Talent Is Overrated by Geoff Colvin is a comprehensive work that answers the question, “what really separates world-class performers from everybody else?” The main points that you will take away from this book are:
- There is no actual evidence of genetic talent, it is a myth
- There is no “fast track” road for high achievers
- There is no evidence that IQ, or exceptional memory correlates with great performance
- Great performers become great through deliberate practice
- What deliberate practice is and isn’t
- How these principles apply to organizations
- Great innovations and creative endeavours do not “strike”, they grow
- The role that age plays in achieving world-class performance
- Where passion comes from
Is This Book For You?
This book is a staple for anyone who is serious about achieving world-class excellence in any field. It gives you a very detailed illustration of how legends such as Mozart, Tiger Woods, and Benjamin Franklin all reached remarkable levels in their fields through the same process.
If you do not want to be a world-class performer, perhaps you should re-consider. At the beginning of this work Colvin called attention to a shift in our times that I believe we should all be aware of:
“For roughly five hundred years the scarce resource in business was financial capital. If you had it, you had the means to create more wealth, and if you didn’t, you didn’t. That world is now gone. Today, in a change that is historically quite sudden, financial capital is abundant. The scarce resource is no longer money. It’s human ability.” – Geoff Colvin
Whether or not you want it to, your abilities, and particularly the level of your abilities are now more than ever inescapably intertwined with your success. The good news is, you have the power to control how much you excel at something. Talent Is Overrated will give you the science behind being the best.
I score this book a 9/10. The information in this work is useful, insightful, and it imparted a strong sense of hope. It convinced me–with the backing of extensive research and evidence–that your fate is not pre-ordained. That excellence, and being the best is attainable for everyone.
The only downside of this work is that it reads like a newspaper, and at times it got a little long-winded. This is not what is important though, the most important aspect of a non-fiction work is its truth, and overall message. I recommend this book to anyone that is seeking to truly improve themselves.
It is you that is in control of your progress, and how great you become at something is a matter of how high a price you are willing to pay. Knowing this will empower you.
If you have read this work, or any works that you feel are similar please feel free to leave your comments below about it.