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

Talent is Overrated by Geoff Colvin
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's review
Aug 08, 2011

really liked it

Colvin argues that excellence is the result not of great talent, but of deliberate practice, a specific kind of hard work. Colvin notes that in the last century, top performers in fields like athletics and chess have exceeded achievements of earlier much-lauded champions, and that's because people today are not stronger or smarter, but better at training.Colvin also talks about deliberate practice with respect to business, and there's a bit about music (which appears to be a field in which "you either have it or you don't" -- Colvin argues against this convincingly. For example, apparently Mozart's child genius was actually the result of thousands of hours of practice). I would have liked more on the specifics of deliberate practice in the creative fields--the only writer mentioned was Benjamin Franklin (admittedly a good example). Also, I was disappointed to see very few mentions of female performers. Still, a really interesting and sort of optimistic approach to improving job performance.

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