In this episode, John talks about having a great business and what it takes. He shares excerpts from an inspirational article he read in Fortune magazine a few years ago by Jeffrey Colven.

THE SECRET TO GREATNESS

Well, it’s not so simple. For one thing, not all of us possess the natural gift for a certain job, because targeted natural gifts don’t often exist. You are not always born a CEO or investor or grand chess master. You will achieve greatness only through an enormous amount of hard work over many years. And not just any hard work, but work of a particular type that’s, let’s face it, demanding and painful.

No one 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 I’m sorry it’s just doesn’t happen. There’s no evidence of high-level performance without experience or practice.

So if greatness isn’t handed just to anyone; it requires a whole lot of work. Why is it not just enough, since many people work hard for decades without approaching greatness or even getting significantly better.  There’s something missing?

CONSISTENCY IS CRUCIAL

Many great athletes are legendary for the brutal discipline of their practice routines. I heard once in basketball, Michael Jordan practiced intensely beyond the already punishing team practices.

Tiger Woods, another cut textbook example of what the research shows. Because his father introduced him to golf at an extremely early age – I believe it’s about 18 months – and encouraged him to practice intensively, Tiger Woods had racked up at least 15 years of experience by the time he became the youngest-ever winner of the U.S. Amateur Championship.

The evidence, scientific as well as anecdotal, seems overwhelmingly in favor of deliberate practice as the source of great performance. Just one problem: How do you practice business? Many elements of business, are in fact, directly practicable. Presenting, negotiating, delivering evaluations, deciphering financial statements – you can practice them all.

THE CHALLENGE

For most people, work is hard enough without pushing even harder. Those extra steps are so difficult and painful they almost never get done. And that’s the way it has to be. If great performance was easy, it wouldn’t be rare.

The strange reality is that we are not hostage to some naturally granted level of talent. We can make ourselves what we will. Strangely, this idea is just not popular. People hate abandoning the notion that they could coast to fame and riches if they just found their talent.

Maybe we can’t expect most people to achieve greatness. It’s just too demanding. But striking, liberating news is that greatness isn’t reserved for a preordained few. It is available to you, to me and everyone.

 

RESOURCES MENTIONED

CEO on Demand website – www.ceo-ondemand.com.au

More Profit Less Time website – www.moreprofitlesstime.com

THANKS FOR LISTENING!

Thanks so much for joining us on this episode! Don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunes and Stitcher to get automatic updates and leave an awesome review!

Until next time!

Subscribe-with-Itunes-Buttonsubstich

 

TRANSCRIPT: PODCAST EPISODE 23

Title: What Does It Take To Be Great

Date Published: November 4, 2015

Running Time: 06:38 minutes

Hi Guys and Girls, It’s John Millar Here, stripping business back to the bare basics. And today I want to talk about having a great business and what it takes. Now before I get started, I have to tell you, I didn’t personally write the article that inspired this. But what I did, I knew I had to share it with you. And as part as being a successful and relevant mentor and  coach who is training business owners, is actually keeping up-to-date with international thinking. And being guided by other experience thought leaders. So here’s some excerpt from inspirational article printed in the fortune magazine, just a few years ago, and credit goes to Jeffrey Colven, who is the senior editor at large, he said that

What makes Tiger Woods great? What made Berkshire Hathaway the Chairman Warren Buffett the world’s premier investor? We think we know: because Each was a natural who came into the world with a gift for doing exactly what he or she end up doing. As Buffett told Fortune not long ago, he was “wired at birth to allocate capital.” It’s a one-in-a-million thing. You’ve got it – or you don’t.

Well, it’s not so simple. For one thing, not all of us possess the natural gift for a certain job, because targeted natural gifts don’t often exist. You are not always born a CEO or investor or grand chess master. You will achieve greatness only through an enormous amount of hard work over many years. And not just any hard work, but work of a particular type that’s, let’s face it, demanding and painful.

Scientists worldwide have conducted scores of studies since the 1993 publication of a landmark paper by Professor K Anders Ericsson of Florida State University and two colleagues, many focusing on sports, music and chess, in which performance is relatively easy to measure and plot over time. But plenty of additional studies have also examined other fields, including business.

The first conclusion they came up is that no one 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 I’m sorry it’s just doesn’t happen. There’s no evidence of high-level performance without experience or practice.

So if greatness isn’t handed just to anyone; it requires a whole lot of work. Why is it not just enough, since many people work hard for decades without approaching greatness or even getting significantly better.  There’s something missing?

Consistency is crucial. As Ericsson noted, “Elite performers in many diverse campaigns have been found to practice, on the average, roughly the same amount every day, including weekends.”

Many great athletes are legendary for the brutal discipline of their practice routines. I heard once in basketball, Michael Jordan practiced intensely beyond the already punishing team practices. (So, Had Jordan possessed some mammoth natural gift specifically for basketball, it seems unlikely if that was the case, without any practice that he’d would have been cut from his high school team.) Which he was.

Tiger Woods, another cut textbook example of what the research shows. Because his father introduced him to golf at an extremely early age – I believe it’s about 18 months? – and encouraged him to practice intensively, Tiger Woods had racked up at least 15 years of experience by the time he became the youngest-ever winner of the U.S. Amateur Championship, at age 18. Also in line with the findings, he has never stopped trying to improve, devoting many hours a day to conditioning and practice, even remaking his swing twice because that’s what it took to get even better.

The evidence, scientific as well as anecdotal, seems overwhelmingly in favor of deliberate practice as the source of great performance. Just one problem: How do you practice business? Many elements of business, are in fact, directly practicable. Presenting, negotiating, delivering evaluations, deciphering financial statements – you can practice them all.

Report writing involves finding information, analyzing it and presenting it – each of those is an improvable skill. So chairing a board meeting requires understanding the company’s strategy in the deepest possible way, and then forming a coherent view of coming market changes and setting a tone for the discussion. Anything that one doesn’t  work, from the most basic task to the most exalted, is an improvable skill.

So Chalenging then, For most people, work is hard enough without pushing even harder. Those extra steps are so difficult and painful they almost never get done. And that’s the way it has to be. If great performance was easy, it wouldn’t be rare. Which leads to possibly the greatest and deepest question about greatness. While experts understand an enormous amount about the value that is produce in great performance, they understand very little about where that behavior comes from.

As a University of Michigan business school professor Noel Tichy puts it after 30 years of working with managers, “Some people are just much more motivated than others, and that is the existential question I cannot answer – which is  “why.”

The strange reality is that we are not hostage to some naturally granted level of talent. We can make ourselves what we will. Strangely, this idea is just not popular. People hate abandoning the notion that they could coast to fame and riches if they just found their talent. But that view is tragically constraining, because when they hit life’s inevitable bumps in the road, they conclude that they just aren’t gifted and give up.

Maybe we can’t expect most people to achieve greatness. It’s just too demanding. But striking, liberating news is that greatness isn’t reserved for a preordained few. It is available to you, to me and everyone.

This has been John Millar I’m the Naked Business Coach stripping business back to the bare basics, Want you to really take this way and think about it, really get your head wrapped around the fact that you have to see the greatness whith in you, it ain’t gonna grow by itself, you gotta get off your back side cultivate it, grow it, prune it, shape it and it will blossom, I promise you.

John Millar

Contact a Coach:

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Subject

Your Message

Clients Testimonials: