Skill. Passion. Effort. According to Angela Duckworth’s research these are the three pillars of performance. And, Angela believes that effort counts twice. Galton (cousin of Darwin and author of early white paper on performance) would concur. 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.” I guess not much has changed when it comes to human performance. So, if we want to become elite, we had better get prepared for some seriously hard labor.
Maybe. Maybe not.
Here’s my observation of elite teammates in sixteen years of BTL. The elite in any system where we practice do not invest a ton more hours toward mastering their craft. I mean the majority of Lockton producers travel like banchees and attend mucho meetings. Every OSU grappler is in the gym for hour after hour after hour. The k-dev krazies on Warren don’t seem to sneak out early unless it’s to go to some event where they’re networking, selling, or learning. Choice has flexible hours but the difference between Ashley and the ones she’s leaving in the dust doesn’t seem due to lack of effort. So, what’s the lever?
Simple, really. The difference between good and great is not the hours worked. The difference is the effort in the hours. The elite exert more effort, a lot more concentrated effort. You see the elite start with a strong sense of self (BTL core), and a clear aim for their hard labor (OPUS). This clarity allows them to ruthlessly cut out the clutter.
The elite start their effort by doing less.
The world of work is filled with bs meetings, bs workouts, which lead to bs kinda effort. The elite do not have time for bs. They stop doing the stuff that lots of good folks don’t have the courage to cut. You see, the elite are performance aggressive. They get more out of an hour workout because they put more into it. Simple physics really. If you want to become elite in any endeavor, start by deciding what you’re not going to do. I don’t deal with public companies, as an example. Way too much b.s. for me. So, I don’t even entertain them. My focus is narrowed. I want to build my business in Cbus and KC almost exclusively. My focus narrows. I want to grow old but not tired with a few business owners, leaders, and high performers who believe in BTL, believe in themselves, believe in something bigger than themselves, and believe in going “full thrust” (Thanks, Grappy)! My focus narrows yet again. I want BTL to be a loosely held collaboration not some big company kinda b.s. Nice and narrow.
I’m obsessed with creating greatness in a few. Do less, then obsess. (Thanks, Morten Hansen). Good…