Observation and Design

Richard Stowey's localised view of the world.

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Book Review: Talent Is Overrated by Geoff Colvin

July 14th, 2009 @ 09:00 BST by Richard Stowey

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What started out as an article by Geoff Colvin for Fortune Magazine about great performance in business turned into this wonderful book about raw talent, hard work, great performance and motivation.

I picked it up whilst browsing through a Foyles book store near the South Bank Centre in London, and through reading just a short part I was hooked. Geoff Colvin’s ability to write engaging dialogue about a series of subjects and people kept me hooked right the way through.

The book focuses on dispelling the myths surrounding raw and natural talent and using a wide variety of real world examples and research on the subject, Geoff Colvin explains the personal and corporate benefits of recognising how talent is achieved through hard work, deliberate practice and a focus on a goal. All the information and discussion put forward surrounds important research and real world examples including Mozart, Tiger Woods, Jeffrey Immelt and Steven Balmer to name a few.

The book does well to go through each of the topics surrounding talent, and explaining the steps involved in guiding someone to be talented. The book also looks at the culture of motivating and encouraging people in the corporate environment and how different methods of thinking can help to evolve new and better kinds of people.

I found this book an interesting read and a nice learned journey through how talent is earned and achieved. It’s interesting for anyone who wants to know more about talent and where it comes from.

If you would like to get hold of a copy of this book it is available through Amazon.co.uk – Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else by Geoff Colvin