The entry titled Practice… is an apt conclusion to this section of the BBTL book. Those reading along in the book, or those who’ve picked up the melody line of the past 41 blog posts, know that we’ve been nuancing essential number 8 of the BTL 12 Essentials of Personal Excellence — Build Your Commitment to Learn.
We’ve studied slowing down to reflect, building stability through volatility, and finding melody lines and a thousand nuances. We’ve practiced the art of listening, asking curious questions, and truly hearing another. We’ve studied the skill of reading, writing, and re-reading. We’ve extrapolated lessons on building optimism, assuming less, and being hard on self – not down on self. We’ve examined the value of action over indecision, of being kind over nice, and the importance of becoming AND belonging. And we’ve learned that the secret to success mostly comes down to basic stuff, done really, really well.
So, it’s fitting that the last entry of the Learning chapter focuses simply on practice.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to your willingness to practice. Practice thoughtfully. Practice openly. Practice fiercely. Practice gently. Practice individually. Practice collectively. Practice deliberately. Practice purposefully. And, by all means, practice continuously. As my Grandpapa, who taught himself everything from piano to woodworking, would say, “You’ve got to practice and practice and practice until you can’t practice anymore — then practice some more.”
Yes, Allen Iverson, we talkin’ ‘bout practice!
Most importantly, and to Chet’s point, you’ve got to have a vision and purpose worth practicing toward, or you simply won’t sustain the effort.
You ever notice your lost keys are always in the last place you look? That’s not unlike the “breakthrough” Chet writes about in today’s book entry. In this case, the search for your keys is the practice and starting the damn car is your purpose. You sustained the search because you had a vision and purpose that mattered — not walking to work! It’s really no more complicated than that.
You see, you can‘t expect progress without breakthroughs. And you can’t expect breakthroughs without continuous practice. And you can’t expect your team to practice continuously without a clear vision and a compelling purpose for doing so. Without it, everything else is just window dressing.
So, leader. Before you post that practice schedule and declare everyone must attend, you best have an answer to the most basic question…