Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else
By Geoff Colvin
Published on October 16, 2008 by Penguin Group
Expanding on a landmark cover story in Fortune, a top journalist debunks the myths of exceptional performance.
One of the most popular Fortune articles in many years was a cover story called "What It Takes to Be Great." Geoff Colvin offered new evidence that top performers in any field—from Tiger Woods and Winston Churchill to Warren Buffett and Jack Welch—are not determined by their inborn talents. Greatness doesn’t come from DNA but from practice and perseverance honed over decades.
And not just plain old hard work, like your grandmother might have advocated, but a very specific kind of work. The key is how you practice, how you analyze the results of your progress and learn from your mistakes, which enables you to achieve greatness.
Now Colvin has expanded his article with much more scientific background and real-world examples. He shows that the skills of business—negotiating deals, evaluating financial statements, and all the rest—obey the principles that lead to greatness, so that anyone can get better at them with the right kind of effort. Even the hardest decisions and interactions can be systematically improved.
This new mind-set, combined with Colvin’s practical advice, will change the way you think about your job and career—and will inspire you to achieve more in all you do.