Putting in the Reps

So you think you can dance. I mean write.

Today I checked in with an editor of a recognized monthly business magazine (print and digital) for a stand-alone article I was asked to write. It was an honor. I was given a month to compose it.

I interviewed multiple people for the article, had our own internal head writer tighten it, and then sent it in on time. Slam dunk.

I checked in several times to ensure I was in good standing, and today, when I asked if I needed to change anything, I learned it was received so poorly that they struck it from the August lineup. Rejected.

Talk about an ego enema. I won’t need to eat kale for weeks, I’m so clean.

Writing is like any professional competency, improved with reps. Typically but not always.

  • Providing feedback to someone on their blind spots.
  • Developing a deck that accompanies your Town Hall presentation (accompanies, not supplants).
  • Preparing for your annual budgeting meeting with the CFO.
  • Practicing your 45-minute webcast where you’ll launch a new solution with prospective clients.

Because you’ve done it in the past, doesn’t always equate to a slam dunk in the future. Simple advice, I know. I author a weekly column for inc.com, and here’s a secret: I’ve never submitted an article that didn’t get rejected for some edits before it went live on their site. I’ve authored four books, two are bestsellers and the other two release in 2021. I’ve written hundreds of blogs, articles, and other documents. I have journalist-level practice (I said practice, not talent), and yet still today, I’m rejected.

Not me—just my article. That’s the point I need to remember.

Back to the tablet. Need to check my ego, re-read their advice, and get it tightened up for resubmission. Keep practicing and getting more reps.

That’s also good parenting, marriage, and leadership advice. Rarely do we get it right the first time. More reps will absolutely improve your hit rate. Not ensure it, just improve it.

What do you need to put more time into practicing to improve your hit rate?


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About the Author

Scott Miller

Scott Miller is a 25-year associate of FranklinCovey and serves as Senior Advisor, Thought Leadership. Scott hosts the world’s largest and fastest-growing podcast/newsletter devoted to leadership development, On Leadership. Additionally, Scott is the author of the multi-week Amazon #1 New Release, Management Mess to Leadership Success: 30 Challenges to Become the Leader You Would Follow, and the Wall Street Journal bestseller, Everyone Deserves a Great Manager: The 6 Critical Practices for Leading a Team. Previously, Scott worked for the Disney Development Company and grew up in Central Florida. He lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with his wife and three sons.

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