Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody
Few, if any, of the people around you are truly great at what they do. But why aren’t they? Why don’t they manage businesses like Jack Welch or Andy Grove, play golf like Tiger Woods or play the violin like Itzhak Perlman? Asked to explain why a few people truly excel, most of us offer one of two answers: hard work or a natural talent. However, scientific evidence doesn’t support the notion that specific natural talents make great performers.
Expanding on one of the most popular Fortune articles in years, with much more scientific research and real-life examples, Geoff Colvin offers new evidence that top performers in any field – from 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. This “deliberate practice” isn’t the kind of hard work that your parents told you about. It’s difficult. It hurts. But more of it equals better performance. Tons of it equals great performance.