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Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else | [Geoff Colvin]

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

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2008 Geoffrey Colvin; (P)2008 Tantor

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    Bradley Selkirk, Manitoba, Canada 03-04-10
    Bradley Selkirk, Manitoba, Canada 03-04-10 Member Since 2015
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    "Bad advice, faulty premise"

    He even mentions it, in the film industry actors are referred to as the "talent" he then states that what they are saying is a just a super generalized way of referring to any person working that specific job.

    This is extraordinarily wrong and quite frankly a little insultingly stupid. Actors and other performers are referred to as the talent BECAUSE they are unique and what they do CANNOT be done by any person off the street who simply 'deliberately' practices enough. He basically completely denies that there is any genetic human diversity as it relates to personality or ability in any aspect. Sensitivity is not a practicable human skill to be learned from a text book.

    He rests almost his entire case on a few specific activities that even he acknowledges can also be done by a robot. this book is completely out of touch and seems written more to give false hope to average joes. or to let people blame their parents for their own inability to be great in the activities they wish they were great in.

    Nobody believes that if you are talented in a specific area that your children are bound to also be talented in that same area. He is arguing against a point of view based on old eugenics beliefs held in the 13th century. Human traits can be passed on and dormant for hundreds of generations, he basically denies everything we have learned about the human genome in the last few decades. He states again and again that your genes don't make any difference and all that matters is your ability to torture yourself with countless hours of practice.

    I feel very sorry for the people who take the advice of this book and end up wasting their time because of it.

    16 of 53 people found this review helpful
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    Michael garland, TX, USA 07-26-09
    Michael garland, TX, USA 07-26-09
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    "I can't recommend this book enough!"

    I truly believe you should spend the money for this audiobook. Listen carefully and try to apply to your life...worth the money!

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Monica Basking Ridge, NJ, USA 07-08-09
    Monica Basking Ridge, NJ, USA 07-08-09 Member Since 2013
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    "AWESOME!! Now, this is how you use CREDITS!"

    Made for some very interesting listening. I would highly recommend this audio.

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
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