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Yash Gupta
Business School Dean

Yash Gupta

Yash Gupta is Professor and Dean of The Johns Hopkins Carey Business School.

Defining Life Experiences

In any large organization, there's the danger of overlooking talented but under-performing people. That's why it's absolutely critical that a leader - whether it's a football coach or a CEO - understands what motivates his or her people. You have to know what each person's passion is-- where his or her motivation lies. Once you tap into that, you start to build the spirit of success.

Lighting each person's passion isn't an easy thing to do, but that's part of the job of a coach, an executive, and any organization leader. It means teaching patience and perseverance. Make your people understand that there is a goal-- a vision-- and that although it might take hard work to get there, but it will happen if they all have motivation and the belief that they are part of a strong team.

As for identifying "comeback prospects," you have to make the distinction between someone's "experience" and his "experiences." There is a difference between the two ideas. Someone can have 30 years of experience, but if it was all unmotivated experience, then it was probably unsuccessful. However, another person could have a shorter resume, but he might have made interesting career choices and life choices along the way - choices that show commitment and understanding and a capacity to learn and grow and lead. The argument against Barack Obama's candidacy was that he had little political experience. But he has leadership qualities because of the choices he has made throughout his life - his experiences.

Look at the experiences and life choices of your employees, and that will tell you a lot about what motivates them and what stirs up their passion. Once you unlock that, you'll unlock success for them as individuals and for your organization as a whole.

By Yash Gupta

 |  January 26, 2009; 2:16 PM ET
Category:  Sports Leadership Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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