What “World Class” Business Leaders Do To Stay Ahead Of Competition?

What does it take to reach “World-Class” levels? Have you ever mulled over this question in your free-time. Apart from talent, it also takes hours of practise to become “World-Class”, this is called “Deliberate Practise. Even the most successful business leaders set aside time for “Deliberate Practise.

Some say 10,000 hours of deliberate practise will make a person “World-Class”. However, the research team behind the “10,000-Hour Rule” cleared the air on this number in an article recently. They said that different fields require different amounts of deliberate practice for someone to become world-class.

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Now that we know the 10,000-hour rule is not set in stone, how does one become “world-class”. Business leaders, including Elon Musk, Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Mark Zuckerberg, despite being extremely busy, have set aside at least an hour a day or five hours a week throughout their careers for deliberate practice or learning.

Naturally, the next question that comes to mind is: What do successful business leaders do during deliberate practise. Loosely, deliberate practise includes these three activities: Reading, Reflection, and Experimentation.

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1. Read – An article in the Harvard Business Review said, “Nike founder Phil Knight so reveres his library that in it you have to take off your shoes and bow.” Self-made media mogul Oprah Winfrey says: “Books were my pass to personal freedom.” She has shared her reading habit with the world through her book club.

These two aren’t the only bookworms in the billionaire club –

2929 Entertainment and AXS TV owner Mark Cuban reads more than three hours every day while Home Depot co-founder Arthur Blank reads two hours a day. Carlyle Group co-founder and billionaire entrepreneur David Rubenstein reads six books a week. Microsoft founder Bill Gates is also known for his voracious appetite for books.

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2. Reflect – Successful leader also set aside thinking time for reflection. AOL CEO Tim Armstrong makes his senior team spend four hours per week just thinking. LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner schedules two hours of thinking time per day.

When LinkedIn co-founder and entrepreneur Reid Hoffman needs help thinking through an idea, he calls one of his “Thinking Buddies”: Peter Thiel, Max Levchin, or Elon Musk.

Billionaire entrepreneur Sara Blakely, who founded Spanx, is a long-time journaler. In one interview, she shared that she has more than 20 notebooks in which she logged the terrible things that happened to her and the gifts that have unfolded as a result.

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3. Experiment – Finally, one needs to set aside time for rapid experimentation as part of “Deliberate Practise”.

Throughout his life, Benjamin Franklin set aside time for experimentation, masterminding with like-minded individuals, and tracking his virtues. Google famously allowed employees to experiment with new projects during 20 per cent of their work time. Facebook encourages experimentation through Hack-a-Months.

Most of the people who engage in “Deliberate Practise” are usually “World Class” because they are always sharpening their mind to retain their competitive edge (pun intended). So start now, just five hours of deliberate learning a week can set you apart.

To learn more about deliberate practise and other business methods to become successful, contact Magnum Opus at info@magnumopusindia.com or call us at 011-42676768.

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