3 Do’s From The Book “Talent Is Overrated” By Geoff Colvin

3 Do’s From The Book “Talent Is Overrated” By Geoff Colvin

Posted on January 16, 2012

3 Do’s from the book “Talent Is Overrated. What Really Separates World-Class Performers From Everybody Else” by Geoff Colvin

By giving examples of Mozart and Tiger Woods, the author gives a convincing argument that world-class performance in any field can be achieved through “deliberate practice”. Not just any practice but deliberate practice. So, here are the 3 do’s to be successful at deliberate practice that can be applied to improve performance even in corporate world.

1. Design your practice: To see any improvement in performance, the practice needs to be designed first. The author argues that for most people, designing their own practice to get better at something is not easy. So, he suggests hiring a coach or a trainer to design the practice that is solely customized to your strengths and weaknesses.

2. Get continuous feedback: Measure progress on a regular basis. Again, having a coach helps because the practice can then be redesigned based on the feedback.

3. Put in the hours: Practice is not supposed to be fun. So, putting in the needed hours of practice is not going to be easy. It also cannot be done in an auto-pilot mode. Every step in the process needs to be done deliberately and with full consciousness.

There is a message of hope and of despair as well. This book generates hope by dispelling the myth of gifted people whose talent is innate and God-given. The despair comes from knowing that even though there is no secret ingredient, world-class performance is not an easy thing that anyone and everyone can achieve without putting in the long hours of deliberate practice. The quote of the women’s tennis player, Martina Navratilova aptly describes this conundrum. When asked by a fan how many hours of practice are needed to play like her, she said something like this.

“If you ask this question to yourself, you will never get there. You have to tell yourself, as long as it takes”

Thanks for reading. Have a great day!


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