You need to practice. Whatever you want to do better. Sell. Lead. Write. Speak. Design. They all require practice. Athletes and artists get this straight away. They spend 90% of their time preparing to be successful for the 10% of the time they stand in the arena to compete or entertain (which happens to be about as competitive as business gets). It is a bit harder in business. We play the game 40, 50 and in some instances 60+ hours a week. When is there time? A 90-10 ratio might not work but the business athlete still finds time to practice. They are learning, testing, trying, improving, studying and perfecting the craft each and everyday. Show me a sales professional that doesn’t practice. I’ll show you someone that will eventually lose deals to a seller that does. The market is competitive. For sales. For client satisfaction. For promotions. For merit increases. For jobs. Mastery requires practice. I like to practice at night or early in the morning. Some people I know practice over lunch and on the weekends. Others I know schedule time throughout the day. Find the time that works best for you. The best players I know make practice a habit. There is of course the occasional exception. Former NBA MVP and perennial All Star Allen Iverson was one of those great players that didn’t care much for practice. So gifted. So talented. So superior an athlete. Sadly, not much of a leader. I think he is playing in Turkey now. Enclosed is the now infamous AI interview commentary on the subject of practice. It is funny to watch. Would you want him to lead your team? How do you feel about practice? A better question…how DO you practice?
Ryan Estis is a Keynote Speaker & Management Consultant blogging about business performance.