December 27, 2010

Book Short: Beyond 10,000 Hours

Book Short: Beyond 10,000 Hours In Outliers: The Story of Success, by Malcolm Gladwell (post, buy), we are taught, among other things, that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert at something, as well as a dash of luck and timing, as opposed to huge amounts of innate and unique talent.  In Talent is Overrated, by Geoff Colvin, this theory comes to life, with a very clear differentiating point – it’s not just logging the 10,000 hours, it’s HOW the hours are spent. Colvin’s main point is that the hours need to be spent in what he calls “deliberate practice.”  The elements of deliberate practice are best explained with his example of Jerry Rice, although you can apply these to any discipline: He spent very little time playing football (e.g., most of his practice was building specific skills, not playing the game) He designed his practice to work on specific needs While supported by others, he did much of the work on his own (e.g., it can be repeated a lot, and there are built-in feedback loops) It wasn’t fun He defied the conventional limits of age If you’re the kind of person who cares deeply about […]