Leadership Management
Constant practice road to mastery
December 10, 2012
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Famous melody singer Lata Mangeskar once said: If I not practice for a day, I come to know of it by my performance. If I do not practice for two days, my orchestra comes to know of it that I have not practiced that morning. If I do not do it for the third day, my audience knows that I had missed my practice sessions.
Practice and constant practice have significant impact on performance. World class cricket player Sachin Tendulkar even after setting many records still goes out for practice.
Only practice is not enough. Do it to attain perfection to get mastery. I strongly believe that any skill can be learnt to the level of mastery only by dedicated perseverance. Practice brings visible difference in performance. Leadership is performance and not a mere position.
Practice can turn impossible to possible. Andre Agassi asserted, If you don’t practice you don’t deserve to win. Do you think that world could have had players like Roger Federer without practice?
Practice could save embarrassment and energy in toting out excuses. Practice can make you regain confidence when you put forward your first step on the floor to perform. That is reflected in your postures and gestures. One could practice on his own and make a difference.
In mythology of the East, there is a famous story of Eklavya, a ‘Shudra’ (belonging to the lowest social community according to the Vedic Caste System), who wanted to learn archery from Acharya Drona. Drona being a Brahmin teacher, and more than that, being the teacher of the Pandava and Kaurava princes of Hastinapur, would not teach Shudra kids. He told Eklavya to go away.
Eklavya returned home into the jungle and made a statue of Acharya Drona imagining Drona to be his guru. He practised in front of the statue every single day. His belief that the statue would teach him kept Eklavya going on in his pursuit. One day young Kaurava and Pandava princes came hunting with their teacher Drona in the jungle where Eklavya lived. While the princes were hunting, one of their dogs reached the place where Eklavya was practicing and began to bark that distracted him. Upset and to stop the disturbance, Eklavya shot arrows into the dog’s mouth in such a skillful way that they did not hurt the dog but stopped him from barking. The dog meanwhile returned and the princes were amazed at the arrows shot into the dog’s mouth. They gently removed all the arrows and informed Drona. When Drona approached Eklavya as to who his teacher was, Eklavya’s reply was it was Drona himself. To test Eklavya’s skills Drona asked Eklavya to compete with the princes and Eklavya defeated every one of them including Arjuna, an expert archer and Drona’s favourite student. Drona was upset and did not like the fact that Eklavya had made him (Drona) his guru. Drona demanded Eklavya to give him ‘guru dakshina’ (A disciple’s offering to a teacher after mastering a subject) since it was Drona who Eklavya considered to be his teacher. Drona asked for the right thumb of Eklavya as ‘guru dakshina’ so that he will not rival his disciples. Eklavya without the slightest hesitation drew out his knife and chopped his thumb off. Though it disabled the most strongest opponent of Arjuna yet it left behind the most faithful disciple of all times.
I as a coach believe power of practice can help you ascend the ladder of victory. Practice can make all the difference between success and failure. When you practice you gradually focus on what you do not know and learn and relearn to hone your skills.
Road to success lies in practice for sure.

About author

Dr Shailesh Thaker

Dr. Shailesh Thaker is a world-renowned management thinker and trainer on organizational behavior and development. He is the CLO of Knowledge Plus Inc., a highly reputed training firm based in Ahmedabad, India, helping organizations to achieve international benchmarks in management practices.

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