Another session from this year’s AESC Americas Conference, Focusing on What Matters, that I found especially inspiring was entitled “Beyond Professional Success: The Dynamic Path.” Based on the book, The Dynamic Path, by James Citrin, a senior director at Spencer Stuart, this session centered on the stages that leaders pass through in their path to excellence, and had a lot to offer to professionals thinking about where they are in their own life/career quest.
In developing his theory of the Dynamic Path, Citrin has spent hours interviewing accomplished experts from all walks of life. He has interviewed business gurus such as Steve Case and Howard Schultz, political figures like Colin Powell and Bill Bradley, and countless sports figures such as Lance Armstrong, Mia Hamm, Billie Jean King, Magic Johnson, and Tiger Woods. What Citrin uncovered is that all share some common steps on the path to greatness. By way of example, Citrin shared what he learned from speaking to Bill Bradley.
Bradley is one of the few sports stars to rise in the world of politics. To achieve greatness as a basketball player, Bradley demonstrated the kind of drive that would help him succeed as a politician. He amassed 3,000 points during his high school basketball career, captained the US basketball team to a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics, and graduated from Princeton and studied as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University before joining the New York Knicks. What made him an outstanding player was old-fashioned hard work. As Citrin tells it, Bradley practiced his shots for 10 years until it became automatic. Ever day after regular practice was over, Bradley would invest an additional three hours practicing his shots from all over the court. The result was perfect performance and flawless execution because it became automatic.