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Like Riding a Bike: Persistence over Talent

There are so many people who believe (or use as an excuse) that talent is inherent and not learned. That belief couldn’t be further from the truth. You can get very good at skills without having any innate talent. Remember the legend of Michael Jordan and how he didn’t make the basketball team when he was 15? He wanted to be on the team so badly that he worked day in and day out to develop the skill, accuracy, and endurance to make the team the next year and go on to become one of the greatest basketball players of all time.

I hated writing as a kid, especially creative writing. As I got older, I realized that I would get farther in life with better writing skills (ahem, think higher income potential). So I studied technical writing, what made ideas shine, and worked doggedly to get my writing to be decent. By the time I got to my master’s program, my writing was organized, clear, and engaging (at least according to my professors). And surprise, I started to enjoy the writing process and ended up writing a book in 2018.

Succeeding at leadership is no different than learning to play basketball or to write effectively. It takes time, practice, and persistence. Listen to podcasts, find people that pique your curiosity and read their work, be willing to be terrible for a long time (and enjoy it!) at whatever your learning. No one is great at any skill without intentional dedication, sacrifice, and diligence.

What skill are you working on to dream, plan, or go big this month?

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