Reading Now….(part 2)

……5 Steps to Expert, by Paul G. Schempp

Chapter 4: Cultivating Competence:

  • Competent performers not only get the job done- they get it done well.
  • Competent performers commonly, 1) Use goals and long-term plans to guide decisions and actions 2) Distinguish important from unimportnat factors when analyzing situations, 3) Plan contingently and 4) Have a sense of timing and momentum in making decisions and taking actions.
  • Rather than being absorbed by the immediate and mundane demands of the workplace, those who are competent work towards broader goals to ensure long-term success. To cultivate competence, you must continually revisit the purpose behind your actions. if your only purpose is to maintain the status quo, complete a task, or just get through the day, you are mired in  a beginner’s perspective. If, however, your purpose is to think several steps ahead so that your efforts amount to something cumulative, a characteristic of competence is evident.
  • The two factors that help sift the unimportant from the important are 1) Utility & 2) Prniciples. Selectivity is another way to think about competence. When you have developed the ability to select those environmental factors that will alter events or can be exploited to manipulate events. You can distinguish the important features from the unimportnat in your business landscape.
  • When planning for an upcoming meeting or program, competent businesspeople are able to plan for contingencies and changes through if-then planning. Contingency planning provides alternatives, and it also makes decision making more fluid.
  • Competent people take an active role in seeking out the necessary information needed for the planning and preparing activities. Competent business professionals are goal-oriented, which establishes their direction, and their contingency plans help them negotiate the bumps in the road they encounter. as well as seize unexpected opportunities where they arise.
  • What determines your destiny is not the hand you’re dealt : it’s how you play the hand. And the best way to play your hand is to face reality– see the world the way it is- and act accordingly”- Jack Welch.

Chapter 5: Practicing Proficiency:

  • Proficient people are in the top 25 percent of tier field in terms of experience, knowledge, skills and performance. Proficient performers work harder and longer than most other people, but what really sets them apart is that they also work smarter and more skillfully. Gaining expertise takes exceeding dedication.
  • Proficient performers 1) Have a strong sense of personal responsibility, 2) Have highly developed perceptual skills, 3) Use efficient routines to handle everyday tasks, 4) Analyze and solve events with a high degree of accuracy.
  • The one characteristic that wold differentiate the good from the great in any field is, – feeling responsible. Those who achieve great heights in business, sports or any other human endeavor do so largely because they believe the outcome is firmly in their hands. They feel that their level of achievement is chiefly their responsibility.
  • Less expert professional lose sleep worrying about what might happen to them. Proficient performers lose sleep devising ways to be better tomorrow than they were today. Proficient performers take control of their destiny by planning their course of action.They hold themselves accountable for problems and deficiencies they encounter, believing that the solutions to these problems reside within their capabilities and responsibilities.
  • “Nobody can prevent you from choosing to be exceptional’- Fred Shea. You are responsible for the difference you make. Proficient performers take responsibility for their shortcomings, inadequacies and failures and therefore seize the opportunity to change for the better. The quality of their performance is clearly up to them.
  • Champions are not only made in the great shots or great business moves that they execute at critical moments but champions are also made in the mistakes they minimise or avoid.
  • Business is a dynamic process where many people with different responsibilities, backgrounds, skills and interests are engaged in the myriad activities of an industry.While understanding business manouverings is essential, being able to focus on the individuals and events that have the greatest effect on the outcome is critical as it enables the proficient performers to recognize the winds of opportunity in a meeting, market or industry and to adroitly change the course of action in a direction leading to greater success.
  • While beginner, capable and competent performers often see the symptoms, proficient performers see past the symptoms to identify the cause of errors or inferior performance. A multitude of symptoms can be cured by eliminating the cause. Accurate perceptions and insightful interpretations begin with up-to-date awareness,also called ‘situational awareness’,  regarding the conditions around you. Recognise the environmental elements most critical for our success and give them your complete attention and your best effort.
  • Pay attention to routines: ensure efficient routines form the bedrock of how you orchestrate daily tasks efficiently. When routines detract from success, they need revision to be effective. Proficient decision makers demonstrated greater flexibility and a more automatic flow in their processes, which frees them to take advantage of new systems and limited their searches and processes to those essential
  • In solving problems, proficient people tend to use forward reasoning, working forward from known facts to the unknown, in contrast with backward reasoning, working backward from a hypothesis or to the known facts. backward problem solving is characteristic of those who are not et proficient. The old adage applies here: ‘When all you have is  a hammer, every problem looks like a nail”.
  • Proficient problem solvers realize that if they don’t get the problem right, there is no hope of getting the solution right. They develop the ability to predict potential outcomes. being able to reasonably predict the success of an action plan can save time because you don’t need to restart or retry the plan. Being able to anticipate and predict likely events is based on years on experience in, and extensive knowledge of, the specific environment. Anticipatory skills can be learned, and the advantages they offer are well worth the effort for proficient performers.
  • While proficient people remain largely analytic and deliberate in their decision making, they tend to demonstrate a logical progression and rely on patterned practices to carry out their daily tasks, which are not necessarily the ways of experts or the top professional performers.
  • Several types of learning may propel proficient performers to the final step of expertise. Their interactions with others, both in the field and out, help gain new perspectives on old problems, discover innovative strategies that work, and provide fresh leads to more knowledge. Having learned much from their own experiences, proficient performers look to sources outside themselves for fresh ideas and innovations for knowledge critical to planning and decision making. In short, best performers never stop learning.

…… to be continued

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