Talent is Overrated: What Really Separated World-class Performers from Everybody Else

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Penguin, 2008 - Psychology - 228 pages
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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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


One The Mystery
Two Talent Is Overrated
Three How Smart Do You Have to Be?
Four A Better Idea
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 Age
Eleven Where Does the Passion Come From?

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About the author (2008)

Geoff Colvin,Fortune’s senior editor at large, is one of America’s most respected business journalists. He lectures widely and is the regular lead moderator for the Fortune Global Business Forum. A frequent guest on CNBC’s Squawk Boxand other TV programs, Colvin appears daily on the CBS Radio Network, reaching seven million listeners each week. He also co-anchored Wall Street Week with Fortuneon PBS for three years.

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