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To be a top-performing organization, your company must squash the competition in every area. 

To get there, business coach John Spence recommends focusing on the four Ps of success: passion, persistence, practice and pattern recognition. 

Spence is a big fan of breaking daunting concepts like success into simple, bite-sized components. Based on his experience working with dozens of high-level businesses, he says these four ideas will guide you to the top.

Here’s a quick guide to each of the four Ps:


Your employees must be engaged and motivated by their passion for your mission. Leaders must show passion to help motivate employees to do their best work. 

One way to instill more passion in your organization: play to everyone’s interests and strengths. If you know someone has a related special hobby or skill, let them take the reins on that particular assignment or aspect of a project. People enjoy tapping into their skills and taking on the role of “subject matter expert” because it makes them feel like a valuable part of the team.


Fail forward, take risks, and try new things. 

Backing down as soon as something goes wrong and being afraid of failure will drag your organization down. Keep trying when the first method or program doesn’t work out.

Don’t allow your organization to remain stagnant because of roadblocks that are difficult to overcome. Push through and push forward. Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance when something is out of your wheelhouse. Seek help from consultants when needed. Hire more experts. Recognize your limitations and then work around them.


Deliberate is the key word here, but “deliberate practice” doesn’t fit as nicely into the four P’s. 

Deliberate practice requires some form of accountability. It helps to have a coach, a mentor, a consultant or colleague to hold you accountable and push you to practice the more difficult aspects of the work.

In his best-selling book “Outliers,” Malcolm Gladwell, defines effective practice by the time put in. According to Gladwell’s research, it takes about 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to become an expert in something.

Pattern recognition

Pattern recognition comes with lots of passion and practice. Once you’re deeply involved in a process, you start to see things in a new light. You can find loopholes and shortcuts that will allow you to optimize your workflow and cut down on time. 

You can save your association time and money by learning to recognize patterns. It will help you streamline processes and prevent you from having to do too much work from scratch.

Heather Nolan
Post by Heather Nolan
November 18, 2020
Heather a skilled communicator with expertise in social media and marketing strategy, brand management and journalism. She uses storytelling and audience growth skills to help companies showcase their brand and expand their reach.