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Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else Paperback – 6 Nov 2008
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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)
Excellent. (The Wall Street Journal)
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. Then, drawing on an array of compelling stories and stacks of research, he reveals the true path to high performance - deliberate practice fueled by intrinsic motivation. 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)
Colvin convincingly argues that top performers in business as well as in sports, in science and in the arts owe their success to the intense practice of key skills rather than to some unique genius. (Newsweek)
Mr Colvin reassures us that the techniques for greatness can be learnt easily. (The Times)
The core principle underlying Geoff Colvin's new book is that hard work pays. Indeed, Colvin gives all of us mortals hope. (Luke Johnson Management Today)
Geoff Colvin has done all of us a great service... this gem will be my pick for the best business books of the year. It's a brilliant piece of work, and it deserves to be studied by anyone involved in human development. (The Leadership Challenge)
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)
I rejoice! In this amply researched, adroitly reasoned, and lucently written book, Geoff Colvin democratizes the potentiality to be a success - in any field. Even if you didn't talk to the baby nurses the moment you were born, write a sonata before you were two, or create a global lemonade-stand business in grammar school, you have the potential to be a great orator, a master composer, or a Jack Welch. If you have the urge, go for it! Geoff tells you how to get there, and what he says comports totally with my own experiences in sports, law, and business. (Herb Kelleher, cofounder and chairman, Southwest Airlines)
Geoff Colvin takes us on a tour de force to understanding exceptional performance; using the arts, science, and business, his book shows us how some humans are Olympian in their achievements. The book is packed with useful insights and ultimately a 'mirror test,' two profound questions for readers pondering their own potential for exceptional performance: What do you want? And what do you believe? This book opens you to deep self-reflection. (Noel Tichy, coauthor (with Warren Bennis) of Judgment; professor, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan)
Greatness doesn't come from DNA but from practice and perseverance honed over decades. This new mindset, combined with Colvin's practical advice, will change the way you think about your life and work - and will inspire you to achieve more in everything you do.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
Some of the chapters are mildly interesting but only a few concepts, that Colvin briefly touches upon, really appealed to me:
- The concept of metacognition
- The Whiz Kids that Ford brought in after World War II to drastically increase their performance
- The dream team that Herb Brooks put together for the Lake Placid Olympics in 1980
- The conclusion that legendary top executive teams are nearly always pairs, who developed deep trust over many years and produced outstanding results.
All in all this doesn't live up to its promise but has its thought provoking moments.
The book explains what "deliberate practice" is and to how apply it in your personal and professioanl life. I highly recommend to anyone who wants to achieve something to get a hold of this book.
Like a lot of these types of books it started out as a magazine article and the author has extended it but has added very little of substance.
A lot of questions are left unanswered and just by looking at the reviews you can probably gain as much as you would get from actually reading it.
Talent is overrated gives dozens of examples of great performance based on deliberate practice, gives referenced notes of every paper or research named in the book and takes the time to argue why some ways of training work better than others.
The author gives some advice on how to use this on companies and teams, how to avoid what most organizations do to destroy any chance of great performance and deliberate practice. This part is very interesting if you are starting a business or planning to do so.
I am sorry for those who claim, after reading it, that talent is necessary to achieve greatness, because they just won't have any of it. In fact, I could place a bet here: you, the naysayers, go and ask any great performer, go and ask any great sportsman, any business "prodigy", any "talented" musician or scientist. Tell them that they are the best in their fields because they had a "gift", tell them that they didn't work HARDER AND BETTER (which is more hours but also, and more importantly, well planned time and objectives) than anybody else. They will laugh at the idea.
Michellangelo Buonarroti, arguably the greatest artist of all time, said: "If they knew how much work it takes, they wouldn't call it genius". But, you know, he also said (or they say he said) something that made him unable to believe in such as thing as "Talent", he said "criticize by creating". So I will try to help instead of arguing on the internet, which I found is not the best way for deliberate practice:
I recommend this book for those trying to excel in any field, and would recommend this other books in particular, as they helped me a lot:
Never Let Go: A Philosophy of Lifting, Living and Learning For those trying to be something at sports. This book gives good advice, but not easy to follow tips. This is deliberate practice.
E-myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It This is a classic most of you already know, read it if you are trying to run a successful business.
Eat That Frog!: Get More of the Important Things Done, Today! Very short and easy to read, but worth every single word. A deliberate practice manual. Recommended for everyone.
Surely You're Joking Mr Feynman: Adventures of a Curious Character as Told to Ralph Leighton Feynman was a genius, or so called. He surely was one of the greatest minds of the last century, but you will learn (and have lots of fun on the way) that he was trained, raised from his early years, to be a curious mind, to be eager to learn WHY everything happened. This book is also a very important read if you are looking for deliberate practice, other books teach you what to do, this one tells you to have fun with it.
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