The difficult secret of out-performance

I'm no sports fan.  But recently I was flicking through The Week (www.theweek.co.uk) and saw a piece on Donald Bradman, described as "the greatest sportsman of all time": test average of 99.94, "a good 25 runs ahead of the rest." 

Now, I don't know the first thing about cricket (and not being native to these shores probably never really will).  But I do know that most business leaders would give almost anything for that level of performance above their competitors.  Without taking anything away from the gifts he was born with or the hard work he put in, there seems to be a consensus that a major part why he was able to do better is that he used a style that others didn't - in other words he did things differently. 

And that, in a nutshell, is the difficult secret of out-performance.  In today's world, just following the accepted wisdom is a recipe for mediocre performance.  If you want to out-perform, you have to be willing to step away from what the experts say (at least in selected areas) and find your own path.  Put starkly, the choice is between aiming for out-performance by trying something different (and potentially failing) or staying in the middle of the herd and guaranteeing at best average performance. 

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