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Secret to greatness?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Interesting article that argues hard work and not necessarily talent (although you do have to have some sort of aptitude for what you are trying to accomplish) is the key to being successful.

http://biz.yahoo.com/weekend/great_1.html

-Jeff
post #2 of 24
Might be an important key, to becoming successful. It is not, the key to greatness.
post #3 of 24
Well, isn't there a saying that the key to succes is 10% talent and 90% hard work? So that's nothing new. In addition I might add with Peter Drucker that succes comes with effectivenes - it is better to do the right things rather than just doing things right. So I would suggest that before you practice you figure out what exactly you need to be good at. But I agree: greatness ist something different - I believe the key to greatness is generousity.
post #4 of 24
Thanks Gamelan, great article. Reinforces a point I was debating with a friend.

A.
post #5 of 24
Thread Starter 
i love the concept of "deliberate practice". from the article:

"For example: Simply hitting a bucket of balls is not deliberate practice, which is why most golfers don't get better. Hitting an eight-iron 300 times with a goal of leaving the ball within 20 feet of the pin 80 percent of the time, continually observing results and making appropriate adjustments, and doing that for hours every day - that's deliberate practice. "

my guess is that's Tiger Wood's non-competition day in a nutshell.

-Jeff
post #6 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivan Kipling
Might be an important key, to becoming successful. It is not, the key to greatness.

just an FYI, i took the title from Yahoo. i don't think it's the key to greatness either.

-Jeff
post #7 of 24
I knew that, but thanks for offering to explain.
post #8 of 24
Wasn't it Woody Allen that said that 90% of sucess was just being there?
post #9 of 24
Great article. I've always believed that 'talent' was a useless concept in practical terms -- if it's something you either 'have' or 'don't have', then there's no use worrying about it. The world is full of 'talented' failures and 'untalented' successes.
post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by gamelan
i love the concept of "deliberate practice". from the article:

"For example: Simply hitting a bucket of balls is not deliberate practice, which is why most golfers don't get better. Hitting an eight-iron 300 times with a goal of leaving the ball within 20 feet of the pin 80 percent of the time, continually observing results and making appropriate adjustments, and doing that for hours every day - that's deliberate practice. "

my guess is that's Tiger Wood's non-competition day in a nutshell.

-Jeff

Maybe the talent part comes in when you decide which adjustments to make.
The hard work of "deliberate practice" won't make you into Warren Buffet unless you have the intuitive process (talent) to make the right choice from the multitude presented. Possibly, that's what Buffet meant when he was speaking of being hard wired from birth.
Talent is only a small percentage of the formula but maybe it's the most important part.
post #11 of 24
That's how I see it too, caelte. I could take painting lessons from now until the cows come home, and work from dawn, 'til dark. Velazquez, I'd never be. Same with any, great talent. Saint Laurent lasted for more than forty years, outdoing himself habitually, against enormous pressure, mental instability, and relentless competition. Nobody can practice hard enough, to perform like that.
post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivan Kipling
That's how I see it too, caelte. I could take painting lessons from now until the cows come home, and work from dawn, 'til dark. Velazquez, I'd never be. Same with any, great talent. Saint Laurent lasted for more than forty years, outdoing himself habitually, against enormous pressure, mental instability, and relentless competition. Nobody can practice hard enough, to perform like that.

To show the other side of the coin, permit me to point out Ben Hogan. Or, for that matter - Moe Norman. Both accomplished much more than their modest beginnings would have indicated. Both got to their pinnacles through continuous, diligent, thoughtful hard work and continuous adjustment.

Or, as Arthur Lydiard - the Kiwi Olympic coach - put it, "...there are great champions everywhere; every village, every town, every country"
post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by caelte
Maybe the talent part comes in when you decide which adjustments to make.
The hard work of "deliberate practice" won't make you into Warren Buffet unless you have the intuitive process (talent) to make the right choice from the multitude presented. Possibly, that's what Buffet meant when he was speaking of being hard wired from birth.
Talent is only a small percentage of the formula but maybe it's the most important part.

Why not just seek out other successful people to be coaches and mentors? Many if not most of the skills one person might have 'intuitively' can just as easily be 'learned'. Each of us is probably born with some given set of abilities that can be labeled 'talent', but I think the concept has limited value because it often keeps people focused on what they might not have as opposed to what they can achieve through focused, intentional application of effort.

Somewhere out there may be some guy who has 'naturally' developed the golf swing that Tiger Woods had to work to aquire. And another guy who 'naturally' developed the swing Tiger had before. And someone else who 'naturally' developed the one Tiger had before that. Tiger is no less successful because he had to acquire the swings through deliberate effort. In fact, it puts him at an advantage to perceive his success as entirely within his control and limited only by his willingness to work at it.

The factors will vary depending on the discipline, and obviously a 5'5" guy won't become Michael Jordan and the kid with dyslexia may not end up being the NYTimes Crossword Puzzle champion, but that doesn't mean they can't find a way to be very successful in these realms.

My take on it, anyway.
post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quirk
Many if not most of the skills one person might have 'intuitively' can just as easily be 'learned'. Each of us is probably born with some given set of abilities that can be labeled 'talent'...

Hope I'm not removing too much context, Quirk.

I think what Buffet is suggesting is that some part of his success mechanism wasn't learned.

I've had a guitar for years and fight to gain proficiency and so far, haven't done very well.

I do metalwork but that's different altogether.
The next step to getting better at it, comes almost like an inner voice.
Not a literal voice, but more than just a "feeling".
Even at the beginning I knew what tools to use instinctively.

I've taught metalwork and design here and there over the years and find that part of the process very difficult to transfer.
post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas
To show the other side of the coin, permit me to point out Ben Hogan. Or, for that matter - Moe Norman. Both accomplished much more than their modest beginnings would have indicated. Both got to their pinnacles through continuous, diligent, thoughtful hard work and continuous adjustment.

Or, as Arthur Lydiard - the Kiwi Olympic coach - put it, "...there are great champions everywhere; every village, every town, every country"
Thanks, Thomas . . . I have a tendency to single out, artistic geniuses. Nobody could have worked his way 'up,' to becoming Velazquez, or Saint Laurent. Nobody.
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