Getting the Best Value from Experience (and the Myth of 10,000 hours) | Summary and Q&A

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May 18, 2021
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Online PM Courses - Mike Clayton
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Getting the Best Value from Experience (and the Myth of 10,000 hours)

TL;DR

Deliberate practice, not just sheer hours of experience, is crucial for success in project management.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What is the myth of ten thousand hours?

The myth of ten thousand hours suggests that 10,000 hours of practice is the key to mastering a craft or skill, as described by Malcolm Gladwell in his book "Outliers."

Q: Why is there a mismatch between Anders Ericsson's findings and Gladwell's assertions?

Anders Ericsson, whose research Gladwell's argument is based on, has called out Gladwell due to the disparity between Ericsson's emphasis on deliberate practice and Gladwell's oversimplified interpretation.

Q: What is the difference between two project managers with ten years of experience?

While both project managers have ten years of experience, one has repetitive experience in similar projects, while the other has diverse experiences in various functions, industries, sectors, and with different teams and cultures.

Q: Why is deliberate practice important in project management?

Deliberate practice allows project managers to take on challenges that stretch their abilities, choose to learn new things, and consciously reflect on their experiences to continually develop and grow.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Malcolm Gladwell's argument about the myth of ten thousand hours is challenged by researcher Anders Ericsson, emphasizing the importance of deliberate practice.

  • Experience and practice are necessary, but the quality and variety of experiences are equally important.

  • Deliberate practice involves choosing challenging tasks that stretch your abilities and consciously reflecting on the lessons learned.

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