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Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World

by David Epstein

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,0803115,456 (4.07)11
The #1 New York Times bestseller that has all America talking: as seen/heard on CNN, Morning Joe, CBS This Morning, The Bill Simmons Podcast, Rich Roll, and more. Shortlisted for the Financial Times/McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award "I love this idea [RANGE], because I think of myself as a jack of all trades." -- Fareed Zakaria, CNN    "The most important business--and parenting--book of the year." --Forbes "Urgent and important. . . an essential read for bosses, parents, coaches, and anyone who cares about improving performance." --Daniel H. Pink   "As David Epstein shows us, cultivating range prepares us for the wickedly unanticipated... a well-supported and smoothly written case on behalf of breadth and late starts." --Wall Street Journal Plenty of experts argue that anyone who wants to develop a skill, play an instrument, or lead their field should start early, focus intensely, and rack up as many hours of deliberate practice as possible. If you dabble or delay, you'll never catch up to the people who got a head start. But a closer look at research on the world's top performers, from professional athletes to Nobel laureates, shows that early specialization is the exception, not the rule.     David Epstein examined the world's most successful athletes, artists, musicians, inventors, forecasters and scientists. He discovered that in most fields--especially those that are complex and unpredictable--generalists, not specialists, are primed to excel. Generalists often find their path late, and they juggle many interests rather than focusing on one. They're also more creative, more agile, and able to make connections their more specialized peers can't see. Provocative, rigorous, and engrossing, Range makes a compelling case for actively cultivating inefficiency. Failing a test is the best way to learn. Frequent quitters end up with the most fulfilling careers. The most impactful inventors cross domains rather than deepening their knowledge in a single area. As experts silo themselves further while computers master more of the skills once reserved for highly focused humans, people who think broadly and embrace diverse experiences and perspectives will increasingly thrive.… (more)
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» See also 11 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
Fascinating. ( )
  btbell_lt | Aug 1, 2022 |
2.5 stars. Some interesting facts but others not so much. I also feel that the title was misleading in that the message is more to keep an open mind and do what you enjoy, rather than to generalize. ( )
  slittleson | Jun 14, 2022 |
Áhugaverðar frásagnir af því hvernig víðtæk menntun og reynsla er að skila einstaklingum, fyrirtækjum og samfélögum betri árangri heldur en sérhæfing. Epstein heldur því fram að með því að hugsa út fyrir kassann og draga lærdóm af reynslu og víðtækri menntun njóti einstaklingar meiri ánægju og velgengi sem skili sér áfram til fyrirtækja þeirra og samfélagsins í heild. Hann styður þetta með fjölda dæma og greinir einnig frá nokkrum rannsóknum sem styðja hans mál. ( )
  SkuliSael | Apr 28, 2022 |
The argument in this book is that instead of specializing in a field or a hobby early in life, you should keep your options open, try a variety of things and see what sticks. It’s a thought that runs counter to modern society, where early specialization is the rule and people who jump from one career to another are seen as flaky or indecisive. And yet there is something to be said for having a variety of experiences: in our increasingly automated world, the advantage for humans is our ability to synthesize and conceptualize information in new ways to solve increasingly complex problems. I found this a compelling argument indeed, being someone who specialized in her career fairly early on and is having something of a midlife crisis about it: feeling pigeonholed and wanting to do more and different things. I’d recommend this book if you’re feeling stuck and looking for a change; it will encourage you to do something about it. ( )
  rabbitprincess | Dec 7, 2021 |
Finally finished this one. A bit meandering, though considering the topic (don’t specialize but learn and connect with lots of different subjects to be innovative, creative, and a true expert), the book takes on the idea that early specialization is helpful. While the book a makes a lot of good points and has a lot of examples, I was disappointed in how it seems to set up Grit as a straw person. One only needs to read the first chapter of that book to recognize how Duckworth herself and her model fit into Epstein’s discussion.
And now that I read the afterword of the paperback, I see that he recognized this himself ( )
  WiebkeK | Nov 26, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World
Scritto nel 2019 dal giornalista investigativo David Epstein, il secondo libro consigliato è Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World. Disponibile in italiano con il titolo Generalisti. Perché una conoscenza allargata, flessibile e trasversale è la chiave per il futuro (Luiss University Press), è un lungo elogio della capacità di mantenersi versatili e multidisciplinari in un mondo che, al contrario, sembra prediligere la specializzazione. Portando gli esempi più disparati – da Roger Federer a Charles Darwin, fino agli esperti di Unione Sovietica ai tempi della Guerra Fredda – Epstein dimostra come questa sia la strada da seguire per fare la differenza nel mondo del lavoro. «Penso che le sue idee aiutino a spiegare alcuni dei successi di Microsoft – riflette Gates –, perché abbiamo assunto persone che avevano una reale ampiezza di conoscenze all’interno del loro campo e attraverso altri settori. Se sei un generalista a cui è capitato di sentirsi messo in ombra dai colleghi specializzati, questo è il libro che fa per te».
added by AntonioGallo | editCorriere della sera
 

» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
David Epsteinprimary authorall editionscalculated
Damron, WillNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Garruzzo, CassandraDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Young, CourtneyEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
And he refused to specialize in anything, preferring to keep an eye on the overall estate rather than any of its parts. . . . And Nikolay’s management produced the most brilliant results.

—Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

No tool is omnicompetent. There is no such thing as a master-key that will unlock all doors.

—Arnold Toynbee, A Study of History
Dedication
For Elizabeth,

this one and any other one
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Let's start with a couple of stories from the world of sports. (Introduction)
One year and four days after World War II in Europe ended in unconditional surrender, Laszlo Polgar was born in a small town in Hungary—the seed of a new family. (Chapter 1)
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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The #1 New York Times bestseller that has all America talking: as seen/heard on CNN, Morning Joe, CBS This Morning, The Bill Simmons Podcast, Rich Roll, and more. Shortlisted for the Financial Times/McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award "I love this idea [RANGE], because I think of myself as a jack of all trades." -- Fareed Zakaria, CNN    "The most important business--and parenting--book of the year." --Forbes "Urgent and important. . . an essential read for bosses, parents, coaches, and anyone who cares about improving performance." --Daniel H. Pink   "As David Epstein shows us, cultivating range prepares us for the wickedly unanticipated... a well-supported and smoothly written case on behalf of breadth and late starts." --Wall Street Journal Plenty of experts argue that anyone who wants to develop a skill, play an instrument, or lead their field should start early, focus intensely, and rack up as many hours of deliberate practice as possible. If you dabble or delay, you'll never catch up to the people who got a head start. But a closer look at research on the world's top performers, from professional athletes to Nobel laureates, shows that early specialization is the exception, not the rule.     David Epstein examined the world's most successful athletes, artists, musicians, inventors, forecasters and scientists. He discovered that in most fields--especially those that are complex and unpredictable--generalists, not specialists, are primed to excel. Generalists often find their path late, and they juggle many interests rather than focusing on one. They're also more creative, more agile, and able to make connections their more specialized peers can't see. Provocative, rigorous, and engrossing, Range makes a compelling case for actively cultivating inefficiency. Failing a test is the best way to learn. Frequent quitters end up with the most fulfilling careers. The most impactful inventors cross domains rather than deepening their knowledge in a single area. As experts silo themselves further while computers master more of the skills once reserved for highly focused humans, people who think broadly and embrace diverse experiences and perspectives will increasingly thrive.

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