There’s a myth about highly talented people—that they are simply born that way.

Here is what I know: you reach your potential when you are willing to practice. And not just practice often, but practice effectively.

That’s because you play to the level at which you practice. Consistently good practice leads to consistently good play. Successful leaders understand this, and they apply it.

If I were to sum up what lifts successful leaders above the crowd, I’d do it in four words: a little bit more. Successful leaders pay their dues by doing all that is expected of them—plus a little bit more.

Can you guess where the “little bit more” happens?

In practice!

I find two essential truths about the power of practice:

Practice Enables Development

Practice is where old skills are refined and new skills are acquired. Practice is where the tension between where we are and where we ought to be propels us forward. In order to be successful we must first buy-in to the reality that practice enables development.

Practice Demands Discipline

I believe that talent is not a matter of conditions; it is a matter of choice. Once the choice is made and practice becomes a habit, two things become obvious: 1) a separation between the person who practices and the one who doesn’t, and 2) a winning spirit emerges. The harder you work, the harder it becomes to surrender.

To sharpen your talent through practice, you not only need to be open to change, you need to pursue change.

  • Don’t change just enough to get away from your problems—change enough to solve them.
  • Don’t change your circumstances to improve your life—change yourself to improve your circumstances.
  • Don’t do the same old things expecting to get different results—get different results by doing something new.
  • Don’t see change as something hurtful that must be done—see it as something helpful that should be done.
  • Don’t avoid paying the immediate price of change—if you do, you will pay the ultimate price of never improving.

Successful leaders practice! They practice harder, longer and more effectively than unsuccessful leaders do.

To sharpen your talent you must first improve your practice. Here are 5 questions that will help you:

  1. What specifically are you trying to improve?
  2. What does your best look like?
  3. What changes can you make to give yourself more freedom to fail while improving your talent?
  4. What are you willing to sacrifice to reach this next level?
  5. What is the “little bit more” you will start doing today?

Take 15 minutes to answer these questions, and put the power of practice to work for you today!


  1. Vivian C Carver on March 15, 2019 at 1:28 pm

    Zigg Ziggler was an icon . This blog was fantastic thank you.

  2. Gloria Uchefuna on March 19, 2019 at 3:49 pm

    Very enlightening blog. Please I need more of these for my leadership transformation.
    Thanks immensely

  3. HAE on March 20, 2019 at 2:43 am

    I ned more practice. I am willing to change.

  4. A Little Bit More on March 22, 2019 at 2:01 am

    […] The Power of Practice from the John C. Maxwell Blog […]

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  6. Jamal on April 5, 2019 at 12:43 pm

    Wow thanks this helped me a lot 😉

  7. Jamal on April 5, 2019 at 12:44 pm

    Wow this helped me a lot 😉

  8. […] * This article was originally published here […]

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