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Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from EverybodyElse Paperback – May 25 2010


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Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from EverybodyElse + The Talent Code: Greatness Isn't Born. It's Grown. Here's How. + Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio Trade (May 25 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591842948
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591842941
  • Product Dimensions: 14.1 x 1.7 x 21.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 200 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,968 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review



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.


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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on Oct. 16 2008
Format: Audio CD
Colvin set out to answer this question: "What does great performance require?" In this volume, he shares several insights generated by hundreds of research studies whose major conclusions offer what seem to be several counterintuitive perspectives on what is frequently referred to as "talent." (See Pages 6-7.) In this context, I am reminded of Thomas Edison's observation that "vision without execution is hallucination." If Colvin were asked to paraphrase that to indicate his own purposes in this book, my guess (only a guess) is that his response would be, "Talent without deliberate practice is latent" and agrees with Darrell Royal that "potential" means "you ain't done it yet." In other words, there would be no great performances in any field (e.g. business, theatre, dance, symphonic music, athletics, science, mathematics, entertainment, exploration) without those who have, through deliberate practice developed the requisite abilities.

It occurs to me that, however different they may be in almost all other respects, athletes such as Cynthia Cooper, Roger Federer, Michael Jordan, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Lorena Ochoa, Candace Parker, Michael Phelps, Vijay Singh, and Tiger Woods "make it look so easy" in competition because their preparation is so focused, rigorous, and thorough. Obviously, they do not win every game, match, tournament, etc. Colvin's point (and I agree) is that all great performers "make it look so easy" because of their commitment to deliberate practice, often for several years before their first victory. In fact, Colvin cites a "ten-year rule" widely endorsed in chess circles (attributed to Herbert Simon and William Chase) that "no one seemed to reach the top ranks of chess players without a decade or so of intensive study, and some required much more time.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan J T Reilly on Sept. 6 2010
Format: Paperback
Colvin's book can be summed up in two sentences: 1. Anyone who works really really hard can be an expert at anything, so go work really really hard. 2. The author has no idea why some people are motivated to work really really hard in a particular area and other people are not.

Colvin repeats the current 10,000 hour mantra based on research by Anders Ericson and others to support his thesis that geniuses are made and not born, but this assertion is not novel. For a more novel, interesting and readable pursuit of this topic, see Malcolm Gladwell's books "Outliers: The Story of Success" and, also by Gladwell: "What the Dog Saw". For a better pursuit of the idea that geniuses are made through "deep practice", not born, combined with an investigation into why some people are inspired to put in the time required to appear to be geniuses, see Daniel Coyle's "The Talent Code".
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Some books are easy to read, but offer little value. Others are the opposite, only you don't get much from it due to the poor writing.

'Talent is Overrated' is a nice combination of being an easy ready with a wealth of useful information. Great book. It really has an impact on your world view. I feel a new respect for skilled individuals.
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By Yaniv on July 26 2011
Format: Paperback
A very important book to have and for sure one of the more influential books I have read in a while.

Based on research, its shows how we misconceive talent and overall factors to success.

There are many inputs to success, as it seems to me now after reading this great book, "talent" as I understood it before is not one of them.
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