Gary Pulsipher is a true “Tar” of industry, a friend, and a life-long learner. Gary and I have had many meaningful conversations about leadership and personal growth and his humble way of engaging those he leads prompted my request for his help in blogging. He currently leads the Mercy Joplin Health ministry in SW Missouri and Kansas.
I’ve had the opportunity recently to review two books on the topic of ‘peak’ performance. Peak by Anders Ericsson; and Talent is Overrated by Geoff Colvin discuss and challenge whether some people are born with innate talents, while the rest of us are left to struggle.
Conclusions reached by two well-regarded authors show that while some people certainly appear to have strong skills and abilities, those who truly excel are the ones who engage in deliberate practice over a period of many years.
Hard work in a focused and intentional way is, in the end, what distinguishes those who achieve remarkable results.
Further, most truly exceptional performers start from a very young age to practice and perfect their crafts. Examples include Tiger Woods and Mozart. It seems that while the brain and body are developing in the young, tremendous progress can be made.
However, researchers have also proven that people of all ages, when engaged in a focused improvement plan with intentional practice and feedback, achieve amazing results. So there’s hope – even for those of us who are aging and somewhat set in our ways.
One of my favorite Edwin Markham poems:
We are blind until we see, that in the human plan
Nothing is worth the making, if it does not make the man
Why build these cities glorious, if man un-builded goes,
In vain we build the world unless the builder also grows.
So the challenge, as we age and become comfortable, is to continue to push for growth and development.
I would be interested in hearing from you:
Have you found any good ways to make sure you’re growing in your own excellence at work?