Name a time when you tried something new, for the first time, and you INSTANTLY became an expert.

I mean FROM DAY ONE, you knew it all.

Let’s be honest, that NEVER happens.

Michael Jordan didn’t step on the basketball court and instantly know how to win 6 NBA championships.

Mind you, that’s during 15 seasons in the NBA. At the end of 9 of his seasons, or 60% of his professional career, he FAILED to win the championship.

Achieving greatness doesn’t happen overnight. It takes hard work and dedication. There must be a perpetual cycle of taking in information to better yourself, your team, and your business, and putting it into practice.

That doesn’t mean you’ll win every time. Because, after all, this isn’t a fairy tale; THIS is the path to breakthrough.


I followed her into the office. She said, “Somewhere in this mess, are the files I’m looking for.” I felt the blood leaving my brain! But, as busy leaders fighting to win on multiple fronts, are we any different?

SO, you think that AFTER you finish that next project, get past this quarter’s reporting, complete your next strategic plan, you can start implementing some of those leadership skills you’ve been reading and hearing about.

You wrote down the awakening in a notebook somewhere. Maybe you’ll stumble across it when you’re looking for something urgent.

YOU GOT IT. You understood. And, absorbing it into the thought processes means it will show up somewhere meaningful someday, right?

Hey, nobody can just set aside what they’re doing and orchestrate change on that radical of a scale. Ok, you did imagine to visualize it for a minute during the conference, but it seems a lot more complex now. You need to do more thinking. You need to tailor it to your team, your circumstances, your timing; I get that.

To be honest, there is nothing new under the sun. If you want me to spend some time talking about leadership principles that really make you tingle, let’s do that when we have “spare time.”

But in the middle of the firefight of life, you need practical lenses, weapons and tools. Let’s win first, then we can set up the proper, fairy tale, team that somebody can write a book about.

Ever notice how the stories go?

Someone found a mentor; they dovetailed it right into their existing challenges, interestingly tailor-made for the book you were reading. I’ve got news for you; leadership is like practicing medicine. You learn a lot and then you start practicing!

You consult with others, you work long hard hours to improve people’s lives and you get better OVER TIME.

You don’t peak when you graduate Med School just like you aren’t a perfect driver after Drivers Education class is over. I have been an instrument rated pilot for more than 30 years. I can tell you, there is no substitute for 10,000 hours in the cockpit.

Leadership is no different.

I remember studying my golf swing, watching some videos and then heading to the range. I HAD a clear image in my head. DO I need to say any more? Yes, it was a stepping stone; but, NO, it didn’t make me a scratch golfer.

Don’t you get it? Downloading the information isn’t the same as installing the program. It isn’t available to be used until you INSTALL IT. And, even then, you have to learn to use it. That’s what happens with leadership. You downloaded some great books and ideas into your brain. You looked and they are still tucked away in there. Now, it’s time to install them and begin practicing leadership.

You won’t get it right the first time. You will try some things that blow up in your face. If not, you simply aren’t trying.

About Greg

Greg Yates has been a Chicago area businessman for over 30 years. He’s the author of the book, "Broken - How Being Broken Unlocked The Greatest Success of My Life". He has simultaneously owned 14 different businesses in a variety of industries; including real estate, manufacturing, payroll, and technology. Greg has also been an investor and a board member. He attended Olivet Nazarene University. He has a passion for flying. He’s had a pilot’s license for over 30 years and owned a variety of airplanes. Greg and his wife Vicki have been married over 37 years. They have a son, a daughter and seven grandchildren.

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