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Personal Development

EXPERIENCE VERSUS EXCELLENCE

Experience
I believe in excellence but when it comes to experience, I have a different stand. Excellence is what makes you different. The spirit of excellence is admirable so is its manifestation. Experience on the other hand doesn’t require so much spirit. You just need to be there. It may not be as admirable as you’d tend to imagine; I mean, think about an experienced failure. Spare me the story of Thomas Edison for a second.

Experience is relative. That’s why most job adverts use the code “at least __ years of experience”. I’m of the opinion excellence is absolute within a specific range for a particular thing.

Experience gives you a chance to sharpen your skills, and tend towards excellence. In other words, it gives you a chance to exercise your spirit of and for excellence. That’s why I think Frank Lampard did the right thing during Chelsea’s 4-0 defeat to Manchester United. Jose Mourinho disagrees with me. Which is no surprise. The guy has been overly criticized throughout his career for lack of faith in young players. Heads-up, never get surprised when someone isn’t pleased with your few years of experience despite your demonstration of excellence. You can’t blame them for their belief.

Actually, according to Mourinho; an injured but experienced player is more useful in the pitch than on the bench compared to a fit young player.

I believe excellence and experience are more complementary than supplementary. Most human beings are driven by passion. A desire for satisfaction. That drive is what makes people want to be good, better, the best and ultimately; the star. The Greatest Of All Time!

Depending on who’s your GOAT when it comes to football, am sure you’d raise your eyebrows if Messi got benched for an unconvincing reason. I would. As a leader, most of the time, your focus is the success of the team, the success of the project. As a result, you may end up giving more focus to those who have proven themselves excellent forgetting what they have is experience.

Time and seasons happen to all men. Chances are given, chances are taken. Am sure Mourinho will agree with the later. Frank Lampard on the other hand would takes chances with taking chances. Lampard knowing very well he was playing against a team with a know-how took chances with the idea of a possible loss to give chance to young players.

As a leader, you have a chance to break or make. Sometimes you can only break in order to make. After all, nobody said all experienced people are excellent or only experienced people are excellent. Take chances with your young players and give them a chance to exhibit excellence. While doing that, you have to be ready to defend them, in case anything goes south as Lampard would say. You can’t take credit from someone else’s deeds where it’s convenient and evade it when it’s not.

Balancing excellence with experience is the point. The question is; who are your young players? Is it that young intern who according to your thirty years of experience knows nothing? Is it that fourth year medical student trying to make a presentation and you can’t stop wondering ‘what a mess’  just because you put on a golden nametag? Whoever they are, let them bloom. Winter is coming.

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