Why You Should Pretend You’re About to be Fired: A Review

one-day-contract-pitino-reviewI’m  with my friend Aaron Maurer over at CoffeefortheBrain: I think business books have a lot to teach anyone, and The One-Day Contract by Joe Pitino one is no exception. Joe Pitino isn’t satisfied with coaching basketball. He wants to coach your career, too.

Confession: I’d never even heard of Joe Pitino when I picked up this book. Sorry, college basketball fans. The good news is that this isn’t some glowing review by a rabid fan. The bad news is that all the name dropping was lost on this soccer fan.

The fundamental principle is that you can’t leave anything on the table any day. Imagine you are on a one-day contract, and behave as if you never heard of complacency.

The book’s an easy read – lots of white space and wide-set lines. Sure, some of it’s simplistic. But the use of memoir is useful (even to the ignorant about basketball *ahem*), and some of the simple ideas were the ones I found most useful.

Pitino suggests, “More than just mapping out your list of tasks for the next day, you should map out how you want to approach the day and its challenges as well.”

This was a profound idea to me. I never met a to-do list I didn’t like, yet I’d never thought about planning an overarching approach to it. The way I’ve used this is to write a single adverb at the top of my to-do list every day that guides my attitude toward my tasks that day.

These are yummy words like






It’s amazing how the same task, like a song, can be so different with a different dynamic applied to it.

Pitino argues for the role of humility, focus (a big thing of mine), the lure of technology (guilty!), how to deal with adversity, and what a one-day contract really looks like. He writes about adversity and doesn’t shy away from his own scandal (which I had never heard of and refuse to go look up).

My favorite line in the book was this: “When you tell the truth, your mistakes become a part of your past. When you lie, they become a part of your future.”

I shouldn’t have put quotation marks around that because I don’t remember the quote exactly, but you get the idea. How fantastic is that! I wish I’d had that quote on my desk when I was a high school administrator (the one I had said, “If you can’t be a good example, you’ll just have to be a terrible warning.”).

I’d tweet to him how much I liked it, but he’s allergic to Twitter.

His book inspired me to develop my New Year’s Resolution, which you can read about here.

Worth Reading Rating: 4

You can learn more about my Worth Reading Rating System here.

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