I’m certain everyone reading this has learned something through repetition. Maybe it was a musical instrument, or a particular skill. Perhaps it was a sport you were interested in, and had to go to practice until you became a valued member of the team. Children are taught new things all the time, and are told they must evaluate what they learn through homework, testing, etc.
Imagine what would have happened if you had given up immediately on learning to read, or riding a bike – where would you be? Repetitive behaviors encourage proficiency and hone skills; however, we see the reverse of this in the business world all the time.
New practices and techniques are discarded almost immediately when immediate success is not achieved. “That won’t work in this market”, or “I tried it but it wasn’t effective” is proclaimed after a few casual attempts. Where did that kid who practiced his/her soccer skills for hours in the park go?
Overnight success usually takes about 10 years – rarely does anything of value come immediately. If it did, everyone else could also do it and your skills would be worthless. You are not going to go to a convention or seminar and immediately be adept at the things you learned there. Practice, repetition, and supervision combined with critical thinking is vital for success. You are responsible for the success of a team or a business, and it is incumbent upon you to be the coach – do not let them give up simply because they are not succeeding right away.
Doggedly pursuing an activity or procedure that has proven ineffective isn’t smart either, but how will you know if your staff has taken a few cursory stabs at it and reported that it doesn’t work? We have gone into many businesses and seen exactly this scenario – a staff that is threatened by change and therefore torpedoes any new initiative that might result in more work. As a leader, you must drive change through effort. Training, practice, and honest evaluation of results – none of this happens overnight.