Thursday, January 07, 2010

Is there a CEO gene?

Are the most talented among us the ones who are destined for greatness? If so, where does that talent come from? Despite the fact that we live in the age of genomic research, no specific genes for what we call "talent" have been been identified. According to, even if we do find the talent gene, it is unlikely that it would provide the entire explanation for why some people achieve greatness.

What research has found, however, is that the key to greatness is something they call deliberate practice.

"Deliberate practice is a specific and unique kind of activity, neither work nor play. It's characterized by several elements that together form a powerful whole. The greatest performers have consistently combined these elements, sometimes just by luck."

The elements of deliberate practice are worth examining. They include:

  1. Deliberate practice is designed specifically to improve performance.

  2. Deliberate practice can be repeated a lot.

  3. Feedback on results is continuously available.

  4. It's highly demanding mentally.

  5. It's hard.

  6. It demands self-regulation
    • Before the work

    • During the work

    • After the work

Read the article here.

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