Start reading Talent Is Overrated on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here or start reading now with a free Kindle Reading App.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

 
 
 

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Anybody can read Kindle books Ė even without a Kindle device-with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones and tablets.
Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else
 
 

Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else [Kindle Edition]

Geoff Colvin
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £12.99
Kindle Price: £7.79 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
You Save: £5.20 (40%)
* Unlike print books, digital books are subject to VAT.

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition £7.79  
Hardcover --  
Paperback £9.09  
Audio, CD, Audiobook, CD, Unabridged £44.51  
Amazon.co.uk Trade-In Store
Did you know you can use your mobile to trade in your unwanted books for an Amazon.co.uk Gift Card to spend on the things you want? Visit the Books Trade-In Store for more details or check out the Trade-In Amazon Mobile App Guidelines on how to trade in using a smartphone. Learn more.


Product Description

Review

A fascinating study of great achievers from Mozart to Tiger Woods, and he has brilliantly highlighted the fact that great effort equals great success. Talent Is Overrated is not only inspiring but enlightening. It's a terrific read all the way through. --Donald Trump

A profoundly important book. With clarity and precision, Geoff Colvin exposes one of the fundamental misconceptions of modern life - that our ability to excel depends on innate qualities. This is a rare business book that will prompt you to think and inspire you to act. --Daniel H Pink, author of A Whole New Mind

What an exciting book! Talent Is Overrated explains where tomorrow's business champions will really come from. Read it-it is truly research based. It's a real breakthrough. --Ram Charan, coauthor of Execution

Product Description

What if everything you know about raw talent, hard work, and great performance is wrong? Few, if any, of the people around you are truly great at what they do. But why aren't they? Why don't they manage businesses like Jack Welch or Andy Grove, play golf like Tiger Woods or play the violin like Itzhak Perlman? Asked to explain why a few people truly excel, most of us offer one of two answers: hard work or a natural talent. However, scientific evidence doesn't support the notion that specific natural talents make great performers.

In one of the most popular Fortune articles in years, Geoff Colvin offered new evidence that top performers in any field – from Tiger Woods and Winston Churchill to Warren Buffett and Jack Welch – are not determined by their inborn talents. Greatness doesn’t come from DNA but from practice and perseverance honed over decades. And not just plain old hard work, but a very specific kind of work. The key is how you practise, how you analyse the results of your progress and learn from your mistakes, that enables you to achieve greatness.

Now Colvin has expanded his article with much more scientific background and real-life examples. He shows that the skills of business – negotiating deals, evaluating financial statements, and all the rest – obey the principles that lead to greatness, so that anyone can get better at them with the right kind of effort. Even the hardest decisions and interactions can be systematically improved. This new mind-set, combined with Colvin’s practical advice, will change the way you think about your job and career – and will inspire you to achieve more in all you do.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 408 KB
  • Print Length: 252 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1591842247
  • Publisher: Nicholas Brealey Publishing (4 Jan 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.ŗ r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004HYH7K6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #38,192 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?


More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
90 of 94 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deliberate practice stretches you 26 Nov 2008
Format:Paperback
I intended to write a review of Malcolm Galdwell's book Outliers: The Story of Success but I came across this book and I was surprised to find I like this book more. The book not only debugs the talent myth, the believe that talent is a dominant factor in high achievement (which Gladwell has done too in several publications). It also operationalizes the concept of deliberate practice. This concept was introduced by Anders Ericsson, a leading researcher in the field of expertise development. Colvin explains that deliberate practice can be described by these five characteristics:

1. It's designed specifically to improve performance
2. It can be repeated a lot
3. Feedback on results is continously available
4. It's highly demanding mentally
5. It isn't much fun

Deliberate practice is hard and not particularly enjoyable because it means you are focusing on improving areas in your performance that are not satisfactory. Thus, it stretches you. If you'll be able to do deliberate practice, you'll benefit by becoming better. Especially if you'll be able to keep it up for extremely long periods of time. Much research has shown that top performance in a wide array of fields is always based on an extreme amount of deliberate practice. It is hard to find a top performer in any field that has not been working extremely hard to get there. What does 'extremely hard' mean? Well, researchers Herbert Simon and Allen Newel used to say that you need at least 10 years before reaching top performance. Now, researchers have refined their estimate, saying coming up with a figure of 10000 hours. An interesting thing about deliberate practice is that its effect is cumulative. You can compare it with a road you're traveling on. Any distance you have travelled on that road counts.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic content, could be written better 19 Aug 2010
Format:Paperback
The content of this fantastic, it shows how top performers have a certain set of conditions and methods of practice that allow them to improve and outperform their peers. Colvin talks about the concept of deliberate practice, which is a very specific way of developing your abilities.

If there is a problem, it is because it falls between 2 stools. It is quite entertaining but a singular topic is never engrossing enough to make it as enjoyable as a great popular science book such as Blink or Freakonomics, nor is the subject as complex or as thought provoking as something like the Black Swan.

This could lead the book down a more self improvement orientated route, however, Colvin doesn't really throw himself into this. He sets out observations about elite performers but not once does he talk to you enthusiastically about how this could affect your life. He does set out all the ingredients of deliberate practice but this is spread over about 100 pages of the book so if you wanted a cut out and keep framework to deliberate practice then you will have to fish through these and make it yourself.

Being editor of fortune magazine, he does dedicate a few chapters to how businesses can benefit from deliberate practice, and maybe this is the point of the book, however if you are not concerned about this then skip these chapters, the book is still very readable for a non business person.

I have given it 4 stars for a reason, despite its shortcomings. The understanding of the content of this book is vital to anyone who wants to become exceptional in any field, the fact that it is not quite presented in the ideal format is of little consequence.

It is readable, it is quite entertaining but more importantly, if you apply the principles in this book it could be life changing.
Was this review helpful to you?
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Telling examination of the power of practicing 17 May 2010
By Rolf Dobelli TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Author Geoff Colvin rejects the popular notion that the genius of a Tiger Woods, a Mozart or a Warren Buffett is inborn uniquely to only a few individuals. He cites research that refutes the value of precocious, innate ability and he provides numerous examples of the intensely hard work that high achievement demands. Best performers' intense, "deliberate practice" is based on clear objectives, thorough analysis, sharp feedback, and layered, systematic work. getAbstract finds that Colvin makes his case clearly and convincingly. He shows readers how to use hard work and deliberate practice to improve their creative achievements, their work and their companies. The author's argument about the true nature of genius is very engaging, but, in the end, he makes it clear that the requirements of extraordinary achievement remain so stringent that society, after all, turns out to have very few geniuses. Colvin admits that the severe demands of true, deliberate practice are so painful that only a few people master it, but he also argues that you can benefit from understanding the nature of great performance. Perhaps, he says, the real gift of genius is the capacity for determined practice. You can improve your ability to create and innovate once you accept that even talent isn't a free ticket to great performance. It takes work.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
50 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deliberate practice "hurts but it works." 5 Nov 2008
By Robert Morris TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Colvin set out to answer this question: "What does great performance require?" In this volume, he shares several insights generated by hundreds of research studies whose major conclusions offer what seem to be several counterintuitive perspectives on what is frequently referred to as "talent." (See Pages 6-7.) In this context, I am reminded of Thomas Edison's observation that "vision without execution is hallucination." If Colvin were asked to paraphrase that to indicate his own purposes in this book, my guess (only a guess) is that his response would be, "Talent without deliberate practice is latent" and agrees with Darrell Royal that "potential" means "you ain't done it yet." In other words, there would be no great performances in any field (e.g. business, theatre, dance, symphonic music, athletics, science, mathematics, entertainment, exploration) without those who have, through deliberate practice developed the requisite abilities.

It occurs to me that, however different they may be in almost all other respects, athletes such as Cynthia Cooper, Roger Federer, Michael Jordan, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Lorena Ochoa, Candace Parker, Michael Phelps, Vijay Singh, and Tiger Woods "make it look so easy" in competition because their preparation is so focused, rigorous, and thorough. Obviously, they do not win every game, match, tournament, etc. Colvin's point (and I agree) is that all great performers "make it look so easy" because of their commitment to deliberate practice, often for several years before their first victory. In fact, Colvin cites a "ten-year rule" widely endorsed in chess circles (attributed to Herbert Simon and William Chase) that "no one seemed to reach the top ranks of chess players without a decade or so of intensive study, and some required much more time.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good read if you're into this sort of stuff.
I like this book very much, i mean the basic premis is that if you work hard you'll achieve results. Hell our parents have been telling us that forever! Read more
Published 2 months ago by Raul Endymion
4.0 out of 5 stars Really good book, with highly recommended
Great book, really easy to read and fall, would have a recommend this to anyone who's interested in productivity and talent management
Published 3 months ago by derek
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent insight
A must-read for anyone who wishes to make the most of their lives, or their kids' lives. Also read Mathew Syed's "Bounce".
Published 5 months ago by W. A. Tapley
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
Hammers home the concept that deliberate practice is required to become great, "knowbody is born great", he also talks about passion & desire which is something i have in... Read more
Published 8 months ago by marcus smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring
An inspiring read, daring you to push a little harder and do a little more. Although many will feel they might never become truly great, this book reassures the few who will and... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Bacon
5.0 out of 5 stars A really thought provoking book.
I found this book highly interesting and it has made me rethink how people reach the top. Although difficult to relate to my boring every day life!
Published 12 months ago by Roakes
5.0 out of 5 stars SIMPLY BRILLIANT
During my life I have read many excellent information books. This one rates at or near the very top. Read more
Published 12 months ago by R. Steele
5.0 out of 5 stars Hey! It puts the cats among the pigeon WHERE TALENT ID IS CONCERNED!
I used this book as back ground reading while researching my literature review for an assignment (BSc Sport performance) regarding talent identification. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Olmec
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book
Really thought provoking research. Be prepared to bore your friends witless with what it tell us about how to succeed
Published 14 months ago by boudicca
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book
This book is more oriented towards business but the research can applied to anything skill-based. I found his examples of Mozart and Woods really interesting and some of his... Read more
Published 14 months ago by juniordoc
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Popular Highlights

 (What's this?)
&quote;
Deliberate practice is characterized by several elements, each worth examining. It is activity designed specifically to improve performance, often with a teacherís help; it can be repeated a lot; feedback on results is continuously available; itís highly demanding mentally, whether the activity is purely intellectual, such as chess or business-related activities, or heavily physical, such as sports; and it isnít much fun. &quote;
Highlighted by 52 Kindle users
&quote;
By contrast, deliberate practice requires that one identify certain sharply defined elements of performance that need to be improved, and then work intently on them. &quote;
Highlighted by 40 Kindle users
&quote;
The great performers isolate remarkably specific aspects of what they do and focus on just those things until they are improved; then itís on to the next aspect. &quote;
Highlighted by 37 Kindle users

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions
   



Look for similar items by category


ARRAY(0xa4d0fc84)