Going For The Gold

My wife and I have been watching the Olympics and the thing that strikes me is the dedication athletes from around the world give to “Going for the Gold”.  As a businessperson, you also need to be dedicated to “Going for the Gold”, your gold medal is the long-term wealth you will have created at the end of the race.

goldI think at the core there are two characteristics that define the difference between the Olympian and the wanna-be-olympian; 1) willingness to seek, to listen to, and to use critical feedback and 2) persistence in practicing the skill sets based on the critical feedback until they have it mastered.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary definitions of critical is “inclined to criticize severely and unfavorably” and another is “exercising or involving careful judgment or judicious evaluation <critical thinking>  So for me, critical feedback is data you receive that provides you with the opportunity to make careful judgment and a judicious evaluation of your performance of a skill or skill set, which you can choose to use to determine if you need to modify your performance in order to achieve your goal. To consistently improve the Olympian accepts the need to get unfavorable criticism and to be able to move past the “bad feelings” they get when they hear it and make the necessary changes to fix what needs to be fixed.  The wanna-be-olympian basically does not want to hear critical feedback, because they choose not to move past those “bad feelings”.  In effect they delude themselves into thinking they are performing the skill or skill set at the competitive level and do not need to make any changes.

Michael Phelps, Gabby Douglas, and all of the rest of the Olympians have spent thousands of hours watching replays of their performances to see how they needed to change to be better, watching their competitors’ performances and thousands of more hours listening to their coaches tell them what they are doing wrong and how to change to do it better, and then spending hour upon hour of practicing that skill set incorporating those changes identified in the critical feedback in order to achieve perfection.  This is what it takes to “Go For the Gold”.

Just like athletes, business people are usually dedicated, focused, and determined to achieve their goals, the question is a particular athlete an Olympian or a wanna-be-olympian?  The same question holds for you as a businessperson, are you an Olympian or a wanna-be-olympian?  If you are going for the gold, creation of long-term wealth, like the Olympian you need to have a strong;  1) willingness to seek, to listen to, and to use critical feedback and 2) persistence in practicing the skill sets based on the critical feedback until they have it mastered.

For those of you who truly seek to “Go For the Gold”, and I hope you all do, the first thing you have to do is to stop deluding yourself that you are doing your best at the skills of being a businessperson, none of us are. But here is what you can start doing to strive to really perfect your businessperson skill set:

Step 1: Identify what you perceive is your strongest businessperson skill, Step 2: Video tape yourself performing that skill, Step 3: Watch the video 3 times, the first time just watch it, the second time identify what you could have done better, and the third time, when the video comes to one of those micro-skills that you need to “fix” stop the video and figure out why you chose to do what you did rather what you have been a better way to perform that micro-skill.

Then practice-feedback, practice-feedback, practice-feedback until you have the skill set down cold.

PDR Mobile…It Keeps You Pushn’

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