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

skills

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.