Getting A Job, Conventional Wisdom And Leadership

Lots of things have come up in the last week or so that I would love to write about, but time is short and I’m not sure I really have anything original to say about the topics anyway.  So I’ll (for the most part) let the original words speak for themselves.

Getting A Job – I’ve been involved in lots of jobseeker situations and it has always struck how little the application/selection process is related to the actual job.  A recent article about the appointment of the new Melbourne AFL coach revealed the actual questions asked of candidates during the process.  I think they are interesting to note.  I paraphrase;

1. Where is the game now and where is it going?

2. How will your teams play?

3. What is the balance between being competitive now and being competitive in the future? (because you always have to have an eye to the future whichever phase you are in)

4. How will you lead?

I find the first two questions in particular interesting for two reasons.  Firstly, along with the question ‘How will you achieve your game style?’ (ie ‘What is your training methodology?’)  I would have thought they were the most basic questions a coaching candidate would need to answer when applying for a coaching job. Secondly, I have never been asked them. (see very important note*** below)

Conventional Wisdom – One of the themes of this blog (for example here and here, most recently) is to question ‘conventional wisdom’. I believe that within a group / sport views tend to become smaller and smaller until people do things for a certain way, for very good reasons that noone remembers, because they never ask.  So even if the original circumstances change, things continue to be done the same way.  That is one reason I like to read about a variety of sports, to look for other ways of thinking about problems and situations that could give me some new insight.  This articles, about American Football, talks about people who have challenged or reconsidered ‘conventional wisdom’ with great success.

Chuck Klosterman on Grantland.com

Leadership – One of the benefits of following ‘conventional wisdom’ is that you never have to dance by yourself on a hill looking like a dickhead.


*** The Mark Neeld era at Melbourne turned out to be a disaster.  I do not however back away from my comments about the selection process.  And I have still never been asked about my training methodology in an interview for a coaching position.


Read about the great new Vyacheslav Platonov coaching book here.

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3 thoughts on “Getting A Job, Conventional Wisdom And Leadership

  1. Derek

    If I was interviewing someone to coach Melbourne those would not be the first two questions I would ask. Would you ask these questions of a potential setter?

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  2. Pingback: Four key volleyball coaching candidate questions | Coaching Volleyball

  3. Alexis

    I really like the idea of ‘followship’ in this context. Quite often people citing a lack of leadership are really identifying a lack of ‘followship’.

    Now, there is definitely a responsibility for the coach to inspire/cajole/etc followship, but if the same people who cite a lack of leadership are the people who are not doing what the leader is asking them to do, then responsibility may lie elsewhere.

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