Thursday, November 09, 2006

what's your excellence experience?

Writing about Burnquist and Marilson, it reminded me how exciting it is to see somebody excel at what they do. But watching them do these things so effortlessly and fluidly, it's so easy to forget how hard it actually is to reach that level of excellence. I remember reading Tom Peters saying that one of the things we should always look for when hiring someone is to ask about any "excellence" experience. And the point he made was that it doesn't really matter if the person's "excellence" experience is in the specific area you want to hire. It could be in sports, in dance, in arts, anything, as long as they went through the process to achieve a certain level of excellence. That's the key aspect of it. Have they gone through the torturous process of trying to improve a leg movement so that it looked fluid and graceful when they danced? Have they trained their guts out to shed just one tenth of a second from their time? Have they spent nights and nights obsessively trying to find the precise word to write a poem? Because if they've experienced this process, they'll more than likely be able to carry it over to other areas of their lives. So, what's your excellence experience?

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