An expression in basketball to describe a player on a hot scoring
streak who feels and appears unable to miss. But for every up side
there is a downside, the top striker who just can’t score, the
international goal keeper who suddenly can’t be relied on to catch a
cross. The pundits tell us it’s down to confidence and affects people
at whatever level they play. What’s not clear is why people suddenly
lose confidence and how they regain it. Received wisdom is that form
is temporarily where as class Is permanent meaning a skilful player
retains that ability and any drop in performance will be short lived.
But why can’t we retain that self belief, why can’t we be on a life
long hot streak?
The hot hand is not something unique to sport, in business and in
commerce there are similar experiences, the City knows all about
investment bankers on a hot streak. Less dramatically managers are
performers and they to experience those times when all decisions are
right decisions, all outcomes are intended and events pan out as
expected. The opposite is also true. And the question is the same how
do you sustain a hot streak and how do you get out of a slump?
Well one way is to reduce risk, if you always play it safe you
will avoid any dramatic errors but you will also never hit the
heights. Put another way the difference between your high performance
and low performance will be so small no one will notice. This is a
form of consistency but not the consistency that coaches speak off.
So it comes down to self belief and the type of manager you want to
be, a safe pair of hands or one with Hot Hands.
Blair McPherson former Director, author and blogger www.blairmcpherson.co.uk