Thursday, August 18, 2011

Business Mastery: How Agile Are You?

Whether is is your business or your hobby or something else you want to do well, it takes some work. And then some more. And then more again.

In a business, it isn't enough that you are good at making widgets, or using your technical experience. Many elements of business, in order to run effectively, need to be done and some of those facets of the business may be things you have no interest in, or natural ability.

But guess what?
They still need to be done.

 “Having once decided to achieve a certain task, achieve it at all costs of tedium and distaste. The gain in self-confidence of having accomplished a tiresome labor is immense.”
~Thomas A. Bennett

Want to be confident? Increase your capacity to do. Become competent. If that means learning to be a great manager learn to be a great manager. If it means learning to see where the scary gaps are in your business, then discover where the scary gaps are and build a  solution to create competency.

There are so many things that we can't control in business.  Even more that you can be on top of, so cover off on those things that you CAN control.

 Consider the law of requisite variety which tells us that in any cybernetic system the element or person in the system with the widest range of behaviours or capacity for choice will control the system.

Try not knowing what you know and trying new approaches to things you've always done one way. Start with small changes and see your mind stretch to new possibilities. This is where Breakthrough lives.


"Everybody should do at least two things each day that he hates to do, just for practice."
~ William James

Forget that you have done something a few times. How many times do you need to do something to be expert at it? Aim to raise the bar on your expectations - and make the effort on the follow through.

"The emerging scientific picture is that 10,000 hours of practice is required to achieve the level of mastery associated with being a world-class expert in anything. In study after study, of composers, basketball players, fiction writers, ice skaters, concert pianists, chess players, master criminals, and what have you, this number comes up again and again.

Now how long is ten thousand hours? It is equal to roughly 3 hours of practice a day, or twenty hours a week, of practice for ten years. Of course some people never reach mastery, which is not really explainable yet. But, no one has found a case in which true world-class expertise was accomplished in less time. It seems that it takes the brain this long to assimilate all that it needs to know to achieve true mastery". ~ Daniel Levitin

Now maybe you aren't seeking mastery in everything. But the question is really:  "How good is good enough?" and how much effort are you be prepared to expend to get better at this thing you want to accomplish?

Here's a great example of what mastery looks like. Any kid can ride a bike, right? Take a look at Danny Macaskill.

How does your agility in your special field compare?

What do you need to do to excel at what's important to you now?

If you've achieved mastery in some field, please share your story below as a Comment.

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