1. Focused, consistent effort impacts more than talent …
Wharton Prof. Angela Duckworth established in her landmark book “GRIT”, that:
TALENT = how quickly your skills improve when applying EFFORT
ACHIEVEMENT = results when you apply EFFORT to use those
So effort impacts twice as much as talent!
TALENT x EFFORT = SKILL
SKILL x EFFORT = ACHIEVEMENT
Thus, identifying team members most likely to apply effort consistently over the long run is key to predicting potential top performers.
2. Not just any effort will do …
Anders Ericsson (Deliberate Practice), identified those top performers not only invest more hours of practice but also structure their effort differently
- They identify one specific part of the process/their technique that needs to improve and they focus their work on that specific point
- They set a stretch goal, just outside their comfort zone (challenges they can’t yet meet)
- They constantly seek feedback (including “failure” and use it to adapt and improve)
- They work in the dark (alone, when no one is watching) in order to be prepared to shine in the light (when it counts/when performing)
3. Remember, you’re ALWAYS practicing …
- You’re always reinforcing a pattern or performance level: the question is whether you are burning good or bad form and habits into your nervous system
- The more a physical movement, thought, attitude or behaviour is practiced, the more automatic it becomes …
- … as a result, resilience, persistence and innovation can be your default mode, or pessimism, sub-optimal effort and giving up can become your dominant habits
- Top athletes know the limit of their performance is set by the intensity and quality of their training. The same is true in business.