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“Talent is not a thing. It’s a process”

By June 27, 2011July 15th, 2018Continuous Improvement

I wish it had been me with such a flash of insight. But it was David Shenk in The Genius In All Of Us.  He goes on to say, “Any ability is a process that involves building up skills.  And we have to have the resources, right attitude, lots of things have to come together.  They often don’t, even if the desire is there.”  And he talks about time; “You have to have lots of it. Some people simply can’t afford that.

Think about it…  It’s not just your innate, genetic heritage that makes you great.  Sure, nature plays a role.  But it’s what you do; how you apply those natural skills to the environment around you.   Sure, nurture plays a role as well.  But how your parents nurture only counts for your first 15 years or so at most.  After that, it’s what you do to nurture you that matters.

Malcom Gladwell adds example after example in Outliers to support his “10,000 Hour Rule.”  That is, one must practice a skill, any skill for 10,000 hours in order to achieve success.

According to the 1,100 page compendium of scholarly research The Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance, it takes at least one and up to five hours of intense, daily, dedicated, deliberate practice and training sustained for 10 years to become an expert.  (Surprise, surprise!!!  Do the math.  That’s 10,000 hours.)

So you want to tell me that great sales reps are born not made?  You want to tell me that the ace performers are on top of the heap due to their in-born skills and abilities.  Bull!!!  They’re simply outworking you.

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