09/16/2014 08:37 am ET Updated Sep 16, 2014

Want To Be Great? Make Yourself Uncomfortable

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Let’s say someone wants to learn to build a cabinet. Imagine that person being encouraged to read a number of books about successful cabinet-builders, and what has worked for them in their careers. Then imagine that person sitting in a room with a bunch of other cabinet-making-hopefuls, listening to someone who has studied cabinet-makers share his or her theory of cabinet making, who then has them take a test to see whether they’ve understood the theory. Finally, imagine that the person working with a smaller group of novices to review a case study about a complex cabinet-making job, and decide how they would approach completing the job, given what they’ve learned from the books they’ve read and the professors they’ve heard. Their group is then graded on whether the teacher, who may or may not have ever built a cabinet, thinks their solutions are appropriate and feasible.

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