Amateurs practice until they get it right; professionals practice until they can’t get it wrong.
[Originating source unknown]
Simple and straightforward, yet; ponderable…
Amateurs practice to learn how to do something. So they can do it correctly. So they can get it right.
An amateur’s practice is about expanding possibility. Building capability. So they can do that thing that they want to do.
But a professional’s practice is quite different!
Professionals practice so they can get it right …
… every. single. time.
They practice until they’re confident they can’t get it wrong.
For professionals, it’s not enough to know that they can do something. They practice so they can know they can always do it!
We might say that a professional’s practice is all about building exceptional capability; the capability to always perform, despite the myriad factors that can inhibit, or constrain.
To perform without exception.
* * * * *
Up to now, I’ve stayed within the framing of the quote. By that I mean I’ve explored the concept from the point of view of the individual. Amateurs, and professionals.
But my pondering leads me to expand the application.
Are there amateur organizations and professional organizations?
And when considering “practice” within an organizational context, some killer questions pop:
Are there amateur organizations that design, staff, train, and invest in developing the organization to enable meeting business goals … and professional organizations that design, staff, train, and invest in developing the organization to enable exceptional and sustained business performance?
Are there organizations that at one time were “professional”, actually committing to investing in developing capabilities that would lead to exceptional performance, but somewhere along the way began operating in a way we might now describe as amateurish, wanting to simply be able to meet current performance expectations?
Are there amateur organizations that invest just enough to get it right and professional organizations that invest to insure they can perform without exception?
Yes, yes, and yes.