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Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates…

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

by Geoff Colvin

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My husband read this. I heard a lot of buzz about it on the radio (I think every show on NPR interviewed Colvin). I finally picked it up, and I was not disappointed. Colvin clearly outlines why the prevailing ideas about talent aren't supported by research and what ideas (ie, deliberate practice) are. His ideas help me understand how I might set about achieving my personal goals as well as how I might organize our homeschooling practice to give my daughter the best opportunity to excel in her field of interest. I found this book informative, well-researched, inspiring, and realistic (he outlines the drawbacks of pursuing greatness as well as the positives). ( )
  ImperfectCJ | Dec 31, 2012 |
Left me with a little bit of a chicken vs. egg thought... is talent really inherited intrinsic motivation and adaptability to the skill, or is this intrinsic motivation actually nurtured? ( )
  stringsn88keys | Aug 7, 2012 |
Offers an interesting interpretation of how people become successful, and what people to in order to practice in their given field effectively. ( )
  JohnCouke | Apr 16, 2012 |
I picked up this book because I was really fascinated by the discussion of expertise in Joshua Foer's Moonwalking with Einstein, and I wanted to read more about it. The idea that deliberate practice is more important than innate ability is intriguing and often encouraging (or not, depending on how hard I've been working in the last while...). I think the book I really wanted to read was the Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance, but I was worried that it would be too dense and I felt like something lighter. So, I pretty much got what I bargained for; there were plenty of interesting anecdotes here, but since I had already been introduced to the basic principles before, it didn't feel very revolutionary. Also, there was an incredibly boring middle part where the author talked about how these concepts could be applied in the business world, and I really didn't care about that at all. So it was an okay book on the whole, but not great. I'd recommend Moonwalking with Einstein instead, at least as a starting point. That one isn't focused exclusively on expertise, but at least it's interesting throughout. ( )
  _Zoe_ | Jan 28, 2012 |
Outliers meets the concept of deliberate practice in this book by Geoff Colvin. Not only is the work an examination of why some people achieve and maintain greatness in their field, but it also argues that the concept of natural talent is limiting in that it closes off avenues of exploration for those not deemed "naturally talented." Colvin avoids slipping into the trite equation of "hard work equals greatness", though, by exploring the psychological factors that motivate people to difficult and deliberate practice in the first place. While some might object to the idea that few, if any, can lay claim to the spark of "natural talent," the message I came away with was much more positive: that greatness is truly within anyone's grasp. ( )
1 vote OliviainNJ | Aug 17, 2010 |
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An expansion on the author's popular Fortune article, "What It Takes to Be Great," builds on his premise about success being linked to the practice and perseverance of specific efforts, in a full-length report that draws on scientific principles and real-world examples to demonstrate his systematic process at work.… (more)

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