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What It Takes to Be Great Essay

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What It Takes To Be Great.
April 22, 2010 by duffgibson
There was an article written by Geoffrey Colvin of Fortune Magazine and published on October 30, 2006 that seems to get mentioned regularly on the web.   It refers to well-established research indicating that it takes about 10000 hours of practice to become great at a particular skill.   Colvin’s conclusion is that there’s no such thing as having   natural talent for something because proficiency at the highest level can only come from years and years of very specific training and dedication.   It’s a very interesting read and I’m including a link to the article today because our post on Monday relates to the author’s conclusions.


(Fortune Magazine) — What makes Tiger Woods great? What made Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett the world’s premier investor? We think we know: Each was a natural who came into the world with a gift for doing exactly what he ended up doing. As Buffett told Fortune not long ago, he was “wired at birth to allocate capital.” It’s a one-in-a-million thing. You’ve got it – or you don’t.

Well, folks, it’s not so simple. For one thing, you do not possess a natural gift for a certain job, because targeted natural gifts don’t exist. (Sorry, Warren.) You are not a born CEO or investor or chess grandmaster. You will achieve greatness only through an enormous amount of hard work over many years. And not just any hard work, but work of a particular type that’s demanding and painful.

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