While doing a bit of reading, I came across this “nugget” that I thought was really good…. It comes from a book called Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman.
Star performers are people who have a single skill: pattern recognition. These are the “big picture” thinkers that sort meaningful trends from a mountain of information. They think strategically with an eye toward the far future.
It really reminded me of a few different sources of learning (all very successful/well known leaders/authors) I have run across just in the last month or so:
At work, we there was a presentation given by a group of consultants in regards to ‘Change Management’. They are experts on change management (in my opinion). They presented info (based on patterns that they’ve seen over time) regarding what works for those companies that had successful Change Management. Then they use these techniques to help other companies implement successful change management during big project roll-outs.
- In recent reading I have done on health, one of the books is written based on strategies/techniques (patterns) of those who have lost weight and kept it off for several years. By recognizing the patterns (or consistent behaviors) of those who have lost weight and kept it off, the book was able to outline the things that make permanent weight loss possible.
- In research I have done on coaching recently, I have come across this same point. The author was trying to figure out why he had been a successful coach to so many, so he could help encourage others to become great coaches as well. He asked his clients how he had helped make them successful, then identified patterns in the feedback (consistent statements, etc). And he is sharing in the book, what those things are.
- I was doing some Lominger readings which show skills that are consistent indicators (patterns) of successful performance in certain job roles (managers, supervisors, etc). They use this data to help business people focus on developing the skills that are consistent with successful job performance.
- And again, when reading a book called the ‘China Study’, a Dr. did much study and experimenting in China in regards to health patterns. He looked to see what was consistent for those in China who seem to have very low instances of heart disease, cancer, etc and see what ‘patterns’ or consistencies existed amongst these groups of people. He then made a correlation to cancer and was able to turn cancer on and off in some people by controlling these ‘patterned’ things (in this case he linked it to animal protein).
Now I know some of these types of studies are quite controversial. But in this case I am just looking at the strategies all these people used to come up with the ‘recipe’ for good health, or cancer avoidance, or successful coaching, or successful leadership, etc. And many others have had success in using these books to pattern areas of their own lives. I think there is a lot to find if we look for ‘patterns’ in almost anything. The key is that we look at data to see how others have accomplished what it is we are trying to accomplish or how they have been successful in the area we want to succeed in. Then we need to look for patterns that are consistent amongst those that accomplished the desirable thing, or have been successful in the area.
In writing this, I can think of several areas of my life where I can benefit in looking at patterns:
- Patterns of those who have become successful managers/supervisors
- Patterns of those who have a healthy spiritual life (& balances it with other aspects of their lives)
- Patterns of those who are not overwhelmed with all the responsibilities of being a wife/mom/worker
- Patterns of those who keep their cool all the time (or atleast appear to)
- Patterns of those who are great healthy coaches
- Patterns of those whose children seem to mind well and have a healthy respect for their parents.
- Etc…..you get the idea
So, sharpen your skills in ‘pattern recognition’! And if you do not have access to the data that will show these patterns, be sure to lean on those who do (through reading & interviewing). At each step in life, where you want to do/be better in an area, think about people that do it well already (it is better to look at several people or groups of people so you can find a ‘pattern’). Then look for the patterns in these people’s lives, and model after these patterns. You should then be able to create your own personalized success in this same area! I am not saying to become clones or robots to others, but just be aware of what has worked for others and learn from that. J Please feel free to comment. I would love feedback.