Experts Are Made, Not Born
A fine example is Jose Raul Capablanca, a world champion chess player from the first half of the twentieth century best known for his ability to play quickly. “A towering genius,” he is widely considered to be one of the top three chess players to ever live, if not the best. Undefeated from early 1916 to early 1924, Capablanca‘s most famous feat was when he played over a hundred games simultaneously against professional chess players.
Capablanca would approach a board, make a move without hesitation, then move onto the next board and do the exact same thing. In 103 matches, Capablanca won 102 and drew one. When asked how he was able to play so quickly and effectively, Capablanca responded that when he approaches a board, “I only see one move, and it’s the right one.”
Capablanca may have had innate talent, but he achieved his powers through practice and hard work. He played so many games that he built patterns and representations so strongly in his head that he did not need to think when he approached a board. He simply saw the right move.
Practice and repetition beat innate ability. Gladwell notes that “Success is a function of persistence and doggedness and the willingness to work hard for 20 minutes to make sense of something that most people would give up on after 30 seconds.”
It’s about doing the work. Practice makes us better; it builds patterns and representations in our minds that enable us to see what others cannot. It makes us experts. Have you ever embarrassed yourself in front of your family by practicing a presentation aloud? If not, perhaps you should. Capablanca would have.
So the next time you’re looking for your next big sales hire, ask yourself if they see what only experts can see. And if they can’t, are they willing to practice to get there? The more they do, the better they’ll look in the board room. And so will you.
A third-generation printer, Dustin LeFebvre delivers his vision for Specialty Print Communications as EVP, Marketing through strategy, planning and new product development. With a rich background ranging from sales and marketing to operations, quality control and procurement, Dustin takes a wide-angle approach to SPC