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Charlotte Lee - Collecting Rubber Ducks and the Path to Mastery

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Published on Oct 29, 2012

Charlotte Lee is a "reasonably successful" Assistant Professor at the University of Washington and is considered to be an expert in her field. However, in order to become an expert she first had to learn how to become an expert at all. While she learned a lot from her professors about how to BE an expert, her real education in terms of how to BECOME an expert was through collecting rubber duckies.

Long before I became a professor, Charlotte became a Guinness World Record holder for World's Largest Rubber Duck Collection.

Charlotte talks about different elements of mastery as they play out in duck collecting but that can be applied to any area of expertise:
* Practice assertive befriending: Make a real effort to get to know people who know things you don't;
* Build a community around you -- introduce people to each other and draw them into conversations together; Study little details to understand larger trends;
* Make new sense of the world -- develop typologies to help others see things they could not before;
* Take the high road and the longer view - Don't be a jerk and pace yourself.

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