David's Reviews > Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else

Talent is Overrated by Geoff Colvin
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Jul 29, 2010

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bookshelves: nonfiction
Read in July, 2010

The book started off with an engaging defense of the thesis from the title: talent is overrated, and "great performers" are not born great, but become great through lots of practice. This basic theme is illustrated by engagingly-written descriptions of psychological research -- think Freakonomics, Predictably Irrational, etc. by way of comparison.

And then, about halfway through the book, there was a topic shift. If I had started reading from the end to the front, as is sometimes my wont, I probably would have said "this is yet another business book, and I'm not sure I want to read a hundred pages about how great GE is at producing top managers." Along with the shift in topic was a shift in tone: more motivational, and less scientific (the first half mentioned a study every couple pages; the second half gave anecdotes instead).

Still, I'm glad I read it for the first part.
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