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Sasha

Hi. I'm Sasha Stowers, a professional graphic designer and illustrator. I also design websites and code them.

Smyrna, GA, United States | Member Since 2008

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

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Geoff Colvin
    • Narrated By David Drummond
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2158)
    Performance
    (1235)
    Story
    (1242)

    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.

    Sasha L. Stowers says: "An Even-Handed Look At Talent"
    "An Even-Handed Look At Talent"
    Overall

    Many condemn this book claiming that its sole premise is to shout that practice makes perfect. Not so. The author actively seeks out other explanations--innate talent, large memory, and intelligence--and finds that these qualities do not, statistically speaking, correlate with talent, especially in the beginning. Colvin doesn't exclude precocious children or people from the study, he just states that for the majority of people there is an obvious and strong statistical correlation betwixt time invested and competency, and the organization of the invested time, whether it focuses on improving weaknesses/aspects of performance or involves repeating a task which the one is comfortable with is also statistically shown. The latter seems to just maintain the current level of talent. The information in the book is scientifically sound. Instead of solely studying exceptional people, the author collects data from the mediocre as wells as a spectrum between these extremes to compare, establishing control groups for the data.


    Others have compared this with Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers. The biggest difference between Outliers and this, is that Gladwell's work focuses on the combination of social influences, available opportunities, and developed skills to become an outlier. This book focuses almost exclusively on the development of skills, only mentioning the other factors as side notes. Because the other factors can't be easily controlled, but practice can, this book is more highly applicable, but I will say that Gladwell's work is more artfully written.

    46 of 47 people found this review helpful

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