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The Key to Getting Lucky: PRACTICE!!!

| July 7, 2009

by Jim Bruce

This week, for the week’s Tuesday Reading, I turn to a recent message from the ITLP IX Vision Team:  “The Key to Getting Lucky:  PRACTICE!!!”  

The Key to Getting Lucky: PRACTICE!!!

A Golf Story

When the golfer Tom Watson chipped in on the 17th at Pebble Beach in 1982 and then birdied the final hole to win the US Open, some called  it a LUCKY shot – a one-in-a-million shot. Well maybe it was and maybe  it wasn’t. Watson, in PRACTICE before the tournament, had dropped  balls in the rough fringe and practiced chipping from that exact spot. He also had played literally thousands of shots in similar situations, even if the results were less crucial and less was as at stake.

The following year, Watson was asked to recreate the shot for a television promotion. Watson stepped to the edge of the green and  threw down a ball in the heavy rough. Then he looked into the camera  and smilingly spoke his line, “They say PRACTICE makes perfect.”  Without further delay, Watson took his wedge and hit the ball, bingo, straight in the hole! The only problem was that the camera wasn’t running because the operator thought Watson was just warming up. It  appeared they could all be in for a long afternoon of retakes but, undeterred, Watson threw down another ball and duplicated the result with his second attempt.

PRACTICE is the path to greatness.

You may remember from our very first ITLP lesson that leadership can be learned, and in fact, that it had to be learned because there are very few natural born leaders.  Learning is really a change in behavior.  But, you haven’t learned a thing until you take action, and use it. As Wayne Gretzy once said, “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”.

Just as the complete golf swing must incorporate the proper grip, address, posture, alignment, backswing, downswing, impact and followthrough-to-finish, proper leadership involves the full cycle of strategic thinking, change management, building relationships, developing people, and delivering results.Are you practicing these key motions?

  * Good Storytelling: “Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, Credible, Emotional, Stories”

  * Strategically Planning: “Rally people to go to the future and develop strategies around leading change…The future is already here  – it is just unevenly distributed.”

  * Building Relationships:  “Go, listen, ask questions, take action…Relationships = Currency”

  * Delegating: “Delegation is a process, not a single action.”

  * Getting Results: “If you are unable to hold people accountable, you are more interested in comfort than results.”

  * Coaching: “Coaching is not giving answers, it is giving suggestions”

  * Motivating: “What do you like to do and how can I get you to do more of it?”

  * Recruiting, Interviewing, On-boarding: “Each hire is a million dollar decision.”

  * Getting Feedback: “Everyday is an opportunity to get feedback”

Pick one today and get on the leaderboard.  The more you practice, the “luckier” you will get.

We want to give a special Thanks to Bobby Brill for our message this week. Thank you Bobby for continuing to practice being authentic. The Vision Team: Todd – Non-Judgment, Elease – Discipline, Randy – Trust, Tom – Cooperation, Beth-Anne – Mastery


Have a great week.  .  .  .  .   jim