While Malcolm Gladwell made it famous, Anders Ericsson did the original research revealing the insight that to arrive at mastery in a cognitive rich domain requires no less than 10,000 hours of deliberate practice. Roughly speaking this is 10 years. We find that while the “10,000 hour” bit captured the public interest, it is the second research insight regarding the nature of the activity during those hours that matters more.
Ericsson called it “deliberate practice” and the rest of us might describe it as hard grind. And it is. Deliberate practice is working just beyond our existing capability. Stretching. Failing. Getting feedback regularly and then going again. It is arduous, effortful, frequently tedious and yet richly rewarding over time.
As the 10,000 hours is amassed in an individual they begin to see problems more clearly, pattern recognition goes up and they can find solutions faster.
Our team have all ground out their 10,000 hours.