You have probably heard about the 10,000-hour rule created by Malcolm Gladwell in his book “Outliers: The Story of Success.”
Gladwell proposes that the key to success is doing the thing (e.g., practice) in the right amount (10,000 hours).
Execution – doing – is vital for success.
I used the word “created” above on purpose. It is based on real research done by Anders Ericsson, but the way Malcolm Gladwell presents it in his book is not precise.
Ericsson’s research talks about deliberate practice. In other words, the practice is fruitful only if it is intentional. You need to think it out before, and then maintain focus on the right thing during execution.
Think about a lever. The closer the fulcrum is to the load you are trying to lift, the higher the leverage.
If you want to “lift” your idea (i.e., make it successful) quicker and easier, you want to do the “deliberation” as soon as possible, to maximize your leverage.
It’s the leverage that enables you to achieve more—better results in less time and effort (and money invested). The sooner you do the “deliberation” – thinking about your goal, your methods, etc. – the higher the leverage.
It’s natural when you are still in the thinking stage of your idea. But as you start implementing it, the execution leads you away from this type of thinking. It’s important to continue thinking about your idea during its execution. It’s vitally important to do the best and most effective thinking before you start executing your idea. That’s where you get the highest leverage for its success.
Success is about both the “what” and the “how.” Deciding on the right thing to do (the “what”) and then doing it in a conventional way (the “how”), is still better than deciding on the wrong thing to do and doing it excellently.