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

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

by Geoff Colvin


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“Excellent.”—The Wall Street Journal

Since its publication ten years ago, businesspeople, investors, doctors, parents, students, athletes, and musicians at every level have adopted the maxims of Talent Is Overrated to get better at what they’re passionate about. Now this classic has been updated and revised with new research and takeaways to help anyone achieve even greater performance.

Why are certain people so incredibly great at what they do? Most of us think we know the answer—but we’re almost always wrong. That’s important, because if we’re wrong on this crucial question, then we have zero chance of getting significantly better at anything we care about.
Happily, the real source of great performance is no longer a mystery. Bringing together extensive scientific research, bestselling author Geoff Colvin shows where we go wrong and what actually makes world-class performers so remarkable. It isn’t specific, innate talent, nor is it plain old hard work. It’s a very specific type of work that anyone can do—but most people don’t.
What’s more, the principles of great performance apply to virtually any activity that matters to you. Readers worldwide have been inspired by this book’s liberating message: You don’t need a one-in-a-million natural gift. Better performance, and maybe even world-class performance, is closer than you think.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781591842941
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/25/2010
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 175,666
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About 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.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Excerpted from "Talent Is Overrated"
by .
Copyright © 2010 Geoff Colvin.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

1 The Mystery 1

Great performance is more valuable than ever-but where does it really come from?

2 Talent Is Overrated 17

Confronting the unexpected facts about innate abilities

3 How Smart Do You Have to Be? 36

The true role of intelligence and memory in high achievement

4 A Better Idea 52

An explanation of great performance that makes sense

5 What Deliberate Practice Is and Isn't 65

For starters, it isn't what most of us do when we're "practicing"

6 How Deliberate Practice Works 84

The specific ways it changes us, and how that makes all the difference

7 Applying the Principles in Our Lives 105

The opportunities are many-if we think about our work in a new way

8 Applying the Principles in Our Organizations 126

Few do it well, and most don't do it at all; the sooner you start, the better

9 Performing Great at Innovation 145

How the principles we've learned take us past the myths of creativity

10 Great Performance in Youth and Age 167

The extraordinary benefits of starting early and continuing on and on

11 Where Does the Passion Come From? 187

Understanding the deepest question about great performance

Afterword 207

Acknowledgments 214

Sources 216

Index 227

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Geoff Colvin has written a fascinating study of great achievers from Mozart to Tiger Woods.... Talent Is Overrated is not only inspiring but enlightening." —-Donald Trump

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