Posts Tagged ‘deliberate practice’

Deliberate Practice – Competitive mindset essential for long-term success

One of the patterns that threaten many family businesses is a waning sense of urgency and competitive fire in future generations.

It’s human nature.  The founders fought for their survival in the early years of the business.  Successive generations are raised with a certain amount of affluence and financial security.  They’ve never experienced the feeling of “fighting for your life” in business.  While this is a wonderful byproduct of great founders it can also rob future generations of an important business mindset.

I was really fortunate to have found some of my grandfather’s letters from the 1920s that chronicle the trials and tribulations of Walsh Bros., our 89-year-old family business.  Reading about how my grandfather was watching every penny helped me appreciate what it took to get past the survival phase in a successful business.

It’s the current generation’s job as leaders to foster and maintain a competitive mindset in the upcoming generations.  Why?  Because business is highly a competitive sport and today’s champions can quickly become tomorrow’s “has-beens”.

So how do you create that competitive mindset?  How do you make sure family members keep a healthy level of urgency?

I keep going back to Major league baseball and spring training.  Even the most successful, highly talented professionals go back to the basics every March.  As a family you need to create rituals and exercises that build a competitive mindset.  Like everything else it’s a muscle that needs to be trained.

We have a deliberate practice that makes the family reflect upon its own competitive mindset, as well as the competitive landscape of the business.  They have to identify a few new activities to keep building the muscle.  For free full access to the detailed instructions in our deliberate practice click here.

There are many different ways to foster a competitive mindset.  As a leader in the family business, keep getting creative and inventive about how you keep the competitive fire alive in the up and comers!

 

Deliberate Practice – How to Conduct a Great Family Meeting

One of my greatest joys coaching families is to see a whole family come together around a table and talk about the family business.  You can see all of the hopes, dreams and history of the family in one room.  You hear about what came before and get glimpses of what is to come in the future for the business.

Surprisingly though, most families aren’t quite sure where to start and how to conduct a successful family meeting.  Due to this apprehension, many families just don’t conduct the meeting, thus robbing the family of a real opportunity for collaboration and building the future of the family  business.

Many families have discomfort trying to “please all of the people all of the time” so the thought of a family meeting is filled with anxiety about how to successfully conduct the meeting.

In coaching, one of the fundamental tenets we teach is about what we call generous listening.  A great family meeting happens when you can get everyone in the room and ask a few of the right questions and then simply sit back and listen.  Okay, some times a facilitator or coach can bring out the shy people in the room and gently manage the people who won’t be quiet and find the right balance of talking and listening.

In our deliberate practice, How to Conduct a Great Family Meeting, we give you some simple step by step instructions that will enable you to not only have a successful family meeting, but also have a greater sense of hope and optimism for the future of the family and the business.

To gain free access to this and all of our other deliberate practices click here.

 

Deliberate Practice – Get Real by Getting Feedback

One of the greatest disservices you can do to yourself and your team is to not be honest with yourself about how others perceive you. I know how frightening it can be to put yourself out there and ask for straight, unfiltered feedback. Top performers are relentless about obtaining feedback.

I ask every client and team member to give me feedback on a regular basis. It still scares me a bit but I know not staying tuned in could have far more damaging consequences – like not having clients or teammates!

I know in my family business when I started getting feedback from others, it took the focus away from me just trying to win my family’s acceptance as a leader and challenged me to learn how to be effective with broader audiences.

In our Get Real by Getting Feedback deliberate practice we give you step by step instructions to getting feedback from others and most importantly doing something with it. Don’t ask for feedback and not be prepared to act upon it!

If you would like to get real and build some new muscle then I encourage you to get access to all of our deliberate practices here.

Get Full Access to Our Family Business Deliberate Practices™

I have been working with family businesses for over 15 years and spent 50 years living in close proximity to my family business, Walsh Bros. Office Equipment.

I’ve developed the Family Business Deliberate Practices™ which have real world, specific exercises that I guarantee will give you and your family the tools to become more effective, have higher levels of business performance and personal satisfaction.

To sum up my vision for the Peak Workout Family Business Performance Center™ , it is about helping family businesses find peace, purpose and prosperity via practice!

Here’s what you need to do to get access to the practices. I’m asking you to commit to the following:

  • Be committed to working hard on making your family business and your individual performance stronger
  • Don’t give up, be resilient and optimistic about the outcome
  • Be courageous with yourself and others
  • Give me feedback on what’s working (from the practices) and coach me with new ideas for helping your family and others in the community

Okay are you ready to go? Please complete the form below so I can begin sending you my Deliberate practices. I promise you that I won’t be sharing your information with anyone.

Thanks for joining the team! Let’s play to your potential!

Coach Pete

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Make Your Practice Plan

By now you understand theat practice is the key to high levels of results.  What is your practice plan?  Let me make a few suggestions of typical business structures that could be good practice plans for you.

  • Weekly staff meeting
  • Weekly one-on-one meeting with direct report(s)
  • Monthly leadership team or all staff meeting
  • Annual performance review
  • Quarterly performance review
  • After-action review on major projects
  • Quarterly or semi-annual leadership offsite retreat (practice, NOT boondoggle!)

Everyone of those meetings and structures is an opportunity to develop and implement deliberate practices for yourself and your organization.

Identify the Deliberate Practices for Your Team

Now that we know about deliberate practice, the question becomes what should I be practicing in the deliberate practice sort of way?  Only you and your team know what would be a stretch past your current capacity.  Think about that and decide.

Let’s take a page out of  Bill Shover’s coaching book and consider focusing on fundamentals.  Having worked with some of the most respected companies in America, I still see the need for building skill in the fundamentals.  To me the fundamentals in business are:

  • Interpersonal communication
  • Collaboration and being open-minded
  • Conflict resolution
  • Time management
  • Task management
  • Commitments management
  • E-mail management
  • Self-management
  • Emotional intelligence

This list gives you a comprehensive set of skills to work on; when you finish you can start right back at the top again.

Bill Shover’s Routine

Bill Shover, my Little League baseball coach, had a practice plan that was regimented and the same every time.  As I look back now, I can see it was deliberate practice.  We warmed up, threw balls back and forth, played “situation” (a mock game of baseball) which helped us be more prepared, had batting practice and then we ran.

That routine was the basis for learning the fundamentals and becoming very good at what we did.  Dean Smith, the North Carolina basketball coach, and John Wooden, the UCLA basketball coach were both legendary for their commitment to practice.

Never Stop Practicing

In his book, Mastery, George Leonard shares one of my all time favorite quotes.  Leonard says the Buddhist masters had a saying, “Before enlightenment you chop wood and carry water.”  The beauty of this message is that if you are to achieve and maintain greatness, it will require a lifelong commitment to practice.

In his book, Leonard teaches us to take joy in the very art of practicing.  In the business world I believe there is a common belief that as a twenty year veteran you’ve got it all figured out and you’ve arrived.  I think when you look at Vladimir Horowitz, you should think about what Leonard is teaching in his book, you should actually see practice as the destination.

Phelps, Nash and Horowitz III

Valdimir Horowitz was one of the greatest piano players of all time, and was quoted as saying, “If I stop practicing for a day, I notice it.  Two days, my wife notices it.  Three days, the critics notice.”

If one of the best piano players on the planet had to keep practicing daily to stay at that level, what does that tell us about business and leaders?  We have to keep practicing!

Phelps, Nash and Horowitz II

Two time NBA All-Star, Steve Nash, is another example of the power of practice.  Nash has one of the most reliable and smooth jump shots in the history of the NBA.  Upon further investigation you learn that he is extremely regimented in both his off-season practice and his pregame routine.  Before every game, Nash shoots the ball from the same locations all over the court.  During the game it looks easy, but his accuracy is the result of an unwavering commitment to disciplined practice.