What It Takes To Become Exceptional

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Anders Ericsson, Ralf Th. Krampe and Clemens Tesch-Romer co-authored a paper titled The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance.

This paper introduced the world to a new concept that turned the nature and understanding of high performers on its head.

Their research was made famous by author Malcolm Gladwell’s blockbuster book, Outliers, The Story of Success.

That new concept is known as Deliberate Practice.

Deliberate Practice, not innate talent, is what sets expert performers apart from everyone else.

The most effective Deliberate Practice activities are those that can be repeated at high volume.

Instead of practicing only what you are good at, Deliberate Practice requires that you insistently seek out specific things you are not good at, via feedback from mentors or coaches, and then define practice activities that will make you better at those things you are not good at.

This requires an inordinate amount of practice; something most will not do, because it is not fun and it is hard, physically and emotionally.

Deliberate Practice requires a fanatical obsession to improve through repetitive practice and then seek feedback from mentors or coaches, as to your performance.

Gladwell summed up this required investment in improvement, through Deliberate Practice, as The 10,000 Rule – devoting 10,000 hours of Deliberate Practice to your craft, in order to rise to the level of mastery.

So, what are the elements of Deliberate Practice, in achieving mastery?

  1. Identifying Your Weaknesses – Identifying areas within your craft that require improvement.
  2. Defining specific activities around your weaknesses that you can practice on for three to four hours every day.
  3. Seeking feedback from mentors or coaches with respect to your performance in those specific activities.
  4. Deliberately Practicing, over and over again, those specific activities you are not good at, until you gain mastery.
  5. Repeat #1 – 4 for each weakness, until all of your weaknesses improve to the point of mastery.
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Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley is a bestselling author, speaker, and media contributor for Business Insider, CNBC and a few other national media outlets.

His Rich Habits research has been read, viewed or heard by over 50 million people in 25 countries around the world.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, and hold a master’s degree in taxation. As president of Cerefice and Company, CPAs, Tom heads one of the premier financial firms in New Jersey.
 
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