I heard a story once…
Arnold Palmer* was playing in a major when he hit a drive into a bunker on the edge of the green. He strolled up, selected a sand wedge, chipped the ball out of the bunker onto the green and it rolled neatly into the hole. Behind him a spectator muttered something about him being lucky. Palmer turned to the unfortunate chap and said ‘you know what, the more I practice, the luckier I get’.
It’s interesting because recently I’ve been getting that feeling. Not about golf (I’m a lousy player) but about work.
The more effort I put in, the more background reading I do, the more I talk to people and the more training, testing and modelling I do, the better things go.
Sometimes I can see people giving me the old ‘why is he asking that question? Of course we’ve thought of it.’ But the truth is that you can never assume that people have thought the same way you do and checked what you would have.
In the future I’ll be writing some of my findings from the world of project management. It’d be cool to think that maybe somewhere in the world, someone’s project went a little bit smoother because of a lesson I learnt on a tiny project in a little company somewhere in Dorset.
* Of course I’ve heard this story recounted many times since. Often it’s a different golfer involved and the wording is slightly different. Maybe it’s true, maybe not. Funnily enough this doesn’t seem to matter because the point is the same. Practice, preparation and effort all make a difference.