So, two high profile events this weekend – The Daytona 500 and the Oscars. Talk about a diversity of ecosystems, personalities and behaviors, but both are a celebration of individuals at the peak of their performance and show the results of years of training and practicing in their craft. We all want to know what makes these guys good at what they do, but I also wonder if there’s a way to assess their success?
In the history of the Shadowmatch behavioral benchmarking process, we have had opportunities to assess profiles of some pretty unique individuals (such as professional golfers and performing artists). Ok, so we can’t claim to pull up Ben Affleck’s profile or tell you whether Jennifer Lawrence has a habit of Problem Solving, BUT we can extrapolate a little, so bear with me …
It turns out that MANY people who take part in these sorts of careers do share some common habits consistently. For example, we have assessed professional golfers (and no, we can’t tell you who, but one or two are up there in status with Jeff Gordon & Russell Crowe!) and they do show consistently strong behaviors in areas like …
1. Responsiveness – quickly reacting & adjusting to changing conditions
2. Simplification – breaking down a long difficult putt into the basics – pace and position
3. Self-confidence – the belief that they could “succeed” no matter what the competition
4. Resilience – let’s face it, players will fail more than win in their lifetime!
5. Discipline – systematic mental and physical discipline
Sort-of makes sense right? We also found some similar habits in top musicians: the ability to be disciplined to the point that nothing would distract them from the process of practice & refinement. Also, one other key habit: Routine. Without doubt, the ability to stick to a routine and dedicate time in a consistent and repeating manner was essential. Routine can also be seen in other examples. Here is an excerpt from a fantastic read – “The Power of Habit”, by Charles Duhigg – where Bob Bowman, the coach of Olympic swimming legend Michael Phelps, says the following …
“If you were to ask Michael what’s going on in his head before competition, he would say he’s not really thinking about anything. He’s just following the program. But that’s not right. It’s more like his habits have taken over.”
So, back to NASCAR and Movies; let’s take a look at whether this would hold true. I found the quick background and bio on some of the key Daytona 500 drivers fascinating. These individuals are all unique personalities – Clint Bowyer is someone you could see yourself ‘hanging out with’ at a barbeque or over a beer, whereas Danica Patrick is intense and almost ‘prickly’ in her persona, yet both get into the car and “let the key habits take over”.
Movie stars I’m less clear on, but again, take a guess with me: It’s plain that their personalities are a rainbow of diversity, but what do you think about key habits that must play into their success? Routine? For sure. Discipline? I would guess so. How about some we haven’t mentioned yet: what about working as a team? Does an actor rely upon themselves to be successful, or are they dependent upon the whole crew?
Look at your own teams and individuals. Who are the NASCAR drivers, which are the athletes, and who are the movie stars? Are your team goals dependent upon routine and discipline like the Daytona? Or, do you have more of an unknown, dynamic, “Argo-situation” going on? Personally (as a humble Daniel-Day-Lewis type of person) I’m just still hoping Jack Nicholson takes his Shadowmatch worksheet – I know that’s a set of habits and behaviors we’d all love to see!