What it takes to be
How does Geoffrey Colvin
suggest individuals go about improving their performance in the business world?
“It’s all about how you do what you’re already
doing – you create the practice in your work, which requires a few critical
changes. The first is going at any task with a new goal: Instead of merely
trying to get it done, you aim to get better at it” (Colvin). He suggest individuals improved their performance in the business
world by setting a goal in mind to get better rather than just working to get
the job done without developing their intelligence or their talents. Colvin
also mentioned that different people react different on what they are
interested in. “when amateur singers take a
singing lesson, they experience it as fun, a release of tension. But for
professional singers, it’s the opposite: They increase their concentration and
focus on improving their performance during the lesson. Same activity,
different mindset”(Colvin). For instance he mentioned a person attending
singing class for fun, and that is called fixed mindset where people spend their
time doing something believing their talents alone can make them successful
without any effort being done. On the other hand, for the professional singers
they use this class as to make them better that is called growth mindset.
Growth mindset is for those people who believe they can do better by working
hard and believe that their basic abilities and talents can be developed to make
In the article, what it takes to be great, Colvin said, “The best people in any
field are those who devote the most hours to what the researchers call
“deliberate practice.” It’s activity that’s explicitly intended to
improve performance, that reaches for objectives just beyond one’s level of
competence, provides feedback on results and involves high levels of
repetition.” Deliberate practice is an
activity that is being done above ones ability to achieve the highest level.
Also “deliberate practice” is by repeating the practices consistently and
looking after feedbacks too. Not to repeat simple practices to get better in
what you are doing but to practice harder then one’s beyond with repetition of
an activity. “Simply hitting a bucket of balls
is not deliberate practice, which is why most golfers don’t get better. Hitting
an eight-iron 300 times with a goal of leaving the ball within 20 feet of the
pin 80 percent of the time, continually observing results and making
appropriate adjustments, and doing that for hours every day – that’s deliberate
practice” (Colvin). Colvin stated that a golfer will not get better just by
practicing hitting a ball many times but to do a rough practice to improve
their performances and that is “deliberate practice”.
What does the example of
Michael Jordan illustrate?
According to Colvin’s article, “Many great
athletes are legendary for the brutal discipline of their practice routines. In
basketball, Michael Jordan practiced intensely beyond the already punishing
team practices. (Had Jordan possessed some mammoth natural gift specifically
for basketball, it seems unlikely he’d have been cut from his high school team.” What the example of
Michael Jordan illustrated that so many great athletes were greatly known and
got famous because of their hard practicing work that improved their
performance. Jordan was not natural gifted as being a famous basketball player.
If he were gifted he wouldn’t have been cut from his team in high school. What
made Jordan one of the greatest athletes is his structured purposeful practice.
Colvin was trying to explain that hard
practice and knowing what you want gives you the potential to enhance your
skills not by simply practicing regularly but by practicing beyond your level.
Colvin, Geoffrey. “What it
takes to be great.” archive.fortune.com.
19 Oct. 2006. Web. 18 Jan. 2018.