Before Your Next Practice Session, Watch This

There are lots of cool videos out there on the power of effective practice. But this might be one of the best — especially to show learners before a session.
It’s by Annie Bosler and Don Greene, and animated by Martina Mestrovic. And it’s awesome.

There are Two Types of Coaches. Which are You?

When you look out at the vast ecosystem of teaching and coaching, you see two main species: people who are focused on building skill, and people who are focused on building people.
Most coaches and teachers are in the skill-building business. They spend their time thinking about how to get better. They understand technique and strategy …

Stop Judging Talent; Start Judging Character

This revisit of a 2013 post is made timely by the fact that Tom Brady, now nearly 40, just went 11-1 and set an NFL record for touchdown-to-interception ratio. Which means 1) he’s pretty good for a sixth-round draft choice; 2) he’s almost made up  for his choice of underwear in the photo at right. 
Sorry …

The Mental Trick that Unlocks Improvement

Question: How much better would you be if you practiced a skill every day for one or two years?
Would you be ten times better? Twenty? Fifty?
Here’s the answer (tip: watch the first few seconds, then fast-forward to the end):

 

 
This guy did a similar experiment, learning a skateboard trick in six hours.

 
You wouldn’t be ten or …

The One Surprising Habit of Effective Leaders

Stop Warming Up, Start Learning Up

You’ve seen it a thousand times. It happens before every game, at every level (and not just in sports, but also in music, theater, and dance). Before the game begins, the players loosen up. They get the juices flowing, they do a few moves, find their rhythm, and get comfortable. We call this process “warming …

How to Use Failure

Seeing as I’ve been absent from this space for while now — and I’ll be writing more often now that the new book is mostly done — I thought it might be good to write about failure. Beginning with a question:
What happens when we fail really badly at something? 
I’m not talking about almost-success or near …

Some news

After a long hiatus spent researching my new book, I’m back, and I plan to be posting here regularly in coming weeks. Thanks for your patience. The new book will be called The Culture Code: The Hidden Language of Successful Groups, and it will be published next fall (2017) by Random House.
It’s based on a …

The Power of High-Leverage Practice

A Quick Cure for Ineffective Practice

Practice sessions, like everything else, occur along a broad spectrum of effectiveness. At one end you have the perfect session where everything clicks, everyone is engaged and working productively.
Way, way over on the opposite end of the spectrum you have the Really Bad Practice. The sessions where no one is engaged, where no learning happens, …