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10,000 Hours

(Part Seven) – Proficiency doesn’t happen overnight.

The state of Wisconsin is a massive organization. Our total Gross Domestic Production, the number of all goods and services produced, is the size of the entire country of Singapore! Few states have the breadth of enterprise Wisconsin enjoys. As such, our state recently moved from number 2, to the number 1 slot in manufacturing nationally. For all the talk about the new oil boom and expanding economy of our friends in North Dakota, our state (with aviation, health and mining equipment, paper, machining, agriculture and so much more) produces in 10 weeks what they do in a year.

With a massive economy comes an equally massive government. Wisconsin’s annual budget is now around $36 billion, or nearly $100,000,000 spent each and every day. To put that into perspective, it takes the same amount to run the state for a single day as it does to run the city of Green Bay for a full year. Virtually every state entity, such as the Department of Public Instruction, the Department of Transportation, and the Department of Corrections, are the size of our largest companies, each with multi-billion dollar budgets and thousands of employees.

Politicians that claim they are going to go to Madison to singlehandedly push their own agenda fail. Getting elected is one thing, being able to comprehend the job is another issue all together.

Author Malcolm Gladwell writes about the requirements for proficiency, and then demonstrates that in just about every field it takes around 10,000 hours. Want to be a concert level flautist? If you practice 1 hour every day, you will be that good in 27 years. Great basketball player? If you practice 20 hours per week, in 10 years you will be. There is a reason it takes so long to become a surgeon.

I think we need to hire representatives that have their full 10,000 hours in.

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