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

Talent is Overrated by Geoff Colvin
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Feb 20, 12

Read in February, 2012

This book gets 5 stars for its interest factor. It summarizes so much fascinating research and many interesting case studies on the relationships between talent, practice, and exceptional performance. My favorite anecdote was about the Polgar sisters, children of a Hungarian psychologist who ADVERTISED for a wife so he could run a talent-v-practice experiment on his own kids when they were born. He got a taker, they had three girls, and they decided to train them in chess from an early age (a game that neither parent was particularly excellent at). All three daughters grew up to be world-class chess players.

The end gets kind of boring as it starts focusing on the practical implications for innovation and exceptionalism in business. I liked thinking about it from a more personal standpoint. It makes a case for sheer cumulative hours of "deliberate practice" as the main driver of exceptional performance. I don't want to be so exceptional at anything that I'm sacrificing too much of regular life--tried that, it's not worth it--but I do want to make the time I already spend "practicing" really make more of a difference. The book is good for thinking about that.
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message 1: by Jeremy (new)

Jeremy Villa I mean "thoughtful" review


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