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Monday, October 23, 2006

Sustainable Excellence

Rob May, over at BusinessPundit, posted "How To Be Great - At Anything" - in which he refers to Fortune Magazine's article called Secrets of Greatness.

The major premise?

"The first major conclusion is that nobody is great without work. It's nice to believe that if you find the field where you're naturally gifted, you'll be great from day one, but it doesn't happen. There's no evidence of high-level performance without experience or practice."

The best people in any field are those who devote the most hours to what the researchers call "deliberate practice." It's activity that's explicitly intended to improve performance, that reaches for objectives just beyond one's level of competence, provides feedback on results and involves high levels of repetition.

Consider all the great ones - in sports, music, art, theatre, - experience, practice, repetition.

A natural question that arise from this is how it applies to business. Can you be great at work?

"It's all about how you do what you're already doing - you create the practice in your work, which requires a few critical changes. The first is going at any task with a new goal: Instead of merely trying to get it done, you aim to get better at it."

BOTTOMLINE: Becoming more effective (doing the right things) - not just efficient (doing things right). Replacing bad work habits with good work habits. All fundamental human factors that can be overcome - and it's all part of what the Six Disciplines program for sustainable excellence - is all about.

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