Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Oprah Winfrey All Use the 5-Hour Rule

Aug 22 2016

This article was written by Michael Simmons, co-founder of Empact, with Ian Chew and Shizuka Ebata; and posted on Inc.com. 

In the article “Malcolm Gladwell Got Us Wrong,” the researchers behind the 10,000-Hour Rule set the record straight: Different fields require different amounts of deliberate practice in order for someone to become world-class.

If 10,000 hours isn’t an absolute rule that applies across fields, what does it really take to become world class in the world of work?

Over the past year, I’ve explored the personal histories of many widely admired business leaders, including Elon Musk, Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Mark Zuckerberg, in order to understand how they apply the principles of deliberate practice.

What I’ve done does not qualify as an academic study, but it does reveal a surprising pattern.

Many of these leaders, despite being extremely busy, have set aside at least an hour a day (or five hours a week) over their entire career for activities that could be classified as deliberate practice or learning.

I call this phenomenon the five-hour rule.

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