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3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
The Rare Find: How Great Talent Stands Out
Format: Paperback|Change
Price:£9.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 12 May 2012
Depending on who you are this book would make either a fine or excellent read. If you are one to believe that resumes / CVs are everything, then yes, you are in no doubt in need of this book. But if you are the type that understands that everyone is different and you can't look on a resume and determine whether a person is a perfect fit for a company, then no you won't be in for such a treat in my opinion

If you have seen the 1987 film "Wall street" then you know gordan gekko says to bud "Most of these MBA types don't add up to anything, give me a guy whose poor, smart and hungry" and that's kind of what the essence of this book is all about. It's about looking past conventional ways of hiring people, if you have ever tried to get a job at certain firms. you would notice that all they seem to care about is what's on your CV. And the message in this book is towards people like them, "Stop paying attention to numbers/statistics so much and look at the actual person!". He makes his points by giving a bunch of real life story examples. he speaks about the army, Wall street traders, programmers, venture capitalists and more. Reading this book you really get the sense that the author does know what he's talking about by his constant referencing and so fort.

But all in all, i think it's important that you know, this is Not a "how to guide" more of a "Story about looking at things different" I did buy this book with the intent of learning a bunch of special techniques and tools i could use to to find quality people. But i was sadly mistaken, this book is not written in that format at all. so if you enjoy a good story, then i think you should pick this up. But if you are looking for hard facts and details then No! No! No! You will not get that in this book

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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 3 December 2011
As George Anders explains in the Introduction, he spent two and a half years conducting research to determine the answer to this question: "How and where to find great talent?" He focused on expert talent spotters in three broad sets: the public performance worlds (e.g. sports, arts, and entertainment), high stakes aspects of business (especially finance and the information economy), and "heroic professionals" of public service (e.g. teaching, government, and medicine). "It's easy to see [begin italics] how [end italics] they operated, but it took a while to understand [begin italics] why [end italics]. What he learned is shared in this book. For example, with people as with organizations, "the gap between good and great turns out to be huge," perhaps as much as a 500% difference. The financial implications are vast and substantial.

Of special interest to me is what Anders learned about what he characterizes as "the jagged résumé" (i.e. people whose background to date appears to teeter on the edge between success and failure), "talent that whispers" (i.e. the proverbial "diamonds in the rough"), and "talent that shouts" (i.e. spectacular but brash candidates "that can make or destroy a program"). As I reflect back over NBA and NFL drafts during the past 12-15 years, I can easily recall dozens of examples of players who exemplify one of these three.

Anders spent a great deal of time examining how talent is evaluated in several less publicized organizations. They include Sergeant Dan Fagan and Army Special Services, Wendy Kopp and Teach for America, David C. Evans and the University of Utah, Bob Gibbons (an independent high school basketball scout), Adam D'Angelo and Facebook, Daniel Walker and Apple, Scott Borchetta and Big Machine Records, and Dr. John Cameron and his "boot camp for America's most ambitious surgeons" at the medical school at Johns Hopkins as well as Brad Smart and Randy Street and ghSMART & Company. However different these expert talent evaluators may be in most respects, there are three basic principles on which all agree:
1. Widen your view of talent: Compromise on experience but never in character, seek out "talent that whispers," on the fringes of talent ask "What can go right?" and take tiny chances so that you can take more of them.

2. Find inspirations that are hidden in plain sight: Draw out the "hidden truths" of each job, be willing to use your own career as a template, rely on auditions to see how and why people achieve as they do, and master the art of aggressive listening.

3. Simplify your search for talent: Be alert to other invisible virtues, insist on the right talent (i.e. don't lose track of what is needed), challenge your best candidates to push themselves even harder, and "become a citadel of achievement" (i.e. embrace extraordinary effort as a way of life).

By nature, greatness creates a legacy that endures long after specific achievements have occurred. As George Anders makes crystal clear throughout his lively as well as informative narrative, "People with great reputations for attracting and developing talent regard the search for brilliance as their calling. They see themselves as discoverers, protectors, and builders of an entire discipline." Yes, they possess skills and capacities (especially enlightened intuition) that enable them to spot exceptional talent - albeit under-developed talent -- before everyone else does. The "rare find" is their objective as well as evidence of their own exceptional talent but do not ignore or underestimate the significance of the word "rare."

For many leaders, especially those centrally involved in attracting and then developing talent, this may well be the most valuable business book they could read.
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on 23 May 2012
I purchased this book hoping to find a way to spot talent that nobody else sees. The book goes on repeating itself, throwing in case studies out of context and telling us what it will tell us in the following chapters or what it has already told us in the previous chapters. In many cases, the book implies that there is no magic formula and any method used can be a hit or miss. The only reasonable advice given was to look in areas that nobody else does. Reading the resume from the bottom up is another tip but I doubt this can be of much value since many people do not bother adding non-professional information. Also, we should look for signs of the candidate's character, which everybody does anyway. In summary, the book seemed to be blown up in size and the info could easily fit in half the pages. In the end, the title and abstract over-promised and the book under-delivered. I wasn't impressed...
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on 24 June 2012
A thing that you notice about great retailers is how much credit they give their staff. While the big supermarkets project their credentials behind impressive (and often overstated) job creation numbers, collectively local shopkeepers match them. A reason society doesn't know this is perhaps the lack of a context for independents to-broadcast their success.

Reading George Anders' inspiring book The Rare Find, published by Portfolio Penguin, a question springs to mind: What is the reward for local shopkeepers to recruit great staff? Anders writes about world leading talent and how it is unearthed. How is this relevant for small shops? And for their potential colleagues?

Thinking about great retailers I have met, I think answers include how local shops help young staff develop, how first-employers keep track of their peoples' later career success and how shopkeepers nurture local superstars. Superstars with humble jobs like the janitor who President Kennedy met on a tour of NASA in 1961. Asking the man what he did, the janitor said: "Sir, I am helping to put a man on the moon".

For example, one shopkeeper I know told me about a person that he employed who had severe learning difficulties. Seeing her affinity with the task of keeping the shelves in one department well stocked, he gave her responsibility for buying. Today, that part of his business and the staff member are thriving.

Reading Anders' book will help you work out what to challenge your people to do. It will also challenge you to do better. A former Wall Street Journal staff writer, Anders has access to some of America's greatest leaders. Good to Great author Jim Collins endorses Ander's book, which provides great lists of what to do to hire good people. These lists also help you understand what could make your business successful.

The reason for this is that Anders finds that success is built around Peter Drucker's famous advice "to think through the assignment", which means working out exactly what needs to be done and what skills your people need. Using this as a foundation stone, Anders endorses several good habits and explains how they work.

For example, he shows how the concept of "what can go right" - as practised by Dave Packard and Steve Jobs - works. This is about giving people a chance to show that they can succeed rather than worrying about failure. But there is a discipline.

For entrepreneurs the £14.99 cover price will be rewarded by reading the chapter on how venture capital works, particularly the comments of local business people who backed Jeff Bezos when he looked to set up Amazon.

And character is ever important, memorably illustrated by the success of singer Taylor Swift, who as a young teenager was promoted by Scott Borchetta because he liked her attitude. Blagging a visit with a local radio programme director in Knoxville, Tennessee, for a quick visit, she played one of her songs.

"That's very nice," the director said, ready to escort out his visitors.

"Thank you," Taylor Swift replied. "Can I go on the air and play it right now for your listeners, too!"

The manager, Anders writes, was powerless to resist. This book will help you think about who you hire and how you contribute to your local community - and beyond.
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on 20 February 2013
excellent logic . Are Irish companies too small or too stereo-type or too inept to apply this logic.
Makes great sense.
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on 2 April 2015
Bought this book for a relative, they said it was great.
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