Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Practice makes a great leader

Start your 2021 with a clear direction to practice

It’s probably one of the most well-known sayings you keep hearing ever since you were a kid: “practice makes perfect.” Essentially, this emphasizes that the more you practice something and the more you commit and put in the work, the better you will be at it.

This is the same when it comes to your leadership journey. Remember when we debunked these myths last year? (You can check out the two blogs here and here):

  • I don’t have the leadership gift or talent
  • It doesn’t come naturally to me
  • Leadership is not one of my strengths

Yes, these three statements are MYTHS! Raw talent is not enough to get you to where you want to be. Sure there are some people who have bigger personalities, or who are extroverts, but these will not automatically turn them into leaders, because leadership is a SKILL—which means it can be learned and practiced.

But not just ANY practice. Kouzes and Posner’s book Learning Leadership says:

“You need a particular practice—deliberate practice—to develop expertise.”

What does this mean? Deliberate practice is practicing with intention and intensity. It’s a far cry from simply experiencing something over and over again. When you want to be the best, you have to do more than just SHOW UP. You have to SHOW UP, OWN IT, AND PRACTICE DELIBERATELY. Here’s how:

  1. Choose ONE activity that is designed specifically to improve performance. You should have a goal and a method and having a coach or a mentor will keep you on track.
  2. Repeat. Repeat. And Repeat. Engaging in this activity once or twice won’t cut it! Do it over and over again until it becomes second nature. And when you practice, give you 100% focus and don’t slack off.
  3. Ask for feedback. This is where your coach or mentor comes in. If you don’t know how you’re progressing, you won’t know if you’re near your goal. Asking for feedback is a characteristic of great leaders!
  4. Toughen up mentally. Just some real talk—It’s not going to be easy, and it’s going to take time. You’re going to feel the mental strain, so keep your deliberate practice sessions limited to only 2-3 hours each.


So, are you ready to gear up and practice? Let me know if you need clarity on how to begin:

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