Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else

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Nicholas Brealey Publishing, Jan 11, 2011 - Business & Economics - 242 pages
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 practice, how you analyze 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.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - piersanti - LibraryThing

A fantastic book, especially the first three-fourths. It's completely counterintuitive, but innate talent really does appear to be overrated. It seems that 'deliberate practice' is much, much more ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - tabascofromgudreads - LibraryThing

Insightful analysis of excellence and excellent performance in any field. The point of the book is in the title: the concept of "innate talent", when it comes to great performance, is overrated in our ... Read full review

Contents

One The Mystery
Three How Smart Do You Have to
Five What Deliberate Practice Is and Isnt
Six How Deliberate Practice Works
Seven Applying the Principles in Our Lives
Eight Applying the Principles in Our Organizations
Nine Performing Great at Innovation
Ten Great Performance in Youth and
Eleven Where Does the Passion Come From?
Acknowledgments
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About the author (2011)

Geoff Colvin is Fortune Magazine's senior editor-at-large and is also the author of Talent is Overrated and The Upside of the Downturn. He has served as moderator of the Fortune Global Forum, where he has interviewed Bill Gates, Jack Welch, Herb Kelleher, Peter Drucker and other business legends. Colvin graduated Harvard cum-laude with a B.A. in Economics, and received his MBA from New York University's Stern School.

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