Well – besides making history in their particular fields of excellence – both of these men believe/believed in practicing – a lot.
And I personally believe that the only way to get good at anything, and I do mean anything, is to practice.
As a parent I can tell you that raising kids takes a lot of practice. When we had our first child I struggled at the easiest tasks – like diaper changing.
Now, four kids into this thing, I can change a diaper with two kids draped on my back as I watch my Buckeyes on TV attempt to convert a key third 3rd down. I assure you I was not born with this, um, talent.
Likewise, the first time I ever attempted to draw a value stream map was, let’s say, less than a smashing success. Sure we got it done… and yes, we made things better. But when I look back on that occasion I realize I could have done much better.
But, in order to improve we must take that first step. And after that another… then another… then another.
Malcolm Gladwell recently wrote a book where he claimed that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to master something.
Now, some will argue this fact to be bogus. And some kaizen practitioners may even attempt to prove him wrong. You know what I say? Go for it!