The Expert on Expertise, K. Anders Ericsson, on “What it takes”

The Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert PerformanceAs I was rereading the Introduction of “The Handbook” this morning, it occurred to me how remarkable it is that there is actually a formal domain of expert performance at all.

Being an ‘expert’ is simultaneously honoured and stigmatized in much of the world. In some parts of the world excellence has even been systematically repressed. And yet, we still want to know “what it takes”.

Successful people spontaneously do things differently from those who stagnate. In particular, they have different practice histories. We consistently see that they engage in “deliberate practice” – they work to innovate the way they do what they do.

You can read more about what the lead editor of The Handbook has to say in an interview with Fast Company here.

Being excellent isn’t easy. But it is a lot more simple than you might believe.