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!



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.