Carnegie Mellon’s Robert E. Kelley spent ten years looking for the differences and found that stars are made, not born.
A nebbish can evolve into a star. What distinguishes stars are the strategies they use to do their work and to work effectively with others — strategies that allow them to double their productivity improvement rates while working less.
Undoubtedly, the prerequisites for success change with the times.
Kelley says the percentage of the knowledge you need to memorize to do your job is shrinking rapidly:
- 1986: 75%
- 1997: 15-20%
- 2006: 8 -10% estimated
Knowing how to get the answers you need is more important than storing those answers in your head, especially with the shorter lifespan of knowledge these days. What you find when look something up is probably current. What you already know is more and more likely to be out of date.
A vital meta-learning skill: how to find the answer you need, online or off.