Gradual improvement can seem like a good plan, until you choose it over dramatic improvement.
Jim Collins, author of the classic book, Good to Great, wrote that "Good is the enemy of great."
His point is that choosing "good" over "great" is a serious strategy error.
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A bias for action when it comes to improvement
Indeed, settling for moderate victories can mean forfeiting massive success.
I teach presentations skills, but I don't work with clients who want to gradually improve. It never works out well when I care more about someone's success than he or she does.
It's so much more rewarding to make quantum improvements that get drastically different outcomes.
Anyone can pick up a speaking tip here and there. If you pick up one presentation tip a year, you will gradually become a better speaker over the course of your career.
Or with a little effort, you can immerse yourself into the art form and get better results fast.
Time waits for no one
So go ahead. Take your time. Pursue gradual excellence.
But know that while you're staying put in your comfort zone, others are are mastering the art of presentation.
That's why others on your team will be promoted before you.
That's why you don't win more bids. It's can also explain why the competition has more market share.
So you have a choice: Become a better presenter a little at a time for thirty years or get really good right now for the rest of your life.
The calendar or the clock?
What are your thoughts on gradual versus quantum leaps? Why do some of us settle for gradual improvement or even none at all, when it comes to making presentations?