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

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

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by Geoff Colvin
     
 

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Expanding on a landmark cover story in Fortune, a top journalist debunks the myths of exceptional performance.

One of the most popular Fortune articles in many years was a cover story called 'What It Takes to Be Great.' Geoff Colvin offered new evidence that top performers in any field—from Tiger Woods and Winston Churchill to Warren

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Overview

Expanding on a landmark cover story in Fortune, a top journalist debunks the myths of exceptional performance.

One of the most popular Fortune articles in many years was a cover story called 'What It Takes to Be Great.' 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, like your grandmother might have advocated, 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-world 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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Editorial Reviews

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

"Talent Is Overrated is 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 the rare business book that will both prompt you to think and inspire you to act."-Daniel H. Pink, author of A Whole New Mind

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781591842248
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/16/2008
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
518,905
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Related Subjects

What People are saying about this

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

"Talent Is Overrated is 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 the rare business book that will both prompt you to think and inspire you to act."-Daniel H. Pink, author of A Whole New Mind

Meet the Author

Geoff Colvin, Fortune’s senior edi­tor at large, is one of America’s most respected journalists. He lectures widely and is the regular lead modera­tor for the Fortune Global Forum. A frequent television guest, Colvin also appears daily on the CBS Radio Net­work, reaching seven million listeners each week. He coanchored Wall Street Week on PBS for three years. He lives in Fairfield, Connecticut.

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Talent Is Overrated 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 62 reviews.
hwonglam More than 1 year ago
This book answers a seemingly simple question with lots of well-summarized research results from academic studies. Compared to Malcolm Gladwell's "Outliers", this book is a bit more academic, but it is still very easy to read, as it is written for the general public. What started as a book on finding out what constitutes success in the business world, the book evolves into the topic of parenting at various places along the way. Our upbringing, our motivation to excel, and our focused practices to overcome our weaknesses explain more about our success than our pure intellect. Finally, although our genetic makeups don't explain who of us are more likely to be successful, there is still the unexplained question on why some of us are so much more motivated to withstand the painful process that is necessary to become successful. Perhaps what differentiates the successful from the non-successful is how much we are able to 'enjoy' or 'tolerate' the process of long hours of purposeful training and practices to become experts. For those who would like to raise successful children, this book provides recipes and the underlying principles. I was not expecting this book to be much of a parenting book when I first started to read the book. As it turns out that upbringing constitutes a big deal towards our success as adults, I have recommended this book to young parents. I also recommend Malcolm Gladwell's "Outliers", which is even more readable, though less authoritative and less well-researched than this book.
coolreem More than 1 year ago
All self-help books give stories of great people overcoming their difficulties. These stories are inspiring and worth the read. But, what is it that makes the world call people talented like Tiger Woods or a Mozart? The answer is found in this book. I read the book and then bought the audiobook because I needed to listen to it everyday. The material is easy to read, and very exciting. This book is not filled with a bunch of technical jargon, but is broken down very simply for any reader. If you are on the pursuit of being great, learn what made people "talented." The answers are going to surprise you. This is highly recommended.
CrazyDocCummings More than 1 year ago
If you started out highly praised for your talent but wound up ordinary, this book will help you understand why.
Jason_Ball More than 1 year ago
It's about time this book was written. The author, Geoff Colvin, writes for Fortune and if you saw his piece called "What It Takes to Be Great" you know why it was such a sensation. Colvin shows that perseverence and practice are what set the truly great individuals in any endeavor apart.

But there's more. Colvin postulates that it isn't how hard you work, but how you practice that leads to greatness. It's the analysis of your progress (en route to perfection) that you can learn from your mistakes, improve and become great. The book uses ample real-world anecdotes and some scientific analysis to bolster this theories. In the end the book is an empowering look at what you can do to achieve greatness in your work and anything you put your mind to.

Another book I enjoyed deeply this week (I read a lot) and I highly recommend, though this one is based on the author's Harvard Business Review article, is The Emotional Intelligence Quick Book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awful and worthless. If you enjoy business-speak, platitudes and simple concepts explained to you as if you were a 6th grader, then this is the book for you. While the premise of the book is true, that talent is overrated, there's nothing in this book that has not been said before by a thousand fluffy magazine articles, or that you cannot get by reading the synopsis. I was lucky enough that Barnes and Noble take returns.
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I've always believed this was true and now I know it. Talent is overrated. It does take specific practice to move to the world-class level. Thanks Geoff...
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Very Thorough analysis of the concept of practice
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Its informative but I cant say I'm REALLY enjoying it. Very reminiscent of Outliers.
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