July 22, 2018

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Reaching Your Peak

Part 1 of 2

While watching a recent sporting event, I was reminded of several similarities between athletes and professionals in our industry. They can teach us much about how we learn and master our trade.

In a single moment, an athlete's performance can determine if he/she will win or lose. Yet that moment is defined by the thousands of hours of practice that led up to the event.

Imagine if athletes spent just a few days learning and practicing the mechanics of their sport. I can just picture the resulting performance as they take the floor for the competition. There is the strong likelihood of a highly flawed performance as well as the chance of injury to both themselves and others.

How do the top athletes in the world rise to the top of their game? Practice, mentoring, and coaching—then even more practice. And this idea is not unique to just athletes. Attorneys spend hours in mock trials before taking on their first real case. Doctors spend years in internships before opening their practice. Commercial truck drivers maneuver their rigs on off-road driving courses before ever hitting the open road. Massage therapists are required to practice their craft a prescribed number of hours before taking on paying clients.

Okay, we in staffing and search businesses are not professional athletes, attorneys, doctors, truck drivers, or massage therapists. We don't win championships, save lives with medical treatment, or experience the dangers of operating heavy equipment. But we do greatly impact one of the most important aspects of people's lives—their job—and the most valuable resource of every company—the people that work there.

Even though we have such a critical impact on people and companies, what is missing from a significant portion of our industry is a culture of practice. Many companies agree that almost all of the experience their staff members possess is gained while doing their jobs. These same companies also acknowledge the benefit of practice and admit that it is simply something they do not get around to doing on a regular basis.

I am not against on-the-job experience. In fact, many of the skills I teach today came from personal experience gained through that wonderful school known as “hard knocks.” Also, I am not proposing that you disrupt your business by sending your staff to months of training and education.

What I am suggesting is that you take the valuable training and on-the-job experience you currently offer and combine them with a world-class spirit and a culture of practice, practice, practice.

Read part 2

- Scott Wintrip

Scott Wintrip, PCC ( is Founder and President of StaffingU, the leader in providing relationship-building techniques guaranteed to grow your business. For information on StaffingU's programs and services, including TeleClasses (live telephone-based classes), Virtual StaffingU (web-based courses), individual and group coaching, on-site training and speaking, and consulting visit or call 866-SU-WORKS (789-6757).