We know great musicians and performing artists need practice to keep performing at a high level. Even after years of success star performers realize they need focused, ongoing practice if they are going to continue to stay at the top of their field.
The same principle applies to sustained success in business. To be among the best in your field you need to identify and practice a few core activities.
As you embark on 2017 I want to encourage you to make practice an important part of your 2017 strategies. I’d like to give you a list of five practices I believe will make a big difference in not only your results but your personal satisfaction and your impact on others.
Make Learning a Priority
It’s amazing to me the access we have to so many great ideas and new knowledge. One of my daily practices is to spend a few minutes scanning for interesting articles about the things I’m most interested in like: performance, brain science and emotional intelligence.
The idea here is to work smarter not harder. It’s easy to get caught in the trap of just working harder, longer and faster to try to keep up and get things done. I think the better approach is to invest a certain amount of your time and energy looking for new ideas and technologies to make you more effective.
It’s an exciting time to be either a student or a teacher. The internet allows you to tune into people and resources that are exact matches for your interests. Make a plan for learning each day.
Make Time to Care, Nurture or Repair Relationships with Your Team
With all the technology at our fingertips don’t lose sight of the fact that we are social creatures. So much of our collaboration and work gets done with and through others. When your relationships are strong and healthy they enable flexibility, innovation and high performance.
Conversely when your relationships get strained, rigid and broken, it causes huge breakdowns in terms of communication and an ability to get things done.
Make time in your daily activities to stop and pay close attention to the people around you and invest the time in that it takes to nurture, develop and maintain healthy relationships. It will make a huge difference in your results.
For the relationships that have gone sideways, have the courage to take the high road. Be the first to begin to rebuild the relationship and take responsibility for your part in the problems.
Stay Connected to Your Vision & Values
It’s easy to get caught up in a flurry of activities. Make one of your daily activities reconnecting to your vision and values. Why are you doing what you’re doing? What’s important about it? What values are most important to you and how are those values seen in action? Take a few minutes at the beginning and end of the day and revisit your values.
Set Goals for the Day and Week that are in Alignment with Top Vision
Set some goals each day for the things that you want to get done that are most in alignment with your vision and values. Set a few bigger, more strategic goals for the week and as you develop this practice you’ll look up at the end of the year and realize you’ve made great progress.
Practice mindfulness. Being mindful means you are aware of your intentions, actions, thoughts and moods in the midst of all of the action in the day as a business professional. Being mindful also involves your eating, drinking and breathing to maintain a strong body that’s needed for high-level performance.
Practice Loving Compassion
Most importantly practice loving compassion for others and yourself. I like to take the perspective that everyone is trying their best on any given day. Many people have significant shortcomings in terms of their ability to be effective.
Try to walk a mile in the other person’s shoes and remember you don’t know everything that’s going on in their lives and you don’t know what their inherent skills and talents are.
The more you can bring loving compassion, the more you can be a leader and an inspiration for others.
Practice is the key to long-term excellence. Get clear on what you want to practice, set aside time to make it happen and make 2017 your best year ever!