Are the super successful achievers bestowed some special divine gift? Some inborn or innate ability? Is there such a thing as a natural born leader? Have you ever wondered what category you fit in? Are you destined for greatness? I could be wrong, but I imagine that any of us putting ourselves out there want to achieve some level of success, giving our greatest performances.
The Reality and Great “Secret” of Success
I was so lit up yesterday by an interview that I heard on the Unmistakable Creative podcast with Geoff Colvin who wrote a few books on the topic. His questions began with . . . What makes Tiger Woods great? What made Chairman Warren Buffett the world’s premier investor? We think we know: Each was a natural who came into the world with a gift for doing exactly what he ended 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, you do not possess a natural gift for a certain job, because targeted natural gifts don’t exist. (Sorry, Warren.) You are not a born CEO or investor or chess grandmaster. 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 demanding and painful.
Read the entire Fortune article here and it turns out that Colvin was inspired by a study about daily demanding deliberate violinist practice that pushed them just a bit each day. Just a bit. You can read the original study on deliberate practice here.
The take away for me (and I would love your opinion). 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 demanding and painful. Great performances are available to all of us with daily deliberate practice.
Two books on my list to read this month –