In his new book, Hard Goals, Mark Murphy shares information on a 1992 study by Fortune editor George Colvin which measured the skills of 257 music students. The study showed that there was no correlation between early musical ability and top musical performance. The interesting finding was that the top students practiced 2 hours/day versus 15 minutes for the lowest performing students. He used the numbers to extrapolate total hours of practice for the musicians by age 18. Turns out the top performers would have practiced 7,000 hours, the average ones, 5000 hours and the lower level musicians, 3,400 hours. Natural talent did not appear to be the difference maker.
Thoughts Joe and Wanda?
Joe Kerr: Fortunately I’ve been blessed with both, so it’s not much of a debate for me.
Wanda B. Goode: I think we can all name quite a few very bright people with bad attitudes that have struggled. Similarly, we all know a few with limited skills that light the world on fire with their passion and drive. A good attitude can overcome many deficiencies. As managers, attitude should be a significant consideration during the hiring process.
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