Is talent immaterial compared to disciplined work? Geoff Colvin’s Talent is Overrrated suggests as much. Colvin prescribes that deliberate, difficult, challenging practice is what leads to extraordinary performance. This book affected how I think about parenting and very much influenced my daily routine.
Here are a few of the most interesting ideas and quotes I found in the book:
- Focus relentlessly on performance.
- Be intensely specific.
- “Practice activities are worthless without useful feedback about the results.”
- “Trust is the most fundamental element of a winning team.”
- “While it has often been observed that those who work the hardest seem to be the luckiest, the fact remains that if a bridge collapses while you’re driving over it, nothing else matters.”
- “Above all, what the evidence shouts most loudly is striking, liberating news: that great performance is not reserved for a preordained few. It is available to you and to everyone.”
The stories about memory research reminded me of one of my favorite Morning Edition commentaries: Speed Rules in Match Class. Math freaks… awesome.