10,000 Hours to Excellence
If you haven’t heard about the 10,000 hour rule, then you should hear about it now. The concept came from research performed by Anders Ericsson, which had as its goal to figure out what actually makes a someone an expert. Malcolm Gladwell expanded on this study in his book, Outliers, wherein he presents the finding that it takes 10,000 hours of practicing anything to become exceedingly proficient at it. By putting in this sort of time commitment, a person develops a keen awareness of his/her chosen subject matter and it marks the difference between those who may be good something and those who are great at something.
Gladwell uses the Beatles as an example of proof as to how this 10,000 hours of practice pays off. He even quotes John Lennon indicating as much: “We got better and got more confidence. We couldn’t help it with all the experience playing all night long…In Liverpool, we’d only ever done one-hour sessions, and we just used to do our best numbers, the same ones, at every one. In Hamburg, we had to play for eight hours, so we really had to find a new way of playing.” – from page 49 of Outliers.
It seems like an awful lot of time, doesn’t it? 10,000 hours is 416.67 solid 24 hour days, 7 days a week. Since no one can continually practice something 24/7, let’s break it down more realistically. If you consider practicing 10,000 hours in 8-hour spurts each day, that’s 1,250 days, 7 days a week. This is possible, but much more difficult to never miss a day or take breaks for weekends or holidays. If you are committed, it’s possible and you’ll have accomplished your goal in just 3.42 years!
But. Let’s get real. Most people work 50 weeks a year, some get more time off, so let’s go with 49 weeks of work a year. And let’s presume you are working at “The Thing” you want to develop into an expertise, but you have a social life and family and whatnot, so you don’t work on weekends. That’s 245 8-hour days a year to dedicate to your craft. In just 5.10 years, you will have made it to expert level achievement! Good for you! Assuming you don’t have a change in employment, or a promotion that changes your aspect of work to a different subject matter, or a company reorganization effort that changes the tone of everything in your job description.
It’s not at all impossible, but it does take dedication, hard work, commitment, and no time goofing off at the water cooler. This is why “experience” is such a desired trait of almost every job announcement beyond “entry level.” It’s why employers take note of how long you stayed in other, similar positions. Even with entry level jobs, most employers want evidence of your “experience” with computers, software, being a team-player, etc. It matters, because it means you have the ability to bring excellence to your work. And, ultimately, that’s how you earn the big bucks.
However, if you work for a company or organization that realizes it needs experts to help solve problems or move the growth of the organization to the next level, you are probably going to need a team of people with that 10,000-hour level of experience to really get the job done right. Where are you going to find that?
Right here at TechCORE MSS. If you are implementing a new BPM or CRM system, if you are struggling with an old system that desperately needs to be modernized, or if you are looking for a company that actually delivers what it claims to deliver, we have the team of experts that will make all the difference in your business success. We have been early, consistent industry partners with Pega and Appian working in public and private sector spaces. Our employees each have extensive training, as well as real-world, on-the-job experience, and several have exceeded the 10,000-hour threshold to become experts in their field–this includes each member of our leadership team.
To understand more about how TechCORE MSS can help your company or organization move toward excellence in business and realize true success, contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 703-337-4300. We love talking shop!