A question I have always asked myself is what separates the top from the very top? A popular Gladwellian theory is that putting in 10,000 hours of hardwork with focused feedback should result in immense success and mastery of the chosen field/endeavour. But as I read more about it and the people behind it there are a few things I am starting to see.
The first is that the difference between average and above average is not the same as the difference between the top and the absolute best. Luck plays a factor too but a large part of is reproducible. I am still trying to understand the science behind performance and will dedicate a large part of articles to it with the tag #hardwork.
Here’s something to start with though.
The thing about Michael is, he takes nothing about his game for granted. When he first came to the NBA back in 1984, he was primarily a penetrator. His outside shooting wasn’t up to pro standards. So he put in his gym time during the off-season, shooting hundreds of shots each day. Eventually, he became a deadly three-point shooter.
Playing outstanding defense didn’t come automatically to him, either. He had to study his opponents, learn their favorite moves and then dedicate himself to learning the techniques necessary to stop them. He’s worked extremely hard to perfect his footwork and his balance. – Phil Jackson on Michael Jordan.
How about a real world example because we all know Michael Jordan is legend. Indira Nooyi, the CEO of Pepsi, sleeps around midnight and is up by 4 am.
She has been up since 4 a.m., having gone to bed at midnight after watching The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, which she loves. “They say sleep is a gift that God gives you,” she observes. “That’s one gift I was never given.”
When I was young, I used to indulge in WWE. I didn’t have the maturity then to realize that this was an entertainment business and a wildly successful one at that. The guy behind it is Vince McMahon. Here’s a colleague on him
This is an absolute shoot. In the five years that I worked at the WWE, I always arrived at work before the bell, and left way after its final ding-dong. I took great pride in working for one of the greatest companies in the world, let’s face it—it was my childhood dream. However, regardless of my aggressive work ethic, no matter how early I arrived, or how late I left—Vince’s car was there. This is no joke. If I got in at 7am—his car was already there. If I left at 10pm—his car was STILL there!!! In other words—the guy just never left the office!!!
A lot of the top performers spend a lot of time in really hard deep work. I am learning why and I’ll be sharing that soon here.
Also hello, I’m back to writing again.