give up, even when he left the NFL to coach college football. He embraced the experience and made it a success, and there’s a lesson there too, for all experience is related in some way. If you can take the skills you have and develop them in a different way, you can actually create new opportunities that you may not have even considered before. When Pete Carroll then move back into the NFL, he took the additional knowledge and skill set of selecting and developing talent with him, and it served him well, for he was able to craft a team that was cohesive, competitive and unrelenting in their drive to perfection.

There is a tremendous personal message here for those who have been around the block a time or two. It’s easy to get cynical, blame others, or give up. It’s much harder to dig in, find new ways to improve yourself, and not believe the negative press. It’s tough to maintain a culture of winning, but it works. Pete Carroll is the poster child of second and third chances, he shows us that we owe it to ourselves to keep learning and growing and using those new skills in each new task we take on. We can get there, maybe a little later than we had planned, but we can win just the same.

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