Posts Tagged ‘performance’

If you do one or two role plays in a class, is that enough practice to master a skill?  Probably not.  That’s often why students do well in the classroom but can’t transfer the same level of performance to the job.  But I haven’t seen any companies that try to quantify the amount of practice.  They might set aside a certain amount of time, but not the number of repetitions.

I recently read Vince Flynn’s new book the American Assassin where the main character becomes highly proficient with a pistol after 20,000 rounds.  That’s a very specific amount of practice and might be a good guideline for other that follow.  I know that if you’d like to break 70 on a golf course hitting 25,000 golf balls is about right.

By the way, here’s what it means to hit 25,000 golf balls.  The average bucket has 85 balls.  So it’s around 300 buckets which is roughly 300 hours.  But not over your lifetime but in a relatively short period of time like a single summer.

I’ve heard to master a presentation that professional speakers charge money for, takes about 200 times to work out all the bugs and get the timing right.

So how many cold calls does it take to learn how to cold call?  How many customer complaints does it take to master customer service?  How many orders do you need to enter to reach a high speed without error?

Once you know this number, you can then build it into your training and coaching plan.  You can always shorten the number of repetition with good instruction, coaching and feedback.

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The question is, can you bring top performers together and do an in depth analysis how to become a top performer.  There are theories that suggest that because they do so many things unconsciously or without thinking that they really don’t know and it takes an outside observer.  The example is what happens when you ask a top tennis players how they position their feet to return a serve, they wouldn’t know.

This might have been true twenty or thirty years ago.  In sports at least, there is so much coaching and analysis that the elite players know everything about their game inside and out.  In golf, most teachers follow some portion of Ben Hogan’s five fundamentals of the modern swing.  You’d  have to consider Ben Hogan a top performer.

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Uploaded by Poofy Many people will tell you that top performers don’t make the best managers or leaders.  So what I wanted to post here are some of the things that only top performers bring to the position of manager or leader.  For our example, we will use the positions of sales manager and top salesperson.

For me, a great leader is the person who is first out of the foxhole and says, “Follow me, I’ll show you the way.”  A top performer is in the best position to help other salespeople with tough sales situations by saying, “Follow me, let’s go make a call together.”   When top manager who isn’t a great salesperson makes this statement, the subordinate is likely to say or think, “that’s okay, I don’t want you to screw it up.”  The top performer is someone who can lead by example with the respect of subordinates.  The top manager can only say, “I’m right behind you.”

Okay, whose going to be the best teacher, coach or evaluator?  The top manger who isn’t a top perfomer has to rely on want others  have written or said.  It’s not first hand experience.  If the salesperson offers push back or questions what the manager said, the manger is in a tough spot.  Whether you believe it our not, there are things that Tiger Woods or Jack Nicklaus can tell you about winning that even great golf teachers can’t and certainly beyond the average club pro.

There are certainly skills that great managers and leaders have that you don’t develop as a top performer.  There are many things that are a different skill set.  So what’s the best approach?  I think you need to decide if you should hire a great manager and teach them how to be a top performer or you hire a top performer and teach them how to manage.  You have to decide which one takes less time and which one is most cost effective.   (Picture Uploaded by Puffy)

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Want to hear me speak live?  I’ll be presenting Learning Paths at this year’s ISPI (International Society of Performance Improvement) on April 7th in New York.  You can read all about all the other speakers from the ISPI website.

If you plan to be there, drop me an email at www.learningpaths@gmail.com and maybe we can have coffee.

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You’re Invited!!
Please join us for a free 30-minute web conference on December  Dec. 19th at 11:00 am ET or Jan. 10th at 2:00 pm ET.  Meet with myself and Steve Rosenbaum, author of the best-selling book Learning Paths and learn more about how to dramatically reduce ramp up time for new employees. 
Learning Paths is a proven methodology that can help any organization reduce time to proficiency by more than 30% in as little as 30 days.  Learning Paths has been tested by major corporations in seven countries with more than 400 functions and 20,000 employees. 
To sign up, send us an email at infoCAN@learningpathsinternational.com or call  905.271.7272.  Please tell us which session you plan to attend and how many people from your organization will be joining you.  Email confirmation with call details will follow.
Web Conference:  Learning Paths:  Get Employees Up-to-Speed in Record Time
Session 1:  December 19th at 11:00 am ET
Session 2:  January 10th at 2:00 pm ET
For more information about Learning Paths please visit our website at
www.learningpathsinternational.com.  You can also email us for a free Learning Paths Whitepaper

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If you haven’t see this video, it’s really funny.  Language is a little blue.  It’s part of a series of videos.

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Here’s a great book on intuition.  I give it 5 stars!

A story about what happens to a young sales manager when intuition wakes up his life. Tony, a successful professional whose world is looking good but feeling sluggish, first laughs when his mentor suggests he start learning more about intuition. What he does next surprises everyone but mostly himself. Ting! is a made-up word for the sound of intuition. Through Tony’s journey, readers begin to discover their own ting’s.  In the story-telling style of “Fish” & “Who Moved My CheeseTing! shows what can happen when we bring the power of intuition to our lives and workplaces & live more intuitively, meaningfully, & creatively fulfilled. 

To order or for more info go to: http://www.intuita.com/ting.htm

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