Yesterday, during practice 27 with another team I love, we began our time together with the story of Francis Galton and his half cousin – a guy named Darwin. Galton was a child prodigy (there are none, really), by four he knew Latin and long division – learning appeared to come easy. In 1869, Galton published his first study on the origins of high achievement. Outliers, he believed, were remarkable in three ways: “they demonstate unusual “ability” in combination with exceptional “zeal” and “the capacity for hard labor.” He was saying that the elite are skilled, passionate, and have a penchant for hard labor. I asked the team to self evaluate and write which of the 3 buckets do you want to improve upon – Skill, passion, effort.
Skill. Passion. Effort.
Darwin was himself a high performer. He was an astute observer of flora, fauna, and also of people. His vocation was to observe slight differences that lead to survival. Darwins insights did not come in flashes – he was a plodder. Darwin, like Joe, Grover, Joe D, and Rich, married the mundane.
The BTL recipe for high performance:
Skill. Passion/purpose. Effort. We refer to it as your Strong CORE + clear OPUS + commitment (PA) = Excellence
Let me unpack this a bit. You gotta know who you are and understand your God given strengths/talents/abilities. And, you’ve got to have a clear aim for your work and love it. Hard labor we disdain as we tire. Hard opus we sustain as we perspire. And, you have to understand that quick hits and explosive gains are the exception not the norm. You gotta marry the mundane and sign up for a lifetime of baby stepping (PA) toward your aim (OPUS) in alignment with your CORE (who you are). There are not short cuts to excellence which is why it’s the road less traveled. You choose. Your choices have consequences. At BTL we want you to choose deliberate practice as part of your PA. Deliberate practice, according to Anders Ericsson is the best way to reach your peak. We agree.
What skill, friend, do you want to build to improve your performance. Write it down. Make it specific, concrete, and actionable. Make it something small and then do it. Most of you do not suffer from a lack of knowledge but from a lack of doing. Do more than you think, remember. Good…