Sure elite athletes like Tiger Woods, Lionel Messi and Kobe Bryant are extraordinarily gifted athletes. Each of them, however, are also renowned for their fanatical work ethic. They are dedicated to practicing their sport to perfection.
Elite athletes practice 90 percent of the time preparing for the 10 percent when they actually do perform. In practice, they are focused working on their weaknesses more than on their natural strengths. They repeatedly fail in certain parts of their game until hard practice
prepares them for potential success.
Yeah, Kobe Bryant may make a fade away jumper look effortless but that was only possible after hours and hours of sweating in many different gyms.
There are countless stories of the next great “Ken Griffey Jr.” who flame out never living up to their natural potential. In most cases (barring injuries) these athletes never had the same drive to practice like the true elite athletes. Practice can make perfect.
True successful business people are just the same. Many have natural gifts, but almost all of them are tireless workers who practice their trade. Yet, businesses often do not recognize this. They do not allow for proper “practice” of their people and create a culture of continuous improvement (learning), particularly with their sales and marketing teams. Hard and adequate practice makes better business teams in a highly competitive marketplace.
Product groups need to practice listening repeatedly to adequately meet customer demands. The organization needs to improve its process for attaining customer and market feedback in agile but structured manner, which takes practice and trying different approaches regardless of failure.
A company needs “practice” selling its solutions over and over again from a product marketing, sales as well as customer support perspective. How much time does your sales team really “practice” selling versus just performing in front of customers against competitors? In my opinion, most organizations do not value sales training enough.
Elite athletes all put tremendous effort to their trade. They have succeeded with both hard work and natural talent. Businesses need both from its people as well to become elite in their own right. Invest in training and create an environment of continuous improvement through hard work. And play to win!
Posted in business, management | Tagged Kobe Bryant, Lionel Messi, sales training, Tiger Woods, Training | Leave a Comment »
Thirteen years ago for Mother’s Day my wife took our two little boys to Washington DC from Seattle for the Million Mom March. She felt strongly that our country was in need of tighter gun control laws and wanted our boys (then ages 10 and 9) to be a part of the rally.
After traveling across country, she and the boys were among the some 750,000 mothers and children rallying around the Washington DC National Mall. At one point, she thought she had lost the younger son when they were separated in the mass of humanity. She later found him in the designated meeting spot much to her relief.
The convictions of Shari Song have always been that strong and obvious. She wanted our boys to grow up in a safer environment. She wanted to teach our sons that each of us has a voice in America.
Since then, the US has seen more horrific gun violence in our schools with mass killings in Columbine (Colorado), Newtown (Connecticut) and Blacksburg (Virginia). While the march itself was somewhat controversial with strong emotions on both sides of the debate, there was no doubt where our family stood at the time.
Today, we all continue to stand for tighter gun control laws. However, my older son is now a gun owner. Neither his mother nor I am happy about that but he is old enough to make his own choices. In fact, we’ve learned a few things about why people would even want to own guns. It’s always good to understand different perspectives.
He still says he is for tighter gun control including stricter background checks for gun permits. He is very safety-conscious and takes gun ownership seriously. The other son has never had any interest in guns.
For this Mother’s Day, I’d like to remember all the mothers and everything they do on our behalf, and for being so passionate about their convictions in life. They are not just nurturers, they are also role models.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged family, gun control, million mom march, mother's day | 2 Comments »
The executive board of SDL just concluded its quarterly meeting at headquarters in Maidenhead. We welcomed our new CMO Grant Johnson who will be asked to be a ‘change agent’ in terms of driving company brand awareness with clear, compelling messaging. Currently, SDL is known more by its individual products (Trados, Tridion, SM2, etc) than by the overall company brand. Given the fast evolving nature of gobal CXM and the demand for faster, easier and more measurable solutions, we need to get the market to understand the breath and depth of the SDL CXM platform beyond our best of breed point solutions.
Grant already has a full plate and I look forward to his immediate impact.
These face-to-face meetings are great touch points for the divisional heads to share ideas on forward strategy and to make sure that we are all aligned in the overall company vision. The meetings are less about spreadsheets and more about how to collectively position ourselves to be successful in our fast-growing marketplace. There is seriousness about the business and the work ahead, but also optimism about what can be done on a long term basis for improving global customer experience.
Posted in business | Tagged CMO, CXM, Global CXM, Grant Johnson, SDL | Leave a Comment »
So, you look in the mirror and notice putting on some weight. You want to look better, like you did when younger. Remember your glory years? What should you do? There are a lot of diet choices: Atkins diet, South Beach diet, Weight Watchers diet… etc.
While each of these diets work in the short term by generally cutting your caloric input, the best way to lose weight sustainably is to change your lifestyle. Today’s fads for losing weight are not very sustainable for the average person. For me, just the thought of dieting is a sure way to start gaining weight because I get stressed about giving up something that I want to do (eat). It would be much more sustainable to develop a lifestyle that avoids massive amounts of calories and promotes physical activities. The subconscious habits of the your day should naturally promote a healthier lifestyle. This means a more slower, deliberate change but one that has a chance to stick.
This is exactly the same for persons wanting to change other areas for self-improvement. Reading a book about how to be more empathetic may get you to be more sensitive in the short term but unless you are able to incorporate into your lifestyle (ingrained into your subconscious as a habit), your efforts will wane over time. I’ve been trying to improve myself most of my life but only a few things have really made itself into my subconscious. What I’ve learned is that a few gradual changes are sustainable while a dramatic wholesale change usually is not.
Obviously, this concept is true for business as well. We see so many new management fads and new “disruptive” market approaches. There’s already a DNA to your business and making wholesale changes probably won’t work in the long term. Identify a few key changes for your organization and work to ingrain them into the fabric of the company culture – and keep evolving your business that way.
Posted in business, self-improvement | Tagged dieting, management, self-improvement | Leave a Comment »