Those that are the top of their game in any given sport, profession, creative vocation, performing arts or business have some key common traits that have largely contributed to their success.

I’m going to share two of what I believe are critical to reaching peak performance. These two traits are as equally relevant to those who wish to win the game of business.

Firstly, they studied and apprenticed under someone who was a master to learn the critical skills and tools. Masters allow you to do the right things right the first time and simultaneously avoid making the most basic mistakes. It is the mistakes and setbacks that keep most business owners struggling. Sure, we all make mistakes from time to time and we can use those mistakes for our greatest growth and learning. It’s ok to makes mistakes when taking calculated risks, but it is another nail the business coffin if you are consistently making fundamental and basic errors. For example, would Tiger Woods use a nine iron to tee off on a par 5?

Secondly, they never stop practicing to improve and learn new distinctions. The best in the world know that they must practice to get better and learn something new on a daily basis if they are going to retain their greatness. The key word here is ‘practice’, or put in another way, implementation.

You could have all the knowledge and intellect in the world, but if you are not implementing or practicing what you know, you have nothing. As a teenager Michael Jordon would practice every day with 500 free throws before his first class at school.

The best in world were not born the best; they built themselves into being the best.

What are you practicing? What area of the business game are you improving? Do you seek feedback from your team members and customers to learn from them? Do you really listen and act on what they have to say? Have you mapped out an ongoing development program for yourself?

Too often I see business owners looking elsewhere to blame or find an excuse. If you’re looking for better results the place to start looking is within yourself, what else is it do you need to improve to become a master in the game of business?

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