In this information age where we are constantly overloaded with garbage in garbage out, I am surprised to be still thinking about an article I read five months ago in Fortune magazine, “Why Talent Is Overrated.”
The team who works for me at Vickie Milazzo Institute knows that to get the same performance evaluation rating the next year, they have to be stronger and swifter. That’s right; the same behaviors year after year won’t cut it. They have to improve their existing skills – static behavior is not acceptable.
The reason I’ve survived 27 years of competitors poorly copying and imitating my every move (even including my typos!) is because the improved performance I expect of my staff is exactly the performance I expect of myself. A song lyric I really like is “The only thing constant is change.” When I think of change, I want change for the positive – through education, effort and a heavy dose of honest self-analysis.
Are you applying this principle to your legal nurse consulting business with your attorney-clients? To increase consulting fees 5-10% every year you have to show up new and better year after year.
According to Geoffrey Colvin in his book Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers From Everybody Else, high achievers are not just talented (i.e. have an inborn ability); they might not be talented at all. Is there any real talent involved in being Donald Trump? So what separates highly successful business owners from the rest of the pack? Repetitive, focused and deliberate practice designed to specifically improve performance. You can only improve performance if you know what needs improving (that’s why the honest self-analysis is important). Then you must practice that particular skill.
Another distinction of high achievers – they are able to assess how they’re doing. They don’t need someone to watch over them or push them. The CLNC® consultant can recognize she’s not answering the attorney’s question quite right and pull it together swiftly. Practice the answers to the interview questions over and over and you appear as an eloquent pro (or at least a practiced pro) to any attorney who meets you for the first time. But that only works if you’re practicing the correct responses. Deliberate practice is worthless without accurate self-evaluation. Do you assess each attorney communication afterwards? I don’t mean obsess over what you should have said. I mean really ask yourself, “Was I succinct?” “Was my communication effective?” “Were my points clear?”
Consciously make practice and assessment a part of your CLNC® business practice and require the same of your vendors, subcontractors and even attorney-clients. There is no stronger compliment than a vendor, subcontractor or attorney telling you they are better at what they do because of you. You can only do that if you’re working to be the best you.
I recently invested eight months mentoring a staffer through repetitive, deliberate practice. This investment has paid off tens of thousands of dollars. It was time consuming for both of us. We constantly evaluated each step afterwards. Sure, we made a few missteps but we made many, many more improvements and now we have not only a better process but a staffer who cannot only operate independently but can also be an example to others.
Read the article. Better yet, read the book and put practice into practice. You’ll never be the same Certified Legal Nurse Consultant again.
Success Is Inside!