At the lunch I heard two wonderful stories:
Firstly, the injured Essendon Football Club midfielder Jason Wunderlich described his amazing journey from Thorpedale to the EFC. In his early years he loved footy, just loved it. He would play under 16's, under 18's and seniors all in one day! In one year he played an amazing 57 games of senior footy. So his talent is footy. His practice was many thousands of hours of practice, training and playing this unique game. His opportunity came playing AFL, of which very few juniors make it to the top. His success, yet to come but who knows?
The second example of this equation working was then hearing Aaron Sayers tell his story (www.essendon.baseball.com.au/?Page=75173). He has been drafted as a 17 year old to the big league in the USA. Here is the equation again. Dad takes him to baseball game and he falls in love, connects to his talent. Practices seven days a week while his mates are getting boozed. Opportunity came through being seen by a talent scout who then signed him up. Success will come having now met this bright young man, wow what a star.
Interestingly when I approached these two young guys and discussed the theory they agreed, however Jason posed a great question. "What about Damien Prevrill?" The 144 game tagger for EFC had no talent he quipped! However, he went on to comment, in the absence of that, the guy did double the amount of practice, much more than any other player according to Jason. Clearly what he lacked in talent he made up in practice but he did have a starting passion.
So what does this all mean for sales people and sales leaders?
If you have the talent or deep passion for the game of sales and you are prepared to work hard at getting better at your skills then opportunity and success should follow. Recognise your skills and your gaps and never stop learning. Only the best get to the top by relentless practice and learning however, what clearly kicks off their journey is the discovery of their raw talent or passion.
Do you know any other Talent + Practice + Opportunity = Success stories?
Let us know.