Think about something you’ve learned. For example, how to manage meetings, make effective presentations, write well, play tennis or golf. How to be a good listener, a great salesperson, teacher, parent or surfer. Whatever you know how to do today, you’ve learned it by degrees. I call it learning in layers.

The first layer of learning is mental and mechanical. Intellectually, you understand the concept and can execute it…kind of like paint-by-the-numbers. With practice, the process begins to feel more natural. But, the action still requires thought.

With more repetition, it becomes second nature, requiring far less energy. You’re at the layer I call body-knowledge. You’re competent and able to perform without a second thought. The ‘how-to’ resides in muscle memory in the cells of your body.

Be patient as you, as well as, the people you lead and love, step up to new challenges. Remember, we learn in layers.