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Practice Makes Perfect

Practice makes perfect, or so the saying goes. If you've practiced and you're still not there, remember that leadership isn't about doing everything exactly right. It's about being the best leader you can be.

You don't really expect to hit a hole-in-one shot every time you tee up — that's just a vision that drives your performance and keeps you wanting more. The more you practice, the closer you get to achieving that vision.

Practicing To Keep Your Edge

Practice is not going to make you a perfect leader. Practice is going to get you to where you need to be.

Practice isn't always fun. It's safe to say that nearly every leader has been at the point when it seems like the everyday is taking over. Remember: Keeping up with these routines is the only way to improve in leadership, in golf, in everything — you've got to put in the time if you want to be competitive.

Staying Ahead of the Pack

Imagine a golf pro that stopped going to the course for practice after winning an initial cup. How long do you think that pro would last? There's a reason PGA golfers spend a lot of time working and re-working their swings, their club selections and their strategies: These are the practices that let them become professionals in the first place.

It's the same in leadership — maintaining your current competitive edge is just as important as developing new strengths. Your competitors aren't going to stop improving, so you need to keep yourself in top condition.

Identifying Your Most Valuable Practices

Your strengths got you to where you are as a leader and they're your main advantages against the competition. Your entrepreneurial spirit, your vision and your inclination to push boundaries can all point you towards success, but it's putting those characteristics into practice that lets you attain your goals. If you start to see a backslide in performance, efficiency, profits — in any metric of success you use — ask yourself if you're still doing the things that got you to where you are.

Putting Your Time to Good Use

It could be time to take an inventory of your activities. There's a lot more to the act of practice than just repeating the same thing over and over again. Take a look at what you're doing and, if possible, keep track of how those activities change. This could help you identify the practices that yield the most improvement.

Focusing Your Improvement

What if you've been putting in the time, but you aren't seeing the results you want? You could also use an outside opinion.

That could be a trusted co-worker, an old boss, or a coach. Remember: Leading isn't about doing everything perfectly, it's about doing the best you can do. Asking for help is often the best way to get out of a rut or unlock the potential you know you have.